This study investigates the role of the higher education sector in capacitating the developmental state in South Africa. This research is motivated by the rising need to assess the role that the South African higher education sector plays in capacitating the developmental state. The research objectives of this study are to describe the environment within which higher education attempts to address the needs of the developmental state and to explain the composition, role, and functions of partnership structures which will address the needs of a developmental state. To achieve the study’s objectives, the qualitative method of research was implemented as it attempts to propose actions to strengthen the intergovernmental relations between the Department of Higher Education and Training and higher education institutions. Pre-determined open-ended interview questions were used to interview representatives of the Department of Higher Education and Training, the University of Pretoria, as well as the University of the Free State with the purpose of discovering what is currently being done in the higher education sector to assist the South African government to achieve the state’s developmental agenda. The study provided explanation of various concepts and terms, including Public Administration, the South African developmental state and agenda, and intergovernmental relations. The study highlights the fact that in South Africa the concept of “developmental state” has a slightly different meaning to that of the internationally accepted on the basis of the “Asian Tigers”. The study contextualises the Public Administration, higher education, and intergovernmental relations. The research explains and describes the South African developmental agenda, external and internal environment of the higher education sector and its policies, as well as the main players in the higher education intergovernmental relations. The main players are the Department of Higher Education and Training, higher education institutions and statutory bodies (the Council on Higher Education and Higher Education South Africa). This research describes current developments in the higher education sector and pertaining to it intergovernmental relations, based on the views and opinions of the representatives from the DHET, UP, and the UFS, as well as policy documents and strategic plans. This study shows that currently there is a framework for intergovernmental relations in the higher education sector. However the framework is not effective and efficient for the sector to assist the South African government in meeting the developmental agenda. This research suggests restructuring current intergovernmental relations structure in the sector, as well as including more role players, such as the Department of Trade and Industry (the DTI), Department of Science and Technology, the National Research Foundation (NRF), the National Planning Commission, the Department of Monitoring and Evaluation, the Evaluation and the Economic Development Department (EDD), private and public sectors as well as the community. Copyright
Dissertation (MAdmin)--University of Pretoria, 2013.