Assessment is back. There is undoubtedly a transnational preoccupation with the national performance of education systems, performance-based pedagogies, and the assessment of student learning. The shift from educational inputs to learning outputs, from classroom processes to student achievements, and from teacher actions to learner outcomes are common in
both first world and developing country contexts. Such shifts are often justified on economic grounds (greater efficiency in the use of resources), sometimes on political grounds (greater accountability in terms of governmental resources), and occasionally on educational grounds
(greater attention to learners and learning). These shifts are marked differently in the education policies of various countries, and its most prominent expression in South Africa is in the form
of what has come to be called outcomes-based education. It is within this context that the research and concept articles in this Special Issue on Assessment should be understood and engaged.