The Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) in 2002, in the context of developing the national quality assurance system, established a project to foreground the core function of teaching and learning in the context of the restructuring of higher education. Subsequently it published the Improving Teaching and Learning Resource (March 2005) as part of its prioritisation of quality issues in teaching and learning. Since then, there have been a number of teaching and learning related publications that have served to increase the level of national and institutional debates on the conceptualisation, quality and practice of teaching and learning. Examples of such publications include, Service-Learning in the Curriculum: A Resource for Higher Education Institutions (2006), A Good Practice Guide and Self-evaluation Instruments for Managing the Quality of Service-Learning (2006), Higher Education Monitor: A Case for Improving Teaching and Learning in South African Higher Education (2007), Case studies on dealing with "pipeline students" within their respective institutions (2007), Service-Learning in the Disciplines: Lessons from the Field (2008), and Higher Education Monitor: Access and Throughput in South African Higher Education - Three case studies (2010).
A central feature of the HEQC's approach since its inception has been to initiate and facilitate quality-related capacity development activities in a collaborative manner across a range of areas in higher education, including the practice of teaching and learning. The quality promotion and capacity development activities for the South African higher education sector have included the conducting of large dedicated projects in selected areas, workshops, training sessions, seminars, and publications.
This publication, Work-Integrated Learning: A Guide for Higher Education Institutions, is intended to assist those involved in programme development and in the curriculum development and adaptation required by the Higher Education Qualifications Framework (October 2007). It also aims to prompt other academics who are involved in teaching to consider the educational purpose and role of work-integrated learning in teaching and learning. As the authors argue, "University teachers should be concerned to ensure that the students that graduate from their programmes are prepared for the world in which they will live and work." The publication provides a theoretical foundation for work-integrated learning while making use of a large number of local and international case studies for illustration and example.
The authors, contributors and reviewers are thanked for producing this publication within a short time-frame. The comprehensiveness of its content and the care taken by the authors to make the topics accessible to the reader is greatly appreciated. A word of appreciation is extended to Ms Bella Sattar who initially took charge of the project, and to Professor Chris Winberg who subsequently coordinated the writing of the manuscript to its completion. The Programmes and Qualifications Committee of the South African Technology Network is thanked for the initial idea to produce this publication. The CHE hereby expresses its gratitude to Professor Anthony Staak, of the South African Technology Network, for overseeing the submission of the draft document.
Dr Mark Hay