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ERIC Number: EJ1163093
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0260-2938
Analysing the Accreditation of Engineering Education in South Africa through Foucault's Panopticon and Governmentality Lenses
Mutereko, Sybert
Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, v43 n2 p235-247 2018
Using Foucault's power concepts of the panopticon and governmentality as analytic and heuristic tools, this study reveals insights into how accreditation creates power networks in the quality assurance of higher education graduates in South Africa. The study draws on 11 in-depth interviews with academics from the Faculty of Engineering at a university of technology, and comprehensive documentary analysis, as the main sources of data to demonstrate that quality assurance is not neutral or apolitical, but legitimises the positions of those with power through accreditation. This study establishes that the Engineering Council of South Africa epitomises the centred power of a panopticon surveillance system through its various supervisory mechanisms, such as site visits. On the other hand, there is clear evidence of governmentality notions in which the locus of power has been decentralised and internalised in the governed by giving them autonomy and responsibilities in certain aspects of the engineering curriculum. This study has important theoretical and practical implications for the field of higher education and the circulation of professional qualifications. Caution must be taken to ensure that the curriculum is not narrowly centred on the interests of the powerful labour market but responsive to other societal and student needs.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A