Examining the Professional Excellence Programme: Inducting University Teachers into the Higher Education System in South Africa

Samson Matope ORCID iD and Zwelijongile Baleni ORCID iD

Issue: Vol.4  No.9  Article 11 pp.1147-1160
DOI: https://doi.org/10.38159/ehass.20234911 |   Published online 28th September, 2023
© 2023 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


The obligation to increase the standard of instruction and learning falls on academic developers. A crucial part of academic staff development at institutions of higher learning is the induction of academics who are primarily subject matter specialists without the pedagogical abilities to teach effectively in the higher education environment. This qualitative essay investigated how the Professional Excellence Programme (PEP) might be utilised as an induction Short Learning Programme (SLP) for new academics. After finishing the brief SLP, the inductees were given a questionnaire to evaluate the modules (Teaching and Learning, Curriculum Development, and Assessment in Higher Education) and qualitative data was gathered. The study was framed by Wegner’s social learning theory. The research showed that the PEP programme can be an efficient programme to develop academics into university teachers. Since the SLP was accepted by all participants in the study, the study recommended that the Directorate of Teaching and Learning should develop the PEP programme into a credit-bearing postgraduate diploma in higher education at NQF Level 8, which is equivalent to an honours degree.

Keywords: Professional excellence, Induction, University teacher, Transformative pedagogy, Academic developer

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Dr. Samson Matope is an Academic Developer working as Teaching Development Specialist in the Academic Staff Development Unit, Walter Sisulu University, South Africa. He is passionate about academic staff development in higher education. He has presented and published on curriculum transformation, academics staff development and student engagement in higher education. He is currently involved in the institutional research niche area on curriculum development and sustainable development in higher education.

Dr. Zwelijongile Gaylard Baleni is the Manager, Academic Staff Development Unit, Walter Sisulu University, South Africa. He has presented in a lot of workshops on Learning and Teaching areas, he is a member of the WSU PQM viability team, member of IA task team as well as the UCDG Project manager. He has also presented and published in local and international conferences on e-assessment and academic staff development.

Matope, Samson and Baleni, Zwelijongile.“Examining the Professional Excellence Programme: Inducting University Teachers into the Higher Education System in South Africa.E-Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences 4, no.9 (2023): 1147-1160.  https://doi.org/10.38159/ehass.20234911

© 2023 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Journals. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).