The creative practitioner in South African higher education: Practice and scholarship in conversation and flux
Keywords:tertiary education, creative practitioners, evaluation of creative output, policy
This article examines the position of creative practitioners working in South African tertiary education, with specific focus on the scope and impact of the 2017 Policy on the Evaluation of Creative Outputs and Innovations produced by South African Public Higher Education Institutions. I argue that, although the Policy is a welcome development, several fundamental issues related to creative work, definitions of knowledge, differences between ‘pure practice’, artistic research and academic research and the position of creative work in the knowledge economy are not adequately addressed in the Policy. Furthermore there are several instances, I argue, where the Policy exposes biases towards certain disciplines and sub-disciplines, and shows a significant lack of consistency in terms of the evaluation of outputs in different fields. I probe the question of whether creative and academic work should be considered as equally valuable within academe, and if so, what the implications of such a position could be for creative practitioners working in South African tertiary education.
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