Employer perceptions of planning education in South Africa
Keywords:planning education, South Africa, Bloemfontein competencies, competencies matrix, continual professional development, critical thinking, developmental orientation, planning competencies, Planning education focus, planning employers survey, planning practice, planning practice diversity, planning transformation, problem solving abilities
The changing nature of planning has raised questions about what skills, competencies, values and literacies should be the focus of planning education, both internationally and in South Africa. This article reports on a survey of planning employers which questioned their perceptions of the relevance of planning education and of the appropriateness of the Bloemfontein competencies, a list of competencies drawn up by South African planning schools in 2000. The study found that planning employers largely felt that planning education is relevant, and that the Bloemfontein competencies are appropriate. As is the case internationally, creativity, problem solving abilities and critical thinking are highly valued, and communicative and organizational capacities are increasingly seen as key issues. Concerns were raised however over the competence of graduates in these realms, raising questions again about the focus of planning education.
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