From Bricks to Clicks: A New Model for Higher Education

University of South Africa, South Africa

University of South Africa, South Africa


Globalisation is defined as the worldwide movement towards economic, financial, trade and communications integration (Business Dictionary, 2014). In the process local and national perspectives are exposed to international influences and people have to be prepared to participate meaningfully in the exchanges. Higher education has a key role to play in the process and the question is whether the traditional bricks systems can provide adequately in the needs of large numbers of people who have to be educated for the new world order. If not, with what should it be replaced? Daniel, Kanwar and Uvaliċ-Trumbiċ (2008) have argued for a new model in which the traditional higher education elements of community, communication and commodity are delivered through distance education. In this paper a prototype of such a model is presented. The Signature Courses, as they are known, were developed at the University of South Africa (Unisa). They were implemented on a trial basis in both semesters of 2013. The theoretical framework supporting the courses are presented and an overview is given of their implementation and early outcome data on student performance.

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