Social Innovation in the Academic Curricula of Chemical Science Degrees in South Africa

  • Pheladi Junior Mohlala
  • Jabulile Msimango-Galawe

Abstract

Social innovation is growing internationally and is a focus area for sub-
Saharan Africa. While studies have been conducted on the factors that
contribute to the failure to incorporate social innovation in academic curricula,
there is a paucity of such research in the South African context, especially in
relation to university curricula. This qualitative study explored chemical
scientists’ perceptions on the interventions required to introduce social
innovation to the academic curricula of the chemical science degree in
South African universities. Semi-structured interviews were conducted
with 14 chemical scientists and the data was analysed using thematic
analysis. The key findings included the overall lack of awareness and
understanding of social innovation and the social challenges confronting
South Africa. These factors hamper the development of sustainable
academic curricula, effective community engagement and societal change.
Furthermore, academic institutions’ reluctance to embrace change is cause
for concern.


Key words: Social innovation, chemical sciences, academic curriculum,
South African universities

Published
2021-12-08
How to Cite
Mohlala, P. J., & Msimango-Galawe, J. (2021). Social Innovation in the Academic Curricula of Chemical Science Degrees in South Africa . International Journal of African Higher Education, 8(3), 46-72. https://doi.org/10.6017/ijahe.v8i3.14161