The quality of any national education system depends on its teachers. In recent years in South Africa, teacher supply has become a matter of national concern. This monograph examines changes in enrolment and graduation patterns of education students at higher education institutions which are pivotal suppliers of especially the initial professional education of teachers, but also the continuing professional development of practising teachers. The study is based on an uninterrupted time series of institutional data from 1995-2004, which supports a uniquely fine-grained analysis of long-term teacher graduate demographic trends that impact on the present. Major emerging trends are the diminishing participation of young African women enrolled for initial professional education of teachers in the post-millennium period, and the fact that access to teacher education study is in predominantly urban universities. The study serves as a foundation from which to launch further research on questions of teacher supply and teacher quality, such as the degree to which a bursary scheme, recently launched by the National Department of Education, will reinvigorate interest and participation in initial teacher education. This monograph is part of the ""Teacher Education in South Africa"" series. The series documents a wide-ranging set of research projects on teacher education conducted by the Education, Science and Skills Development research programme within the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), as part of a consortium of research partners. A comprehensive investigation of the dynamics shaping the professional development of educators, the series provides important reading for educationists, academics and policy-makers.
Andrew Paterson was a research director in the Education, Science and Skills Development research programme at the time when the research for this monograph took place. He is now a senior researcher at the Development Bank of Southern Africa. Fabian Arends is a research specialist in the Education, Science and Skills Development research programme at the HSRC.
Background and literature review: Literature on attraction to train as a teacher; emphasis on functions of 'recruitment', 'attrition' and 'retention', but neglect of 'attraction' in the literature; career decision-making processes and enrolment in teacher training; teaching and the labour market; changing labour-market conditions impact on who is prepared to become a teacher; pathways of teachers from training to the labour market in South Africa. Data sources: Transformation in the higher education sector and analytic continuity. Analysis of data: Education enrolment; education graduates; graduation rate and throughput rate; enrolments, graduates and graduation rates with reference to population group; gender distribution of enrolment, graduates and graduation rate; gender and population group (nested) of student enrolment and graduates; postgraduate enrolments and graduations; enrolment and graduates by province; enrolment and graduates by qualification type; enrolment by age; financial support through NSFAS; graduate production for IPET; HIV/AIDS and teacher supply.