Inter-Institutional nursing collaboration. Can it work in the presence of divided interest?

Tuesday, 19 November 2013: 8:30 AM

Felicity Daniels, PhD
School of Nursing, University of the Western Cape, South Africa, Cape Town, South Africa, South Africa

Learning Objective 1: The learner will gain an understanding of the challenges institutions face when they are mandated to collaborate in programme delivery.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will understand the core concepts for effective collaboration in programme delivery.


The South African higher education sector was faced with post-apartheid challenges of transformation and restructuring to serve a new social order. The Council on Higher Education’s proposed new institutional and organizational forms within regions resulted in higher education institutions being faced with the realities of impending mergers and collaborations across universities and technikons and across programmes. This was a new phenomenon within the higher education sector in South Africa. At the time nursing education was offered by five higher education institutions located within a 50 kilometer radius, within the Western Cape Province.

In December 2002 the Minister of Education announced that with effect from 2005 only two of the five universities would enroll students for the bachelor and diploma nursing programmes leading to registration as a nurse. The Cape Higher Education Consortium instead proposed the establishment of a common teaching platform for undergraduate nursing education to ensure optimal use of all resources within the region. The proposal was accepted and the common teaching platform for undergraduate nursing was established in 2005, while universities involved continued to offer separate specialist diploma and graduate nursing programmes as well.


Qualitative evaluation research was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the collaboration between the universities. Students, Lecturers, Heads of Nursing Schools, Deans of Health Science Faculties, and Deputy Vice Chancellors of the universities and the Chief Executive Office of the Cape Higher Education Consortium participated in the study, either through a semi-structured or focus group interview. Stuffelbeam’s context, input, process, product model was used to frame the research. Data was analysed inductively.


This novel approach to the delivery of nursing education in the Western Cape did not unfold without challenges which resulted from differing institutional cultures, philosophies, mission, vision and interests amongst other contributing factors. The collaboration is currently being reviewed.