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Tourism Geographies and the South African National Research Foundation's Researcher Rating System: International Connections and Local Disjunctures

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The function, form and outcomes of research assessment exercises have received considerable attention in the international journal press. However, as is generally the case with 'international' human geographical discourse, the foci of these debates are heavily tainted with the concerns of Anglo-American academics, with the UK's much-discussed Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), in particular, being under near-perpetual scrutiny. The idea of assessing research output is, however, not unique to the institutions of higher learning in the north. Systems and institutions of research assessment are also present in countries of the south. As an example, this paper outlines a rating scheme that has been functioning in South Africa for more than two decades. It is the contention of this investigation that this rating scheme has a range of consequences echoing 'the international experience'. Perhaps most disturbing is the potential crushing of a post-colonial 'South/South African' tourism geography intellectual voice.

Keywords: Research Assessment Exercise; South Africa; academia; geography; tourism research

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, University of the Free State, South Africa

Publication date: 2009-02-01

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