This is an important and timely contribution to the highly polarised debate on public and private higher education in South Africa. Neither overtly for the private provision of higher education, nor against, it begins from the assumption that private provision is a reality to be engaged with and that what is required is policy and practice which ensures that private higher education institutions function to increase skills levels in line with national higher education objectives.
Based on an empirical, qualitative investigation, the study builds a systematic picture of two distinct sub-sectors within private provision and uses this as a basis for understanding the potentially complementary or competitive role of private institutions in the sector as a whole. This analysis prompts a re-examination of the distinction between the private and the public, between complementarity and competition, and points to ways of engaging the two sub-sectors so as to promote national skills development. This book is essential reading for anyone involved in higher education.