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Quantitative and qualitative aspects of education in South Africa: An analysis using the National Income Dynamic Study


  • Mia de Vos

    () (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)


Based on a graphical and statistical analysis of the National Income Dynamic Study (NIDS), this paper provides a comprehensive picture of the educational context in South Africa. The main question under consideration is whether quantitative and qualitative educational attainment differs significantly along racial lines. The data shows that the government has been largely successful in reducing the race-based educational gap in terms of school enrolment and years of education successfully completed. Matriculation results and numeracy test scores unfortunately suggest that higher levels of educational attainment do not necessarily reflect positively on educational outcomes. This implies that the South African educational system is still characterized by large differentials in the quality of education.

Suggested Citation

  • Mia de Vos, 2011. "Quantitative and qualitative aspects of education in South Africa: An analysis using the National Income Dynamic Study," Working Papers 06/2011, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers134

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Servaas van der Berg, 2007. "Apartheid's Enduring Legacy: Inequalities in Education-super- 1," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 16(5), pages 849-880, November.
    2. Servaas van der Berg & Louise Wood & Neil le Roux, 2002. "Differentiation in black education," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 289-306.
    3. Hendrik van Broekhuizen & Dieter von Fintel, 2010. "Who Responds to Voluntary Cognitive Tests in Household Surveys? The Role of Labour Market Status, Respondent Confidence, Motivation and a Culture of Learning in South Africa," Working Papers 27/2010, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    4. Servaas van der Berg & Megan Louw, 2007. "Lessons learnt from SACMEQII: South African student performance in regional context," Working Papers 16/2007, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
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    More about this item


    Education quality; Cognitive skills; South Africa; Racial differential;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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