Previously Director of the Human Resources Development Research Programme of the South African Human Sciences Research Council, much of my work is on education, skills and development in Africa. I have published extensively on these issues and have advised a range of national and international bodies, including UNESCO, the World Bank, the ILO and the Commonwealth Secretariat.
An important strand of my work is on technical and vocational education and training. This questions the orthodox approach and looks both at how vocational education and training (VET) is constrained by wider development dynamics and needs to be conceptualised more broadly to include human development and social justice purposes. In 2011-12 I co-authored UNESCO's World VET Report and led SADC's review of the state of VET in Southern Africa. I am currently exploring how a philosophical argument about the multiple purposes of VET can be operationalised into a new approach to institutional evaluation and practical guidelines for national policymakers.
I also work increasingly on issues around higher education and development. This includes work on the employability experiences of African graduate migrants; on the interface between education and innovation in a range of South African industrial sectors; on the purpose and quality of public and private higher education in Africa; and on issues in the education of professionals internationally.