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This paper aims to demonstrate that, far from being near the end, quality assurance in South African higher education is about to embark on a new beginning. A brief overview of approaches to quality assurance in South Africa up to 2000 is provided, with specific reference to the impact of the historical legacy of apartheid and the university/technikon divide. The new beginning relates to the establishment in 2001 of the country's first sectorwide external quality agency, the Higher Educationdoi:10.1080/1353832022000004386 fatcat:igi553tf5vblbmoyhtimaxi4ua