n South African Journal of Higher Education - Continuities and discontinuities in the journey from technikon to university of technology

Volume 19, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This paper offers a 'genealogy' (Foucault 1984) of technical higher education in South Africa. Key concepts in technological education and research, namely careerfocused education and applied research, were investigated through a study of documents and through interviews with lecturers and researchers in universities of technology. The genealogy describes how these concepts and their associated practices developed, changed and persisted across the period 1967-2004. <br>The genealogy identifies three 'chronotopes' (Bakhtin 1981) in the development of technical higher education: in the first chronotope Colleges of Advanced Technical Education (as they were known) positioned themselves to serve the needs of industry; in the second chronotope, the technikons find themselves in a state of 'academic drift' away from the practices of education for the needs of industry; in the third chronotope the universities of technology engage in processes of reinvention, realignment and enhancement, as the original mission of technical higher education is reconsidered in the light of changing contexts and changing needs.

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