n South African Journal of Higher Education - Challenges for the curriculum of a comprehensive university : a critical case study

Volume 19, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This case study concerns the challenges for knowledge production through the curriculum of a newly merged 'Comprehensive University'. The rationalisation of South Africa's higher education system formed a crucial part of the transformation strategy proposed by the National Commission on Higher Education (1996). The subsequent Report of the Shape and Size Task Team of the Council for Higher Education (CHE 2000) proposed mergers between certain higher education institutions to create Comprehensive Universities. Their primary function would be to deliver vocational qualifications. The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) is such an institution comprising the former University of Port Elizabeth and the Port Elizabeth Technikon. The article examines the perspectives of middle management of the challenges that the merger poses for the development of the curriculum. Interviews were subjected to content analysis and compared to draw generalizations and identify contrasts. These were critically discussed to draw conclusions about the curriculum of a Comprehensive University.

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