n South African Journal of Higher Education - Knowledge production as a function of the individual institution's idea of a university

Volume 20, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This article looks at knowledge production in higher education (HE) from the point of view of how a given HE institution defines itself within the broader context of `the idea of a university'. In this regard, the article makes a critical analysis and interpretation of the literature on the central question of `the idea of a university', and the bearing of this on knowledge production. An overview of the history of universities is given, followed by a reflection on the literature pertaining to the notion of `the idea of a university'. This is done so as to contextualise what presently obtains with regard to conceptual types of universities around the world <I>vis-à-vis</I> the attendant knowledge to be pursued in the institution. In this regard, the article posits that the primary purpose / focus of knowledge and knowledge production will be a function of the given university's idea of itself.

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