n South African Journal of Higher Education - Perceptions of the 'university of technology' notion at higher education institutions

Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This article investigates the perceptions of 'university of technology' amongst managers and directors at nine higher education (HE) institutions. The analysis in this article is based on transcripts and summaries of eleven interviews. Only one of the interviewees, from a historically white technikon, feels that universities of technology (UoTs) are completely unique institutions. The rest of the technikon interviewees seem to view UoTs as extensions of technikons, but with increased research and post-graduate programmes (though some even voiced reservations in this regard). The university interviewees seemed to stress the 'U' in UoT and assumed that the notion of UoT in South Africa is the same or very similar to UoTs internationally. Generally, the university interviewees felt that it was not possible to create UoTs out of the technikons without significant restructuring and development.

These results indicate that HE institutions do not share perceptions regarding a 'UoT' and accordingly there is some disparity in perceptions on the possible consequences of the change from technikons to UoTs for the profiles of these institutions, as well as to the HE landscape of South Africa. This poses a potential problem for the institutions, as well as for South African higher education in general.
We complete the article with a discussion of some possible directions for the new universities of technologies.

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