n South African Journal of Higher Education - Transformation and performativity in universities in South Africa

Volume 25, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



As the government seeks to foster a degree of self-sufficiency in terms of income generation through output, universities are forced to rely on performativity from staff to become more entrepreneurial. Following on the articles by Waghid (2009), Le Grange (2009), Reddy, Le Grange and Fataar (2010), and Smeyers and Waghid (2009) among others, this article reports on a study that investigated the effects of performativity and the entrepreneurial university culture on academic staff at a university of technology. Using a qualitative, explorative design, this study found that the former technikons did not emphasize the importance of research and subsequently the qualifications of its staff as perhaps they should have. Some staff regarded the 'new' emphasis on research and improving qualifications as being a part of the 'university ethos' as if the technikons were exempt from it. Some of the questions raised from the findings were: how did knowledge exist without continual scholarly inquiry and research? Can we have good teaching and learning (albeit experiential) if staff is not constantly engaged in research?

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