n South African Journal of Higher Education - Toward a quality model for a UoT research centre in South Africa

Volume 28, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The New Funding Framework weights the components of teaching output and the components of research output for each unit of subsidy invested by the government. Higher education (HE) funding is thus based on the aggregate research outputs of universities and is driven by specific goals. Universities of Technology (UoTs) are therefore under pressure to increase their research performance and measurable outputs in particular. This has resulted in a corresponding demand for a range of services to support and develop postgraduate students, supervisors and early career researchers. As research in South African UoTs is at an embryonic stage, this study benchmarked South African UoTs against Australian ones. The aim of the study was to identify best practice in terms of postgraduate research development and support service delivery in the South Africa and Australian contexts to inform the development of a quality model for postgraduate and/or research centres (PG/RCs) at UoTs in South Africa. Using the mixed-methods research approach, the study gathered data from postgraduate students and staff who had experience with PG/RC services. Service quality of the PG/RCs in the study was determined by measuring the service gaps in terms of student perceptions and expectations so that steps may be taken to close these gaps in an attempt to improve service quality. Based on the literature reviewed, best practice gleaned from the findings of the study, and benchmarking against the Australian UoTs; the study proposed a centralised and decentralised PG/RC model for South Africa UoTs to provide service quality to their 'customers'.

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