oa The Journal of Independent Teaching and Learning - 'Only a name change' : the move from Technikon to University of Technology



A significant change within South Africa's restructured higher education landscape has been the conversionof technikons into universities of technology. This paper explores the position, role and functions of universitiesof technology and the extent to which academic staff are experiencing a University of Technology (UoT) as different to a technikon. Conversations with eleven academic staff members at one UoT indicate that the change is perceived largely to have been about the re-branding of the institution-type and re-positioning it within the market sector. An analysis of the views of these academics about how the roles and functions of a UoT should differ from those of a technikon and from those of a traditional university provide insights into how UoTs are likely to function within the new higher education landscape. We argue that if South Africa is to maintain a diverse higher education sector, the roles and functions of different 'types' of institutions should remain distinct. UoTs should resist the urge to homogenize with established universities.


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