Analytic Quality Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2004-21, Analytic Quality Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 22 September, 2021 , © Lee Harvey 2004–2021.


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core definition

A technikon was a non-university higher education institution, in South Africa, focusing on vocational education.

explanatory context

Since 2004, there has been a gradual process of in which technikons in South Africa have changed their status. Former Technikons have either been merged with traditional universities (to form Comprehensive Universities) or have become Universities of Technology. So far, though, Universities of Technology have not acquired all of the traditional privileges and rights of a university, for example the ability to confer doctorate degrees.

analytical review

The Committee of Technikon Principals, (2001) state that technikons:

are higher education institutions that provide and promote, in co-operation with the private and public sectors, quality career and technology education and research for the developmental needs of a transforming South Africa and the changing world. As institutions of technological higher education, their tertiary educational programmes cover a variety of specialised occupations and careers in the applied engineering; biological, chemical and physical sciences; and applied commercial sciences; humanities, arts and teacher education.

Technikons/Universities of Technology are renowned for their career-focused, hands-on approach to education and training. Their interface with industry has enabled them to structure courses with practical applications and to deliver graduates with knowledge that is immediately relevant in the workplace. Technikons/Universities of Technology, as a specific education sector and also as an integral part of higher education, have a unique and important contribution to make with regard to the challenges facing South Africa, particularly within the framework of reconstruction and development. The development of the required human resources, and appropriate expertise development through research and development, is central to all endeavours.

In South Africa, Technikons/Universities of Technology are the equivalent of universities of technology, technological universities, technical universities or institutes of technology found in countries such as the USA, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Hungary; the Hogescholen in Belgium and the Netherlands; or the Fachhochshule [sic] in Germany. Technikons/Universities of Technology are administered along with the other traditional universities in South Africa, by the Higher Education Branch of the National Department of Education.

associated issues

related areas

See also





Committee of Technikon Principals (CTP), 2001, What is A Technikon?,, not available 25 January 2012.

copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2021

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