Knowledge production as a function of the individual institution's idea of a university

  • SN Imenda Tswane University of Technology, Faculty of Education, Pretoria, South Africa


This article looks at knowledge production in higher education (HE) from the point of view of how a given HE institution defines itself within the broader context of 'the idea of a university'. In this regard, the article makes a critical analysis and interpretation of the literature on the central question of 'the idea of a university', and the bearing of this on knowledge production. An overview of the history of universities is given, followed by a reflection on the literature pertaining to the notion of 'the idea of a university'. This is done so as to contextualise what presently obtains with regard to conceptual types of universities around the world vis-à-vis the attendant knowledge to be pursued in the institution. In this regard, the article posits that the primary purpose/focus of knowledge and knowledge production will be a function of the given university's idea of itself.

South African Journal of Higher Education Vol. 20 (2) 2006: 245-260

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eISSN: 1011-3487