To content
Guest Talk

Tembile Kulati

Strategic Management of Universities in Transitional Societies

The case of South Africa

Portrait photo of Tembile Kulati © Tembile Kulati​/​private
Tembile Kulati (University of Western Cape, South Africa)

The central proposition of this study is that there has been a shift in the way that research is managed at the strategic management level of South African universities, from what I have referred to as a 'facilitatory' approach, to a more 'directive' or 'intensified' approach.  The study interrogates this shift in the strategic management of research by analysing the dynamics of change at three South Africa universities.  It is argued that the shift from a facilitatory to a directive mode of research management has been instigated by factors internal and external to universities.

A key assumption of the study is that the changing nature of strategic research management at universities has been primarily in response to the external demands and pressures for change emanating from the external environment of universities.  In the South African context, these demands and expectations for change arose from the post-apartheid legislative framework (which was promulgated in 1997) that set the transformation agenda for the South African higher education system.  A key part of this of this agenda was for universities to address the challenges of equity and diversity, responsiveness to societal needs, and efficiency.  There were also internal dynamics to contend with as well, not least the nature of universities as organisations (of a special type?).

Through the use of multiple case study design, the study examines how universities in South Africa have responded to the external demands for transformation while, at the same time, devising new ways of organising and governing themselves internally in order to be more effective and relevant in a rapidly changing world.  The study seeks to contribute to the literature on (higher education) organisational change in societies in transition.

Tembile Kulati is a researcher at the University of Western Cape, South Africa, and a PhD student at the  Department of Science, Technology, and Policy Studies (STePS)  at the University of Twente, the Netherlands. Previously, he has obtained a Master's degree in Higher Education Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and an M.Phil in Science and Technology Studies from Stellenbosch University. Mr. Kulati's research focuses on the governance and leadership and organisational change in Higher Education with a focus on transitional higher education systems.

Wednesday, 21 October 2020, 4.00–5.30 p.m. | Online
Center for Higher Education (zhb)
Professorship of Higher Education

Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dort­mund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.


TU Dort­mund University has its own train station ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station ("Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 15 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop "Dort­mund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dort­mund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S".


The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.


The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dort­mund Airport (DTM) to Dort­mund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dort­mund Central Station, you can continue to the uni­ver­si­ty campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of in­ter­na­tio­nal flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the uni­ver­si­ty station.


Interactive map

The facilities of TU Dortmund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the university are located in the adjacent "Technologiepark".

Campus Lageplan Zum Lageplan