International Education Journal



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Lingering effects of the past on a University merger process in post-apartheid South Africa

Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela
Michigan State University, United States

Na Wei
Michigan State University, United States


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This article is based on an exploratory case study of an institution that is currently undergoing merger under the directive of the Minister of Education in South Africa. The findings reported here illuminate perspectives of senior administrators at Settlers University, an historically White university (or historically advantaged university), regarding its merger with the historically Black (or disadvantaged) University of the Homeland. This article articulates perspectives of senior administrators regarding the impact of this merger on their students, staff, administrative structures, academic programs and institutional culture. In particular, the article highlights the intricate dynamics of a government-mandated process between two institutions with divergent legacies. Given the incongruent histories of the two merging institutions, what are the challenges and opportunities that confront merging institutions and how do these senior administrators envision a future of the new merged university?

Mergers, institutional transformation, South African higher education, organizational culture


Mabokela, R.O. and Wei,N. (2007). Lingering effects of the past on a University merger process in post-apartheid South Africa. International Education Journal, 8 (1), 160-171.

All text and graphics 1999-2007 Shannon Research Press. ISSN 1443-1475.