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Mangosuthu University of Technology

Vision, mission, values and strategies

About our Vice-Chancellor

Dr Khapola Dr. Mashupye Ratale Kgaphola has been appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of Mangosuthu University of Technology in 2010. He obtained his B.Sc. (Hons), and Ph.D. (Chemistry) at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. He won a scholarship from the United Nations Education Training Programme for Southern Africa (UNETPSA) for this Ph.D.

After completing his doctoral studies at the University of Leeds, he worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at North Dakota State University in the United States of America.

He has undertaken development training in several areas, including Institutional Management in Higher Education at a UNESCO/Management Training and Advisory Centre in Kampala, in
Uganda; Social Policy Formulation and Implementation at the Southern Africa Regional Institute for Policy Studies; and Management of Technology at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School.

Dr. Kgaphola has worked in various places before joining the University of Johannesburg in December 2007. Some of these are: the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), where he held the following positions: Knowledge Management Programme Coordinator (2006/2007); in 2006 he was an Education Specialist; from 2001 to 2003 he was a Manager in the Policy Unit. The DBSA seconded him to the National Department of Education (2003-2006) as a Convener (Governance and Academic) in the Merger Unit, Higher Education Section.  

From 1999 to 2000 Dr. Kgaphola was employed as an Associate Professor and Director of Academic Development at the University of Venda. Two years before that he had been working for the National Research Foundation as a Senior Policy Analyst for Science and Technology Policy. From
1994 to 1996 he was a Chemistry Lecturer at the University of Limpopo.  

Dr. Kgaphola has some major career highlights. These include successfully registering in January 1995 a patent in the USA on research work done in Chemistry/Biochemistry at the North Dakota State University on the ‘Oxidative Cleavage of polyethylenically unsaturated compounds to produce carboxylic acid’ The patent number is : USA 5380931).  In 1999 he published a seminar paper on restructuring of higher education curriculum in South Africa.

Dr. Kgaphola has won several awards; one for leading a project team at the DBSA in organizing a highly successful international conference, Knowledge Management Africa 2007, in Nairobi, Kenya, in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Kenya; the others were study awards and scholarships, which included a UNETPSA scholarship for Ph.D. studies.

Dr. Kgaphola has other far reaching professional experiences and engagements in education,
science and technology. The more recent and current engagements are: being member of the inaugural Council on Higher Education in the Kingdom of Lesotho, from May 2009. In 2008 he was Chair of the HEQC Institutional Audit panel for the University of Fort Hare. He was a member of the Journal Editorial Board, Perspectives in Education (University of Pretoria), and Consultant Editor for the South African Journal for Higher Education (UNISA).       

Dr. Kgaphola has published widely in academic journals, newspapers and magazines on a number of subject areas, some of which are Chemistry, Higher Education policy transformation, General Education, Science and Technology policy, and Social Policy and Contemporary Politics.

Dr. Kgaphola is a current and past leader of several community-based projects and civic initiatives. He was a student leader of South African student formations – AZASCO, SEYO, MPHAYO, and the Association of South African Students, and
African Students Union, in the UK; and the All Africa Students Conference in the US.   

About Mangosuthu University of Technology

 MUT buildingThe Chief Minister of the then KwaZulu, Dr. MGNA Buthelezi first put forward the idea of establishing a tertiary educational institution specializing in technical subjects in 1974 at a meeting with the Chair of Anglo American and De Beers Consolidated Mines, Mr. Harry Openheimer.  Research was commissioned to investigate the potential in South Africa for training and employment of more technicians, and was undertaken by the South African Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU) of the University of Cape Town.

The study showed that there was an immediate need and demand for more technicians. The Anglo American and De Beers Groups Chairperson’s Fund then decided to provide R5
million to build the necessary facilities.
At a later stage companies like Mobil Oil, AECI, the SA Sugar Millers’ Association, the Rembrandt and Distillers Corporation, LTA Limited, Sasol, and other sponsors provided more funds to establish the Schools for  Engineering and Business and Secretarial Studies.

In mid 1977 permission was given for the project to begin, the KwaZulu Cabinet decided to develop the Technikon in Umlazi.

Given the urgency of the demand for technicians, and the need to build up the institution in an orderly fashion, it was decided to open the institution’s doors as soon as possible, hence preliminary but permanent buildings were designed and built. Actual teaching began in 1979. The Technikon moved into its main buildings on completion in September 1981. As time went by, more departments were added. The institution now has three faculties – Engineering, Natural Sciences, and Management Sciences. It also acquired the former University of Zululand Extramural Campus, which now houses a large
portion of the faculty of Natural Sciences departments.  

In November 2007 Mangosuthu Technikon gained the status of being a university of technology and was renamed Mangosuthu University of Technology.  


The Mangosuthu University of Technology will strive to be a leading university of technology in the SADC region and on the African continent, and to that end will be driven by a desire for excellence in the performance of its main functions: teaching, learning, research and community service.

The University commits itself to the total education of the individual student as a social being and seeks to develop the whole person in terms of personal well-being and social and intellectual competence. The University’s graduates will be well-rounded individuals, independent of mind, life-long learners, and equipped for success in today’s global, intercultural workplace.

The University commits itself to employing and developing staff with the capacity to
contribute to the production of knowledge in a kindly working environment.

The University will strive to be a vibrant intellectual centre and an agent of positive social change. It will function as a learning organisation – one that inspires all of the members of its diverse community to achieve their full potential – and will actively promote the quality of life of the University community and the communities in which the University is embedded.



The mission of the University is to advance learning and knowledge in both fundamental and applied areas. In order to make the achievement of that goal possible, the University will provide an open environment and an atmosphere conducive to the exchange of knowledge, views and innovative ideas among students, staff, alumni and visiting scholars. The University will ensure that the working environment is intellectually stimulating and emotionally pleasurable for students and staff, and will ensure that graduates and
diplomates possess knowledge, professional competence, a sense of community responsibility, and a capacity to continue their professional development throughout their lives.

In recruiting students and staff, the University will respond to national and regional human resource needs and will eschew any form of unfair discrimination. The University will be particularly sensitive to the need to ensure gender and racial equity.

The University will strive to enable its students and graduates to reach their full personal and professional potential through the promotion of entrepreneurship and creative practice among its students and the promotion of life-long learning among its alumni.

The University will seek, through its outreach activities, to enrich the lives of the communities in which it is situated economically, intellectually, culturally, and in any other ways desired by those communities.


The University will strive to provide access to a wide range of students while
promoting the interests of students from disadvantaged backgrounds in particular. In doing so the University will develop and offer academic and professional programmes leading to the award of degrees and diplomas which emphasize planning skills, adaptive skills, technical skills, and maintenance, development and productive skills in the engineering, scientific, agricultural, biomedical and allied professional disciplines. The aim of these programmes will be to produce socially mature men and women able not only to understand, use and adapt existing technology, but also to improve on it and invent new technology.


The University will promote the performance of both basic and applied research and development by members of the University community, and will foster applied product-oriented research as an integral part of staff responsibility.


The University will interact with the local community in an attempt to improve the quality of life in that locality, and will
organize continuing education programmes with the purpose of updating the knowledge and skills of working professionals in the communities served by the institution. In addition, the University will interact with industry through the placement of students in such firms for the purposes of experiential learning, and the offering of consultancy services to industry and other organizations desiring such assistance. In order to ensure that it remains an institution of genuine quality, the University will also establish and pursue partnerships and collaborative arrangements with individual supporters, convocation, professional associations, educational institutions and corporate entities at regional, national and international level.


The University will always operate in the context of a frame of values including integrity, respect and care for others, a sense of fair play, and a desire for excellence. In its operations the University will attach special importance to respect for human and
civic rights and to academic freedom. Every member of its community will be free to express his or her thoughts, opinions and convictions while respecting ethical principles and the law. It is categorically required of all staff and students of the University that they conduct themselves in accordance with these core values.


The key to the University’s success will be the recognition of the legitimacy and value of knowledge created in work settings and the understanding of the drivers of change in the workplace – emerging technologies, social patterns, cultural imperatives, business processes and internationalization. The teaching and learning model will combine teaching, research, and industry-based learning expertise in the offering of programmes which provide clear professional outcomes for students within a supportive real world learning environment. The University will ensure that it offers and regularly reviews an appropriate curriculum based on current research,
and employs an assessment system geared to supporting the learning process and validating the students’ achievements. The University will work towards the introduction of a set of postgraduate programmes aligned with its vision and mission statements.

The University will attempt to ensure proficiency in students in their domain of study, as well as in soft skills (such as IT and Communicative English), and will within the limits of its capacity, provide support to students by offering scholarships, bursaries and other forms of financial aid.

The University will seek to build a strong national and regional research profile in a discrete number of research areas, with an emphasis on collaborative research with industry, business and government, and will promote interdisciplinary and team research work wherever this is likely to be productive. And the University will strive to disseminate its research expertise and demonstrate and implement the results of its research.

The University
will create an open and flexible organizational culture which is committed to quality outcomes and which facilitates knowledge sharing, teamwork, and staff satisfaction and development. Its intellectual energy, progressiveness, authentic commitment to its core values and generous conditions of employment will attract high-calibre, dynamic staff. Members of staff will have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills and will be rewarded for their contributions to the achievement of the University’s mission.

The University will relate closely with all of its stakeholders, and will in particular maintain ties with its alumni, to the mutual benefit of the institution and of its past students. And the University will co-operate with other innovative academic institutions to share expertise where possible, especially in the areas of teaching and research.

The University will, from time to time, review the extent to which it is realizing its vision and fulfilling its mission, employing
best practice in quality assurance processes to do so. These processes will include the performance of annual first-year experience and exit-year experience surveys.

The University will at regular intervals also review its vision and mission statements and its strategy for implementing and realizing them, in the context of the inevitability of change and the need for the institution to make further progress.

Qualifications and admission requirements

The University offers diploma, and in some cases, bachelor of technology degrees.
Prospective first year students will be admitted to MUT if they have a South African Senior Certificate, and meet the minimum entrance and programme/qualification requirements. Students must have passed their diplomas with a minimum average mark of 60% for all major subjects to qualify for admission to a bachelor of technology degree. For more information, please visit www.mut.ac.za


MUT is doing
research in the several areas. Here are full titles: Mmicroalgae for Biodiesel in South Africa; Criteria for Setting Minimum Standards of Exposure to Indoor Airborne Biological hazards: A Review Process of Policy Guidelines on Permissible exposure Limits in Public Buildings; Catalystic Cyclization and Dehyfdrogenation Reactions of Some Alkanes; University Students’ Attitudes, Practices and Knowledge of Contraceptives/STDs in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; The Development of a Performance management Implementation Model for South African Municipalities; Excitation and Flux Control in Wind Turbines under Variable, Uncertain Wind Field Conditions; a neuro Fuzzy Approach; Expression of HLA-G at the Placental Interface of HIV-1 Infected Pregnant Women and its Implication of HIV; Exact Cosmological Models; A Mechatronics Approach to Optimise Batching Processing; Consumer Learning in Vernacular Languages – Can the Marketer Get the Message Across? ; Co-Branding in Marketing Through Sport; Dual Medium
Instruction (Zulu-English) of Academic Literacy and Communication Skills: Impact on Bi-Literacy, Bi-Multilingualism and Language Attitudes of Extended Curriculum Programme in Engineering Students at Mangosuthu University of Technology; The Effects of Drought Stress on the Morphology, Biochemistry and Physiology of three Southern African Species of Erthrina; and Environmental Degradation of Composite Materials (Weathering Performance of Materials Under Visible and Ultra Violet Radiation).

There are national and international collaborations and student involvement in some of these projects.

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