Repository logo

Lecturers’ experiences of massification at a technical vocational education and training college: a critical theory approach.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Massification of higher education is a worldwide phenomenon. This study explored lecturers’ experiences of massification at a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college in a semi-rural area in northern KwaZulu-Natal, as a social group, in their context. A qualitative approach was adopted and the participants comprised ten academics with seven to twelve years’ employment at the college. The four research questions were grounded in the critical theory and interpretive paradigms. The study drew on the concepts and notions of social identity theory as a theoretical frame. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews, and were analysed using thematic analysis. The findings revealed that, large class sizes and overcrowded classrooms; the poor calibre of learners, behavioural issues, emotional immaturity and development; a lack of resources; interference by unions and student representatives in governance; and poor management and leadership were among the challenges facing lecturers at the TVET college. They also cited a lack of support to confront these challenges. This resulted in high levels of tension, dissatisfaction and low self-esteem. These findings suggest that massification has not only increased academics’ workload, but altered the nature of their work. This points to the need for TVET stakeholders at government and leadership level to work with academic staff to address the issues arising from massification.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.