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Leading a thriving campus in a deprived rural context: a case study of three campus management team members at a Technical Vocational Education and Training College.

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The purpose of the study was to explore the leadership experiences of three campus management team members (one campus manager and two senior lecturers) leading a technical vocational education and training (TVET) college campus in a rural context in KwaZulu-Natal. The study intended to understand the functions of the campus management team members and the leadership practices they exert in leading a thriving campus, despite the rural setting with limited resources. Added to this, the study intended to understand how the rural setting influences campus managers’ leadership practices. The study was located appropriately within the interpretive paradigm that views reality as subjective and built from an individual’s lived experiences. Besides, the case study as a research method was used to understand the experiences of participants for the study. I generated data for the study using two methods: semi-structured interview and document review. Interviews were conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic and strict adherence to the Covid-19 health protocol was ensured. The data were analysed using the thematic method of analysis. The study found that campus management team in the rural setting with limited resources performed functions such as; investing in planning and setting direction, selection, and placement of students into programs and monitoring of teaching and learning by walking around to ensure quality in its teaching and learning processes at the college campus. The study also found that the campus management team at the TVET college faced challenges such as unavailability of student accommodation, dealing with slow learners who do not fit into the system, and poor infrastructure. However, they used extramural activities to encourage student attendance in a rural setting; they also encouraged the use of cultural diversity as strategies to promote teaching and learning while improving student academic performance at the college campus in the rural setting.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.