Designing education for sale: a price tag on Universities of Technology



Design Education Research


  • business skills, design philosophies


The world exists and is driven by need and yet the notion of education remains static. The new dispensation of Universities of Technology (UoT) in 2004 created a sense of anxiety and exhilaration simultaneously. UoT as a centre of educational delivery has implications for the new role which Higher Education will play. This also impacts on Departments of Visual arts and design within such institutions. The South African context of education is layered with social issues which impact on a broad spectrum of its development.

This paper considers the idea of education being reconstructed as a vehicle for social upliftment rather than only towards knowledge creation and secondly the need to package education within a business minded position to support economic development. The benefits of an entrepreneurial university broadens our view on education as it engages with the complexity of the world, knowledge generation towards problem solving and allows for risk taking.

Central to these two pillars is the value of design thinking as education today is seen as an entrance into the world of work.

DEFSA conferences

DEFSA promotes relevant research with the focus on design + education through its biennial conferences, to promote professionalism, accountability and ethics in the education of young designers. Our next conference is a hybrid event. See above for details.

Critical skills endorsement

Professional Members in good standing can receive a certificate of membership, but DEFSA cannot provide confirmation or endorsement of skills whatsoever. DEFSA only confirm membership of DEFSA which is a NPO for Design Education in South Africa (