Central University of Technology CUT History
Central University of Technology CUT History – See Details Below:
CUT is the foremost higher education institution in the heartland of South Africa. The university has two campuses – one in Bloemfontein, the judicial capital of South Africa, and one in Welkom, in the heart of the Free State goldfields. The two campuses offer education opportunities in a number of technological fields, including science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); management sciences; humanities; and education.
The university (then still known as the “Technikon Free State”) opened its doors in 1981, with 285 students enrolled in mainly secretarial, art and design programs. Today, the institution boasts more than 21 000 students who have decided to make CUT their academic partner in earning a qualification and gaining appropriate work-integrated learning to equip and prepare them for professional practice. With the restructuring of the higher education landscape in 2004, CUT embraced its new status as a university of technology (UoT), positioning itself to succeed as such. The qualifications on offer reside in four faculties, namely Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences; Faculty of Humanities; Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (IT); and Faculty of Management Sciences. The university offers certificates and diplomas at the undergraduate level, as well as advanced diplomas, postgraduate diplomas at the honours level, and masters and doctoral degrees in order to increase the production of world-class postgraduate programs and high-quality outputs for research.
CUT’s vision is to be “an engaged university that focuses on producing quality social and technological innovations for socio-economic development, primarily in the Central region of South Africa”. This vision has four pillars, namely planning, products, people, and pennies, each describing an important aspect of the university’s future. It does not come as a surprise, then, that Management, staff, and students have formulated a strategic vision for the future that is all about heart. They call it the
“Vision 2021 Statement”, and within it are ideas and goals that are supported and inspired by the university across all platforms and programs. It represents the university’s aspirations and determination as a UoT, and has allowed the university to contribute substantively to addressing the developmental needs of the Free State, the Central region, South Africa, and the continent.
The university’s goal is to be a leader in areas of social and technological innovations and research. CUT believes that no successful geographical region has ever established a technology-based industry without a leading educational institution in its midst, and the university wants to become this institution. In this lies the strength of the planning pillar, which outlines the step-by-step implementation and review of the main practices and outcomes of Vision 2021.
CUT is currently at the forefront of research and innovation, making the university a leading South African university in the application of additive manufacturing (AM) for the design and production of customised medical implants. The university also commands respect with its technology transfer research, including the:
- Centre for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing (CRPM);
- Product Development Technology Station (PDTS);
- Centre for Applied Food Security and Biotechnology (CAFSaB);
- Seda Agricultural Mining and Tooling Incubator (SAMTI);
- Unit for Lean Construction and Sustainability (ULCS); and
- Unit for Drug Discovery.
The university holds South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) status in the field of Medical Product Development through AM, and a Department of Science and Innovation (DSI)/Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (merSETA)-funded Chair in Innovation and Commercialisation of AM. Furthermore, the Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Technology, Dr. Blade Nzimande, will be launching the Medical Device Additive Manufacturing Technology Demonstrator Project (MEDADD) at the Bloemfontein campus in 2021. This R71 million project, which is funded by the DSI, is set to unite the university’s center and industry in planning and investing resources in a collaborative manner to develop the local medical device industry through AM technology and to reduce the country’s reliance on costly imported medical devices that local hospitals cannot afford. This is but a small contribution the university is making in this field.
CUT, as a university of the 21st century, finds itself to be part of the knowledge society, where increasing global connections, challenges and imperatives have called for a realignment of the university’s vision, academic direction, and purpose with this reality. Internationalization, which encompasses academic enterprise to strengthen the academic program, fosters intercultural co-operation and exchange, and builds global engagement, is the university’s response to this.
As part of CUT’s Internationalisation Strategy, the university continues to reach out to students and academics from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Germany, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands and China, in order to create cross-border partnerships and a better global community through education, and, most importantly, to contribute to South Africa’s status as a participant in innovation and world markets. In turn, these partnerships ensure that CUT students are not only industry-ready but that they have a global perspective and an understanding of international challenges and opportunities.Central University of Technology CUT History
CUT’s Fundraising and Development Unit aims to facilitate and support the development of an effective, engaged university that:
- intellectually engages topical regional and national development matters, with the intention of conceiving, developing, and delivering social and technological innovations and solutions; and
- develops partnership projects for the development and delivery of these social and technological innovations and solutions.
The university continues to strive for academic excellence in all that it does. Its achievements today propagate the perception that CUT, as a UoT in the Central region, is making a difference in
socio-economic development as a preferred local, national, and international partner to anyone who intends to contribute towards the regional and national economy.
Visit our Vision 2021 and beyond the page to see what achievements have been made since 2012 and what we are currently focused on as a UoT.