In 2016, Vaal University of Technology celebrates its 50th anniversary as an institution of higher learning.
Vaal University of Technology was originally founded as a College for Advanced Technical Education in 1966. It became a Technikon in 1979. With the advent of the new higher education landscape in 2004, the institution was granted a status of a University of Technology hence the name Vaal University of Technology (VUT). In 2014, the University celebrated its 10th anniversary as a University of Technology, whose aspiration and strategy are encapsulated in its Vision and Mission Statement.
The Technikon Act of 1993, empowered the University to provide Degree studies and confer Technikon degrees at three levels; namely, Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral.
The qualifications were to be designated as National Higher Diploma/Advanced Diploma degree, a Master’s Diploma in Technology/M Tech degree and Laureatus in Technology/D Tech degree. These qualifications were understood to be different in character to the degrees offered by traditional universities.
The change of status to a Technikon presented a significant challenge for the University. It entailed a shift from an institution concerned with “preparing students for a particular occupation or industry that are oriented towards the practice, promotion and transfer of technology” to one, which disseminates knowledge through teaching, and facilitates acquisition of knowledge through learning, research and scientific enquiry.
The new status as a University of Technology (UoT) has inspired the University to compete with other universities by, in addition to teaching and learning, embracing research, community outreach, public service and other cultural activities consistent with university tradition. This is done while retaining and deepening the rich Technikon strength in co-operative education.
VUT has its main campus at Vanderbijlpark, and three programme delivery sites at Ekurhuleni, Secunda and Upington.