An analysis of staff responses to the merger at University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).
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This study examines the challenges and opportunities that face the merging of Higher Education institutions with the focus on staff’s responses to the merger at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN). The focus of the study was based on staff’s attitudes and their varying experiences since the merging of former University of Durban Westville (UDW) and University of Natal (UN) forming the new institution of UKZN. It examines the barriers, challenges and opportunities of the Heads of School, Academic staff and Administrative staff in the Faculty of Humanities, Development and Social Sciences (HDSS) and the Faculty of Management Studies. The study also reviewed the international or rather global experiences of mergers of Higher Education Institutions and brought into perspective examples of mergers such as in the UK, Australia, United States, Netherlands and Norway. The study then shifted focus to a much more local level in terms of UKZN in assessing the ethos of governance in terms of dialogue and inclusivity and how they perceived the merger of the two former institutions. Since the study is a qualitative, judgmental sampling technique was utilized in this study since it allowed me the researcher to use my own discretion as to who is in the best position to be knowledgeable about the subject under investigation. Therefore a structured interview was employed in this study with a set of inter-related questions, asked in the same order to all participants of this study. Issues of governance, mismanagement of finances, degree scandals, demoralized staff, wage disputes and academic freedom are some of the negative aspects that are perceived to riddle the new institution.