Conflicting priorities: The dichotomous roles of leadership and management at TVET colleges

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Catherine Roberts
Liezel Frick


The notions of leadership and management in the technical and vocational education and training
(TVET) sector have become blurred in South Africa. The growing need for responsive and flexible
leadership in the TVET sector has resulted in challenges that can only be overcome with the
relevant leadership knowledge and skills. Our findings suggest that the demands of leadership
and management have created conflicting priorities for leaders at the TVET colleges. Leadership
development in the TVET sector may be one way of addressing these issues. Yet, in South Africa,
there are no strategically planned, custom-designed leadership development programmes for
leaders in public TVET colleges. A curriculum framework for leadership development should be
informed by these conflicting priorities in order to reprioritise the focus of TVET leaders in South
Africa on their core business: that of vocational education. This article reports on current and
future TVET leaders’ perceptions of how the notions of leadership and management influence
their practice.

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