The contribution of the institute for reconciliation and social justice to transformation at the University of the Free State
This dissertation reviews the contribution of the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice to transformation at the University of the Free State. A qualitative research approach was followed and entailed official document analysis and in-depth interviews. Sixteen key informants were selected and interviewed. The data was thematically analysed so that patterns could be identified. The key findings of this study were: The IRSJ is a strategic unit in the process of pursuing institutional transformation within the UFS. Facilitating the transformation process at UFS equals a higher cognitive legitimate institution because its organisational activities become more in line with the recommendations of the higher education sector as well as the wider social system. Transformation represents a novel idea that needs to be introduced within UFS’ institutional walls. This is not an easy task, but the IRSJ is doing a progressive and productive job by using strategic reframing strategies such as the critical conversations. The IRSJ completes a challenging task of strategically reframing the novel idea of transformation in order to gather more support for this greater goal. They do this by helping people better understand the importance of transformation. This topic is so sensitive and challenging to comprehend that a safe space such as the IRSJ is vital in achieving a transformed institution. Once the UFS will have achieved its transformation goals, it will become a more cognitive legitimate institution that is more accepted by the wider social system.