Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) is the foremost higher education institution in the heartland of South Africa, dedicated to quality education and training in science, engineering and technology. CUT has developed into a leading institution able to take its place on the national, as well as international, higher education landscape.
CUT, then still known as the Technikon Free State, opened its doors in 1981 with 285 students enrolled in mainly secretarial, art and design programmes. With the restructuring of the higher education landscape a few years ago, CUT embraced its new status as a university of technology and thus positioned itself to succeed as such. On 26 March 2004 the former Technikon Free State officially exchanged its “technikon” status for a tailor-made identity when its new name was published in the Government Gazette – a name that is a true reflection of what the university stands for: Central University of Technology, Free State.
CUT’s history, from its humble beginnings to the proud institution it is today, is reflected in its buildings. The unoccupied buildings of the Commercial High School in St George Street, leased in 1981, soon became too small and a second building in President Brand Street was occupied. In 1988 the university purchased the former premises of the Eunice Primary School campus of the Bloemfontein College of Education. Before long these were followed by the Main Building (today known as ZR Mahabane Building); the bhpBilliton Building, which houses a large portion of the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology; Dirk Coetzee Building, which houses the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences; Prosperitas Auditorium, as well as Boet Troskie Hall; and a modern Library and Information Service. Lapeng Student Centre is a hub of student activity that not only renders a valuable service with regard to the students’ requirements, but also ensures that they enjoy every aspect of student life to the full. This centre is equipped with an amphitheatre as well as a cafeteria where students can socialise.
However, it would be a pity if an institution’s progress could be measured only by its state-of the-art facilities. At CUT, progress and transformation go hand in hand. Within our institutional culture, CUT can also be described in terms of the needs experienced within an African context. CUT boasts a diverse student community that is a true reflection of the demographic composition. The implementation of an employment equity plan also guarantees that the academic and support staff are representative. CUT currently employs 1 582 staff members.
CUT offers a wide range of qualifications in its four faculties, namely Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Management Sciences, and Faculty of Humanities. CUT also commands respect with its relevant research.
From its inception the institution has been aware of its social responsibility towards the broader community.
The university is aware of the fact that not everyone has the privilege to study at the main campus on a full-time basis. Therefore, selected learning programmes are offered at CUT’s Welkom Campus and Kimberley Regional Learning Centre. An exciting development was CUT’s incorporation of Welkom Campus of the former Vista University on 2 January 2004. Learning programmes in Kimberley are offered in conjunction with the Northern Cape Higher Education Institute. Through the utilisation of modern technology, some learning programmes can also be pursued electronically via the internet. In this way CUT is living up to its status and reputation as a university of technology.
In 2011 the institution celebrated its 30th year of technological innovation – soaring to 2020. The milestone is a reflection of the university’s pursuit of quality education and academic excellence. In our efforts to educate, teach and train our students with the aid of world class technology, CUT will also focus on those values it holds dearly; namely customer service, excellence, innovation, integrity and diversity.