National and international developments in higher education and the resultant pressure on universities
to demonstrate excellence, including excellence in research, had a far-reaching effect on faculties of
education who had traditionally focused more on excellence in teaching than on research. In South
Africa, as part of transformation policies after 1994, the South African government made a deliberate
effort to restructure the higher education landscape, resulting in a number of enforced mergers between
universities and teacher education colleges. These complex contextual issues had a profound effect on
research development in education faculties. This paper focuses on a transformative approach to research
development initiatives in a South African faculty of education over a period of three to four years.