School of Education

Thamsanqa Thulani Bhengu

Thamsanqa Thulani Bhengu

AL: Doctoral Studies


Academic Leader, Associate Professor


Educational Leadership, Management and Policy


Contact Number



Edgewood Campus

Office Address

G033 Ellen Kuzwayo Building

Degrees Held

  • B.Paed (UZ), B.Ed (UNISA), MEd (UZ), DEd (UKZN)


  • I have worked in the higher education sector for about 14 years now, including 10 years at UKZN. Before working as a lecturer, I worked as a Researcher for two years and previously, I was a school principal for 10 years.


  • Maybe I can say that my major achievement was when I got promotion to the Senior Lecture rank at the end of 2014 and immediately thereafter, I was appointed to be a Cluster Leader for our Cluster (Adult Education, Development, Leadership and Management).

Research Interests

  • My main research interest is in understanding the lives of communities in the margins and understanding how they experience formal education. In addition I am interested in understanding how schools and communities, particularly those that are located in rural areas work together and where this aspect is lacking, trying to explore how such imaginary boundaries between schools and their communities can be removed.

Teaching Interests

  • Teaching about leadership and how, through leadership, schools can become better remains my focus and area of interest.


  • Zulu, JK, Bhengu, T.T. & Mkhize BN (2019). Leadership challenges and responses to complex township school life: Perspectives from four secondary schools in South Africa. International Journal of Leadership in Education.
  • Bayeni SD & Bhengu, T.T. (2018). Complexities and contradictions in policy implementation: Lived experiences of three school principals in South Africa. SAGE Open, 1-12. DOI:10.1177/2158244018792037
  • De Gama, B., Bhengu, T.T., & Satyapal, K.S.  (2018). Attitudes of undergraduate South African students towards body donation. International Journal of Morphology, 36(1). 130-134.
  • Bhengu, T.T. & Svosve, E. (2018).Transforming education through school-community partnership: Lessons from four rural Early Childhood Development schools in Zimbabwe. Africa Education Review, 1-21. UNISA Press.
  • Bhengu, T.T. & Myende, P.E. (2016). Leadership for copying with and adapting to policy change in deprived contexts: Lessons from school principals. South African Journal of Education. Vol. 36(4): 1-10.
  • Myende, P.E., & Bhengu, T.T. (2015). Involvement of heads of departments in strategic planning in schools in the Pinetown District. Africa Education Review, Vol. 12(4): 632-646.
  • Bhengu, T.T. & Myende, P.E. (2015). Traversing Metaphoric Boundaries between Schools and their Communities: An Ethnographic study of a Rural School. Journal of Social Science, 43(3): 227-236. [ISSN: 0971-8923]. 
  • Myende, P.E., & Bhengu, T.T. (2015). Involvement of heads of departments in strategic planning in schools in the Pinetown District. Africa Education Review, 12(4): 632-646. [ISSN: 1814-6627].
  • Bhengu, T.T. & Mbokazi, S. S. (2015). Reflections on doing a participatory Action research: Case study of three rural communities in KwaZulu-Natal. Studies of tribes and Tribals, 13(2), 172-180. [ISSN: 0972-639X].
  • Bhengu, T.T. &, Mthembu, T.T. (2014). Effective leadership, school culture and school effectiveness: A case study of two ‘sister’ schools in Umlazi Township. Journal of Social Sciences, 38, 43-52. [ISSN: 0971-8923].
  • Bhengu, T.T., Naicker, I. &, Mthiyane, S.E. (2014). Chronicling the barriers to translating instructional leadership learning into practice. Journal of Social Sciences, 40: 203-212. [ISSN: 0971-8923].
  • Bhengu, T.T. (2013). School-community integration for school change: A case study of a rural secondary school in KwaZulu-Natal. Education As Change, 17(1), 63-76. [ISSN: 1682-3206].
  • Bhengu, T.T. &, Mkhize, B.N. (2013). Principals’ instructional leadership practices in improving learner achievement: Case studies of five secondary schools in the Umbumbulu area. Education As Change, 17(1): 33-47. [ISSN: 1682-3206].
  • Bhengu, T.T. (2012). Coping with change and adapting to change: Are principals’ leadership styles changing in response to policy demands? Journal of Educational Studies, 11 (1), 1-13. [ISSN: 1680-7456].
  • Bhengu, T.T. & Mkhize, B.N. (2018). Leading to serve: Lessons from School Management Team members in deprived contexts. In V. Chikoko (Ed.), Leadership That Works in Deprived School Contexts of South Africa. (pp. 143-159). New York: NOVA Science Publishers. [ISBN: 978-1-53613-062-1].
  • Mkhize, B.N. & Bhengu, T.T. (2018). Leading Teaching and Learning in Deprived South African School Contexts. In V. Chikoko (Ed.), Leadership That Works in Deprived School Contexts of South Africa. (pp. 77-99). New York: NOVA Science Publishers. [ISBN: 978-1-53613-062-1].
  • Bhengu, T.T. (2019). Exploring Successful School Leadership Practices: Lessons from South African Schools in Rural Settings. In V. Chikoko (Ed.). Africa Handbook of School Leadership. (pp. 259-278). New York: NOVA Science Publishers.
  • Akinola, F., & Bhengu, T.T. (2019). Enhancing School Principals’ and Teachers’ Emotional Intelligence: Perspectives of Four School Principals in Ekiti State, Nigeria. In V. Chikoko (Ed.). Africa Handbook of School Leadership. (pp. 107-124). New York: NOVA Science Publishers.
  • Bhengu, T.T. (2012). School Principals’ Experiences of Policy-Practice Interplay at School level: Perspectives from Schools in KwaZulu-Natal, In, V. Chikoko & K.M. Jorgensen (eds.). Education Leadership, Management and Governance in South Africa. (pp. 145-162). New York: Science Nova Publishers. (Book Chapter)ISBN 978-1-62100-853-8 (Hard Cover).
  • Currently, my publication record stands at 16 publications comprising 15 articles in DHET Accredited journals and 1 book chapter. Other articles are currently under peer review processes. There are other publications that are not Accredited but peer reviewed and these include the history of the people who belong to the surname ‘Bhengu’ and the book is titled, The History of AmaNgcolosi: People Talking about themselves’


  • I have supervised to completion a number of BEd (Hons) students; MEd and PhD students. Currently, I do not have any BEd (Hons) student that I am supervising. I am currently supervising 20 PhD students and 5 MEd students. I have graduated 37 MEd and 5 PhD students to date, and given the number of students under my supervision, the above figure is going to rise.

Community Involvement

  • I have been recognised nationally by being elected to serve in the Pinetown District Steering Committee which is a sub-structure of the newly formed national education Collaboration trust (NECT), which was launched in July 2013 by the Office of the State President. This body was established as a mechanism that will provide support to various education districts in the country in terms of high quality education provision, particularly in relation to identified challenges that undermine the achievement of quality education. This body aims to breathe life to the goals of the National development Plan relating to education. I serve the Pinetown District Steering Committee as its Deputy Chairperson.