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12.6. Pathways to Securing the Future of the University in Africa

In the next lecture of the FIW series ›Perspektiven der Moderne‹, Prof. Bassey Antia, University of the Western Cape, is going to give insights from South Africa.

12.6. Pathways to Securing the Future of the University in Africa

The Global Diversity of Universities in the 21st Century

We would like to cordially invite you to the next lecture in our series on ›The Global Diversity of Universities in the 21st Century‹, organized by the FIW Department of Science Studies. The lecture series aims to start a discussion about the diversity of universities in the world society in the 21st century beyond the international rankings.

The next lecture, on June 12, will focus on South Africa: Prof. Bassey Antia, Department of Linguistics, University of the Western Cape, is going to talk about ›Pathways to Securing the Future of the University in Africa: Insights from South Africa‹.

 

The lecture will take place on June 12 at 6 p.m., at Bonner Universitätsforum (Heussallee 18-24), room 0.109.

 

Abstract: The daily experience of privilege and disadvantage among different stakeholders in the South African university is a leitmotif in discourses on the country’s higher education. A consequence of the colonial and apartheid era design of the system and of its basic education feeder pipeline, differential experience at many institutions shows up in programme access, success rates, visceral sense of belonging/exclusion, staff recruitment, the curriculum, teaching practices, constitution of the professoriate, among others. The national student protests of 2015 and 2016 under the banner of a ‘free decolonised education’ have forcefully resurfaced several of these differential experiences, shaped not infrequently by how segments of stakeholder groups have been positioned historically.

In this presentation, I discuss system responses to aspects of this differential experience of the university in South Africa. I focus in particular on the wide-ranging Staffing South African Universities Framework (SSAUF) programme, as well as on allied initiatives, and discuss the incipient changes they have occasioned in the long road to reshaping stakeholder experiences of the university. Drawing also on the database of reflections generated within the German-funded International Deans’ Course (Africa), I argue that, when disarticulated from their local specificities, these South African responses to ostensibly peculiar concerns in fact constitute pathways for securing the future of university systems elsewhere in Africa that are currently in the throes of unprecedented expansion.

 

 

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