Social Inclusion in Higher Education

This NRF funded project ran from 2011 to 2017. Social Inclusion is a relatively new area of study in Higher Education in South Africa. Higher education holds the promise of contributing to social equity, intellectual, cultural, social, economic and political development, and democracy and social justice. Institutions of higher learning potentially offer powerful opportunities for fostering the economic and social advancement of members of disadvantaged and marginalised social classes and groups, for promoting understanding of and respect for difference and diversity and forging social cohesion.

Although access to higher education has been granted to all people of our nation for some years, concerns are being raised about the extent to which such physical access is combined with access to ‘the goods’ of the university. This includes the knowledge constructed within the university and the social context of the university. Low retention rates and demographically skewed success rates indicate that for some the University is not the place of empowerment we would want it to be. The promise of higher education often remains unrealised and instead universities frequently continue to be a powerful mechanism of social exclusion and injustice, through both their own internal thinking, structures, cultures and practices and their external relations with wider society. Studies in social inclusion investigate the extent to which universities foster social inclusion and the mechanisms whereby and reasons why they might not do so.

Six scholars graduated from this project: Sherran ClarenceJacqui LückThandeka MkhizeKasturi Behari-Leak, Gabi De Bie and Thabile Mtombeni. 


Last Modified: Fri, 21 Feb 2020 15:15:00 SAST