Tag Archives: university

Some Remarks On A ‘Good’ University

Manzini reflected upon her recent experiences at her new institution. I won’t comment on most of those reflections, and would rather focus on her closing remarks. She asks, “Ultimately, on whose standards do we measure and determine whether a university is ‘good’ or not?” There are two implicit questions here. First, is there but one…

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Aesthetics of power and questioning what a ‘good’ university is

By Nompumelelo Zinhle Manzini It’s been two weeks of being at the University of Zululand (UniZulu) as a contract lecturer for the Philosophy Department. Perhaps these personal reflections are slightly premature but I think that they do bear some merit. I have only been on the main campus which is in Kwadlangezwa, which is in…

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We can fund higher education without it being free

For some time now, I have been concerned with how tertiary education is funded in South Africa and called for the matter to be reviewed with urgency on numerous occasions as we were sitting on a ticking time bomb. It seems that bomb may have exploded.   Having said that, this isn’t a simple challenge…

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Nine ways to make our universities safer

By Esmeralda Sayagues Several South African universities have recently been rocked by student protests deploring the high incidence of campus rape and sexual violence. The students have demanded that universities implement fair procedures that yield justice for complainants and punishment for offenders. In order to address these issues it is useful to look at the…

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A flexible model for research in the human sciences

It often happens that postgraduate students and I have conversations about the question, how to go about doing research in the humanities and social sciences (the “human sciences”). And I’m not only talking about methodology (which is not the same as method); methodology is closely intertwined with epistemological (knowledge-) and ontological (being-) questions, and cannot…

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Devil’s advocacy for decolonised curricula

Shouting fire in a crowded theatre may not always be accurate, but it will typically get one attention. Such is the analogue regarding those who bemoan the “whiteness” of university curricula. The terms used to diagnose the problem are frequently emotively charged and difficult to understand. If “the curricula” shall be Africanised then, one may…

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How the university can recuperate itself

In my previous post I wrote about the question raised by Bernard Stiegler on the pervasive stupidity characterising global societies today, and the failure of universities to live up to their historical task under present circumstances. The latter amount to what Stiegler calls “hyperindustrial” society, that is, a society in which it is not only…

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Language, belonging and the decolonial moment at South African universities

In recent months the spotlight has, yet again, been shone on universities in South Africa. This time, the focus was on the fact that leading institutions (all of whom were previously designated as for “whites only”) remains largely untransformed. This time around, though, the focus was not only on numbers (even though that remains an…

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Teaching and learning in the ‘network society’

Teaching at university in the early 21st century requires of lecturers that they take the “lifeworld” in which students live seriously. This lifeworld comprises what Manuel Castells (2010) calls the “Network Society” (see here) – a global society that has actualised an ever-expanding web or network of electronic means of information and communication. The fact…

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Times are changing…

It was at a girl’s varsity residence room the morning after we had sex that I read, for the first time, Steve Biko’s I write what I like. I was lying next to her, naked, and she had a handful of books on a bedside table. I read the first few essays, which left me…

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