Re-imagining socially just pedagogies in higher education: the contribution of contemporary theoretical perspectives
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Despite post-apartheid policy intentions to redress the effects of apartheid, inequalities in higher education have remained an endemic problem in South Africa, and continue to have a major influence on students and educators in South Africa. This has recently been foregrounded in student-led protests regarding equitable access to higher education (#FeesMustFall) and requests to decolonise the curriculum (#RhodesMustFall)—reigniting attention towards the enormous disparities that still exist in the South African education system generally, and which includes the higher education sector. Those institutions which were historically disadvantaged continue to struggle with paucity in terms of funding, geopolitical positioning, human and material resources. Student protest movements have resonated and reverberated across multiple higher education contexts internationally as well (for example at Oxford University, in the United Kingdom and the #StudentBlackOut demonstrations planned from Yale to University of Missouri in the United States). Conducting research into issues of social justice in relation to higher education pedagogical practices is thus of crucial importance in the present time and space, which remains plagued by issues of inequity.