ISBN 9781928331698
Pages 176
Dimensions 254 x 178mm
Published 2018
Publisher African Minds Publishers, South Africa
Format Paperback

Going to University

The Influence of Higher Education on the Lives of 
Young South Africans

by Jennifer Case, Delia Marshall, Sioux McKenna

Around the world, more young people than ever before are attending university. Student numbers in South Africa have doubled since democracy and for many families, higher education is a route to a better future for their children. But alongside the overwhelming demand for higher education, questions about its purposes have intensified.  Deliberations about the curriculum, culture and costing of public higher education abound from student activists, academics, parents, civil society and policy-makers. We know, from macro research, that South African graduates generally have good employment prospects. But little is known at a detailed level about how young people actually make use of their university experiences to craft their life courses. And even less is known about what happens to those who drop out. This accessible book brings together the rich life stories of 73 young people, six years after they began their university studies. It traces how going to university influences not only their employment options, but also nurtures the agency needed to chart their own way and to engage critically with the world around them. The book offers deep insights into the ways in which public higher education is both a private and public good, and it provides significant conclusions pertinent to anyone who works in – and cares about – universities.

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About the Authors

Jennifer Case

Jennifer Case is Department Head and professor in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech in the USA. Previously she was a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town, in a position focused on academic development. Her research on the student experience of learning, mainly in science and engineering education, has been widely published. She also researches more broadly in higher education around issues of teaching and learning, curriculum, and relations of higher education to society. 

Delia Marshall

Delia Marshall is a professor in the Department of Physics at the University of the Western Cape, with a research interest in undergraduate physics education and higher education studies. She has a particular interest in students' experiences of the transition from high school to university studies and has been very involved in the UWC Science Faculty's extended curriculum programme.

Sioux McKenna

Sioux McKenna is the director of Postgraduate Studies at Rhodes University where she also coordinates the Centre for Higher Education Research, Teaching and Learning PhD programme. She researches a variety of issues related to higher education but has a particular interest in who it is that gets access to the powerful knowledge of the academy. She has supervised a number of postgraduate studies focused on social justice in the university.

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