The 'nervous conditions' of neo-liberated higher education students

Van Zyl, Gerhard (2015)


To the newly liberated citizens of South Africa, a higher education (HE) qualification in 1994 represented both a means to a prosperous end, and a hope-filled end in itself. Whichever party has managed to achieve political victory two decades later, the current South African HE situation remains one that requires critical thought and accurately applied resources from both the victors and others, because in failed HE there can be no victors. HE fails when an abnormally high number of students either fail or withdraw from their studies prematurely and involuntarily. This article aims to redefine the HE mainstream by presenting a window into the hope-taken, hope-lost, hope-deprived realities of a particular HE student body; their nervous condition. The majority of students enrolled at transforming higher education institutions (HEIs) hail from despairing socio-economic contexts. Desperation defines the neo-mainstream. Universities embarking on a hope-generating road terminate that same hope should they remain either ill-informed about, or non-sympathetic towards real-life situations of neo-mainstream students.

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