Disruption of higher education policy through an ethics of care in South Africa

Ngwenya, Memoria Celiwe (2020-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT : The study on which this dissertation reports, argued that the newly reformed university policies and practices of the four public universities in the Western Cape still affect students from poor schools in a considerable way, as they still seem to struggle to gain access into higher education, even after the enactment of the White Paper for Post School Education of 2013. My argument is corroborated by findings and conclusions that ensued after the conceptual analysis of policy structures of the four public universities under study. The findings also exposed the university system in general as an elitist institution that is unable to change or be changed to recognise the poor. The argument is that the strategies the universities utilise to integrate students into the university system intensify this setback, as those strategies do not attempt to increase universities’ capacity to grant access to poor students, who are incidentally fatalities of the apartheid system. Instead, the universities want the students to bring the same capabilities as their private and former Model C-schooled counterparts. Because of this practice, the university system appears to favour affluent students, which then compounds the social inequity at universities. My contention in the study therefore was that the university system ought to embrace approaches such as an ethics of care to disrupt the alienating culture within their policy processes. The ethics of care as the disruption paradigm may achieve a reconceptualised notion of external inclusion by which lived experiences of the vast majority of poor students can be accommodated, and may also introduce a conciliatory paradigm to higher education, from which social justice can be attained. In the study, I have used ‘poor students’ interchangeably with ‘black students from poor schools’, as the colour of poverty in South Africa, even after 25 years of democracy, is still predominantly black.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Die navorsing waaroor hierdie proefskrif verslag doen, het van die standpunt uitgegaan dat die nuut hervormde universiteitsbeleide en -praktyke van die vier openbare universiteite in die Wes- Kaap steeds studente afkomstig arm skole nadelig beïnvloed, aangesien dit lyk asof hulle steeds sukkel om toegang tot hoër onderwys te kry, selfs ná die Witskrif oor Naskoolse Onderwys en Opleiding. My argument word bevestig deur bevindings en gevolgtrekkings wat gevolg het ná die konseptuele ontleding van beleidstrukture van die vier openbare universiteite in die studie. Die bevindings dui ook op die universiteitstelsel in die algemeen as ’n elitistiese instelling wat nie kan verander of verander kan word om die armes te erken nie. Die argument is dat die strategieë wat die universiteite gebruik om studente in die universiteitstelsel te integreer hierdie agterstand versterk, aangesien die strategieë nie poog om die vermoë van universiteite om toegang aan arm studente te verleen, wat toevallig oorblyfsels van die apartheidstelsel is, te vergemaklik nie. In plaas daarvan wil die universiteite hê dat die studente dieselfde vermoëns as hulle eweknieë uit privaat en voormalige Model C-skole sal hê. As gevolg van hierdie praktyk blyk dit dat die universiteitstelsel gegoede studente bevoordeel, wat dan die maatskaplike ongelykheid by universiteite vererger. My standpunt in die navorsing was dus dat die universiteitstelsel benaderings soos ’n etiek van omgee moet gebruik om die vervreemdende kultuur in hulle beleidsprosesse te ontwrig. Die etiek van omgee as die ontwrigtingsparadigma kan ’n herkonseptualiseerde opvatting van eksterne insluiting bewerkstellig waardeur die deurleefde ervarings van die oorgrote meerderheid arme studente geakkommodeer kan word en wat ook ’n versoenende paradigma na hoër onderwys kan bring, waardeur maatskaplike geregtigheid bereik kan word. In dié navorsing het ek ‘arm studente’ afwisselend met ‘swart studente uit arm skole’ gebruik, aangesien die kleur van armoede in Suid-Afrika, selfs na 25 jaar van demokrasie, steeds oorwegend swart is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/108162
This item appears in the following collections: