Persistent educational, economic and social inequalities perpetuate unequal participation in higher education for a significant number of students in both developing and developed contexts, offering these students fewer opportunities to convert academic resources into equal participation. Enhancing the Freedom to Flourish in Higher Education explores the insight that student narratives can offer to the debate surrounding the complex reasons of why some students flourish at university while others are marginalised socially and academically. Proposing a new model of equal participation that draws not only on international comparisons, but is also embedded in the experiences of students, the book offers practical suggestions on how to enhance opportunities for equal participation.
Using South Africa as a case study, the book tracks the experiences of eight undergraduate students whose narratives illuminate the structural inequalities affecting participation in higher education. Despite the political, economic and academic factors that lead to diminished participation, the book foregrounds the resources that students used to negotiate obstacles and grounds these individual narratives in broader global debates around justice, widening participation and equality in higher education.
Enhancing the Freedom to Flourish in Higher Education brings critical social theory to the problem of unequal participation so as to challenge the invisible and implicit forms of inequality found within student narratives. It will appeal to lecturers and tutors, practitioners based in student affairs, and policy makers, as well as postgraduate students.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Inequality in Higher Education Chapter 2: Structures of Unequal Participation Chapter 3: The Capability Approach and Inequality in Higher Education Chapter 4: Introducing Student Narratives Chapter 5: Structural Constraints to Participation Chapter 6: Student Agency in Higher Education Chapter 7: Capabilities for Equal Participation Chapter 8: Creating Just Universities
Talita M. L. Calitz is a Lecturer at the Department of Education Management and Policy Studies at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She is also affiliated with the Higher Education and Human Development Programme at the University of the Free State, South Africa.