Understanding the challenges entailed in decolonising a Higher Education institution: An organisational case study of a research-intensive South African university

Anwar Shaik, Peter Kahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Decolonisation is being embraced as an imperative within Higher Education, yet many institutions have struggled to formulate a coherent response. This article reports on a case study of a research-intensive South African university where the call for decolonisation emerged amidst considerable conflict on campus. The research takes as its departure point the notion that the discourse on decolonisation, thus far dominated by calls to re-examine Western ways of knowing, would nonetheless benefit from perspectives grounded in the paradigm of critical realism and from a social realist analysis. It found that an intellectual and cultural solipsism, as a form of fractured reflexivity, rooted in social and cultural identity, played a causal role in constricting the collective reflexivity of the corporate agents that shape the Western academic environment, resulting in a reproduction of an exclusionary intellectual and cultural environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)969-985
Number of pages17
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
Volume26
Issue number7-8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2021

Keywords

  • coloniality
  • Decolonisation
  • Higher Education
  • university

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