oa Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning (CriSTaL) - Higher Education for the Public Good: views from the South, B. Leibowitz (Ed.) : book review



Recently, an employee at one of my institution's partner NGOs asked an insightful and illustrative question: 'If all the university buildings burnt down, even though the university is one of the main employers in this town, would the people - the people of this community - come together and rebuild those buildings?' He answered, tentatively, that he thought they would not, and I can't help but think that I agree with his opinion on the matter. Perhaps my community partner colleague's question is an unfair one - would the people of our community come together to rebuild the local and sole hospital building in our town, or the town hall, if they burnt down? I cannot answer these questions, or offer an analysis of the complex reasons why people might respond differently or in the same way to these scenarios here, but my colleague's question does provide us with an interesting point of departure for asking questions about the role that universities, seen as social institutions, might play in contemporary South African society - questions which in the wake of the #FeesMustFall protests need to be critically addressed.


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