n South African Journal of Higher Education - 'Epistemological' access to the university : an alternative perspective

Volume 19, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The need to increase the number of African students studying at tertiary level, particularly in science, technology and commerce, has led to the establishment of foundation programmes at many institutions. In spite of attempts to provide formal access in this way, the issue of what constitutes `epistemological' access still remains under-researched in South Africa. This article uses an ethnographic study of students in a first year class at a historically black South African university in order to engage with the issue of epistemological access to the university in general and, more particularly, with what constitutes access in terms of language development.

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