n South African Journal of Higher Education - Promoting access to higher education in an unequal society : part 2 - leading article

Volume 29, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This article discusses access and throughput in South African higher education, showing how these continue to be racially skewed, and linked to an inequitable education system. We argue that attempts to address these inequities by some of the intervention programmes that are offered at tertiary level do not always achieve their intended goals, and that interventions are increasingly being sought at secondary school level. Second, we provide an overview and synthesis of the seven articles in this issue, noting the particular contribution each makes to an understanding of the theme of promoting access to higher education in an unequal society. Third and in conclusion, we point to three issues that emerge from the articles, and which are important in mapping the way forward, namely: the need to acknowledge that injections of finance may secure access, but do not necessarily secure success; a concern about the proliferation and fragmentation of interventions which do not ultimately have systemic impact; and the need for multi-site, multi-method and longitudinal studies that track students' experiences through university and beyond.

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