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Change the world


The South African higher education sector is in a state of transition, with conversations around the deepening of transformation in the sector having gained renewed vigour. Students have been key participants and contributors to these conversations, as witnessed during the campaign for access, transformation and decolonisation in recent years.

In a bid to capture and formally document these contributions, Nelson Mandela University is introducing a student quarterly journal titled The Perspective Online: The Journal for In-depth Conversations that will feature articles, columns and creative work on the deepening of transformation, decolonisation and Africanization of higher education.

Spearheaded by the University’s Chair for Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation (CriSHET) in partnership with the Office of the Dean of Students and Student Governance and Development, the journal will see submissions from under- and postgraduate students across all faculties on a range of themes.

CriSHET Chair, Prof Andre Keet, said there was a lack of formalised student voices that are reflective and processed in the university space on issues of transformation.

“This journal is meant to achieve a number of objectives, such as hearing and collating the student voice with regards to transformation issues while developing and inculcating a culture of writing,” he said.

The journal is premised on the notion that deep change in universities is a collective project that is driven by social activism and thoughtful and productive contributions to advance academic, pedagogical and knowledge renewal within the university.

It seeks to develop a culture of disciplined writing to bring to the fore a particular social consciousness amongst university students, underpinned by robust engagement, radical contestation of ideas and critical scholarship.

Articles and columns should have a social justice orientation that can contribute to the efforts to transform, decolonise and Africanise universities, with contributors called on to consider the following themes:

  • Protests, legal architectures of higher education, legitimacy and alienation
  • Violence, racism, sexism, homophobia
  • Teaching, research, and learning
  • The political economy of higher education
  • Gender
  • Representation, student activism, elections, community engagement
  • Funding, academic and financial exclusion, access, redress, success and excellence.

While the journal is largely student centric, a quarter of the publication is reserved for submissions from members of Mandela University staff as well as the community, who are equally encouraged to submit thoughtful, considered and analytical pieces that meet the general criteria of conversational-academic writing.

Interested contributors to the first volume, to be published online on 20 July 2018, are urged to submit a 250-word abstract stipulating the scope and content of their proposed article by Monday, 4 June, to which they will be responded to by Friday, 8 June, after consideration by a peer-review panel.

Abstracts can be submitted to the following email addresses:

Mr Bernard Sebake

Ms Deronique Hoshe

Successful contributors will then be required to submit their full articles – of no more than 1500 words, including the list of references – and send it to the aforementioned email addresses.

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777