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Student perceptions of institutional racial climate

Mabokela, Reitumetse Obakeng

This article provides some insight into one aspect of the realities that a transformation program has to address.  In what follows, the attitudes and perceptions of African, Coloured, and White students at two historically White South African universities regarding the racial climate on their university campuses are explored and interpreted.  It is important to note that the South African system of higher education is undergoing rapid and radical transformation. The research on which this article is based represents a snapshot of a particular moment in this continuum of transformation, and at that a snapshot in a particular part of South Africa.  A number of major developments occurred in the first five years under the governance of the democratically-elected African National Congress government.  The discussion in this article is restricted to an examination of transformation at historically White institutions.  For example, the University of Western Cape (UWC), a historically Black university located within a 30-mile radius of the two universities that are the focus of this study, has undergone transformation and continues to change.  This article starts with an overview of the political and philosophical environment within which each respective university emerged.  This institutional overview is followed by a discussion of the methods and procedures that were employed to collect the data for this study.  The remainder of the article examines attitudes and perceptions of students at the University of Cape Town and the University of Stellenbosch regarding their institution's racial environment.

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Document Title: Student perceptions of institutional racial climate
Journal: Equity and Excellence in Education
Volume: 34
Issue: 3
No. of Pages: 70-79

Document Type:Journal Article (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:Students
Country:South Africa
Keywords:Student Perception, Institutional Culture, South African Universities, Racial Discrimination, Transformation of higher education, Historically Black Institutions HBI s, Historically White Institutions HWI s, Political Ideologies, Case Study, Statistics

File Size:89 KB
Rights:This is an electronic version of an article in
Date Added:10 April 2007

Mabokela, Reitumetse Obakeng (2001). Student perceptions of institutional racial climate, Equity and Excellence in Education , 34(3): 70-79