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Racial desegregation and the institutionalisation of 'race' in university governance: the case of UCT.

Luescher, Thierry M.

Abstract:
The racial desegregation of the student bodies of historically white universities in South Africa has had significant political implications in student politics and university governance. This paper critically discusses two key moments in the governance history of the University of Cape Town. The first case involves the experience of racial parallelism in student governance in the late 1980s and early 1990s, making specific reference to the re-conceptualisation of the Students’ Representative Council of the university as a ‘NUSAS-SRC’, along with the recognition of the political salience of race in the student body. The second case traces the origins of the demographic representivity rule in the university’s statute to student demands for a dissolution of the University Council, and its replacement by a Transformation Forum in the early 1990s. The article thus shows that the recognition of race as politically significant in university governance is the outcome of a deliberate struggle by students in general, and black students in particular, to de-privatise and politicise any sense of racial/racist marginalisation, and therefore to open up race as a topic for deliberation in the political realm of the post-apartheid university. Thus, the institutionalisation of race has come to serve the interests of the struggle for non-racialism.

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Document Title: Racial desegregation and the institutionalisation of 'race' in university governance: the case of UCT.
Institution: University of Western Cape
City and Country: Cape Town, South Africa


Date:2009
Document Type:Paper (Not Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:Contributory Studies and Research Approaches
Country:South Africa
Keywords:Racial Integration, Race, Historically White Institutions HWIs, Higher Education Transformation, University of Cape Town UCT, Institutional Transformation, Redress, Reforms of Higher Education, South Africa


File Size:80 KB
Rights:Self archived
Additional information:Forthcoming in Perspectives in Education.
Date Added:16 October 2009


Luescher, Thierry M. (2009). Racial desegregation and the institutionalisation of 'race' in university governance: the case of UCT.Paper presented at the University of the Western Cape, Faculty of Education Seminar.