Reviewing Access to Higher Education in South Africa

Kirti Menon, Nhlanhla Cele

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This paper reviews the unregulated widening of student participation in higher education in post-apartheid South Africa. The recent changes in South African higher education landscape have been perceived as causing significant systemic impasse and financial strain as many institutions increasingly fail to account for their failure to graduate these learners out of the system. It is argued in this paper that failure to strike and hold a balance between equity of access and equity of outcomes inevitably perpetuates the continued exclusion of historically marginalised groups from participating in the broader political, economic and social systems and structures. This form of exclusion is potentially detrimental to the sustainability of the economic and social order in the country, if only because of the threat of social instability. More profoundly, it affirms and perpetuates class differences and inequalities as the key defining factors of the new social order.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAt the Interface
Subtitle of host publicationProbing the Boundaries
PublisherBrill Academic Publishers
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Publication series

NameAt the Interface: Probing the Boundaries
ISSN (Print)1570-7113


  • Equity of Access
  • Equity of Outcomes
  • Higher Education Management
  • Social Exclusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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