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National workshop on the Histories of Universities in South Africa

STIAS Workshop

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The Research Project on the Histories of Universities in South Africa has two core interrelated research goals. The first is to produce a rigorously researched, peer-reviewed scholarly book that analyses the purposes, functions and roles of universities in South Africa between 1829 and today. The second research goal is to promote, to support and to undertake, in partnership with various universities, rigorous, critical, per-reviewed histories of individual, and especially historically black, universities in South Africa, as well as different groupings of universities (historically white, historically black, traditional universities, universities of technology, comprehensive universities).

A number of universities have committed themselves to or have expressed interest in participating in the Histories of Universities Research and Training Project. They are Stellenbosch University, University of Pretoria, University of the Free State, University of Johannesburg, University of the Western Cape, the University of Venda, the University of Zululand, Durban University of Technology, Central University of Technology and Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

Beyond its research goals, the Research Project has complementary goals. These are

  1. To publish the results of the research in the form of peer-reviewed books, book chapters and articles.
  2. To promote scholarly engagement on questions of concern to the research project through seminars, workshops and conferences, and
  3. To contribute to redressing the current social inequalities in the composition of the academy and knowledge creation through cultivating outstanding scholars and researchers from historically disadvantaged social backgrounds by involving early career scholars, post-doctoral fellows and doctoral and masters students in the research project.

The workshop brings together scholars who have written histories of universities or are working on such histories, and early career scholars, postdocs and PhD students who are linked in different ways to the Research Project on the Histories of Universities in South Africa (RPHUSA).

The purpose of the workshop is for the scholars

  • To come together for the first time and constitute a loose network whose members engage with, learn from and support each other.
  • To share developments to date related to the RPHUSA.
  • To help shape the RPHUSA intellectually and institutionally as it evolves.
  • To consider academic and strategic questions and issues pertinent to the RPHUSA.

View the programme here.


Date and time

Sunday, 15 May 2022 —
Wednesday, 18 May 2022

All Day​

All times are in SAST (UTC+2)


STIAS Mostertsdrift Manor House

19 Jonkershoek Road, Mostertsdrift

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South Africa


The intention of the research project and book on the history of universities is to consider and trace how important contemporary issues were understood and addressed historically in general, and at...


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