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The Historical Origins and Development of Universities in 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 specific universities in South Africa. More specifically, the aim is to analyse the purposes, goals, objectives, roles, functions, and objects that were defined for specific universities and for universities generally, how and by whom they were defined, what conditions and ideas shaped the definitions, how definitions changed over time, and to what extent, in what ways, and why actual pursuits of universities differed from the stated ones. Put in another way, the question of the purposes that universities were intended to serve also raises the questions of whose purposes were those, how did those purposes come to be constituted, how were they shaped by place and time, and how and why did they change. The book will also provide an account of the origins, expansion, and development of universities during the colonial, segregation, and apartheid eras and the post-1994 period, and analyse both the historical, structural, and conjunctural conditions in the economy, polity and society, as well as the intellectual milieus, thinking, human agency, conflicts, and contestations that gave rise to universities, and shaped definitions of their purposes, goals, objectives, roles, functions and objects.


Fellows involved in this project

South Africa

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Is any information on this page incorrect or outdated? Please notify Ms. Nel-Mari Loock at [email protected].