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Journal of Education (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

On-line version ISSN 2520-9868
Print version ISSN 0259-479X


CROSS, Michael  and  GOVENDER, Logan. Researching higher education in Africa as a process of meaning-making: Epistemological and theoretical considerations. Journal of Education [online]. 2021, n.83, pp.14-33. ISSN 2520-9868.

In this article, we argue for a new way of thinking about knowledge construction in African higher education as a basis for developing new theoretical and epistemological insights, founded on inclusivity, epistemic freedom, and social justice. We recognise coloniality as a fundamental problem that needs us to scrutinise our knowledge of decolonisation (about decolonisation itself) and our knowledge for decolonisation (to make change possible). Following Bourdieu (1972), such thinking also requires degrees of vigilance that entail fundamental epistemological breaks, or put differently, it requires epistemological decolonisation as a point of departure. Thus, the future of tertiary education in Africa must be located within a new horizon of possibilities, informed by a nuanced political epistemology and ontology embedded in the complex African experience and visibility of the colonised and oppressed. In short, there can be no social justice without epistemic justice.

Keywords : African higher education; alternative thinking; epistemological decolonisation; social justice.

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