Decoloniality and Africanisation as Instruments for Change:
A Sociological Discourse Analysis of Meanings and Implications for Higher Education
The end of 2017 marked a significant change in South African higher education with the government’s announcement that free higher education would be extended to poor and working-class students. For students who engaged in protest action to demand a curriculum which centers Africa and takes African discourses as its point of departure, this was a partial victory. While concessions were made regarding fees and the removal of colonial-era statues, students continue to grapple with the form and purpose of higher education. This struggle is not a new one; it can be traced back to the early 1960s when Black student movements rejected colonial and apartheid ideas at an intellectual level. In grappling with the critical epistemological questions raised by students, scholars have proposed the notions of decoloniality and Africanisation as instruments to rethink the purpose and form of higher education. Using sociological discourse analysis, this article examines the pragmatism of these concepts in the quest for relevance in higher education.
Key words: Africanisation, decoloniality, sociological discourse analysis, higher education
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