Factors that contribute to student protests at a South African university

SOURCE: Social Sciences
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2018
TITLE AUTHOR(S): K.G.Morwe, E.Garcia-Espana, T.M.Luescher
KEYWORDS: PROTEST, UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
DEPARTMENT: Inclusive Economic Development (IED)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 10567
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/12780

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Abstract

No one could have foretold that the soiling of the Cecil John Rhodes statue with human excrement at the University of Cape Town (UCT) on March 9th, 2015 would spiral South African Universities and the general public into a state of confusion and frustration. Such an act was peculiar in the post-apartheid era. The cause of this calamity was that African student's expressed discontent relating to their exclusion and marginalisation within the higher education system. While this debate has been ongoing and often premised on fees, the authorities have shown little enthusiasm to its resolution. Hence, the UCT event inspired the formation of myriad student movements across all higher education institutions which ultimately morphed into the Fees Must Fall Movement (#FMF). Consequently, all concerned parties from the university Vice-Chancellors, the Minister of Higher Education and training and to the President had no other choice but to take decisive action to the fee plea that students had presented. The purpose of this study is to give an expose of the issues that triggered the country wide student uprising as gathered from interviews from one of the institutions in South Africa. The study relies on a phenomenological approach of conducting research and also archival research methodology relating to the phenomenon understudy.