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"Africanization in Tuition": African National Education?

Author(s): Ulrike Kistner

Journal: Mediations
ISSN 1075-041x

Volume: 24;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 90;
Date: 2008;
Original page

The current rhetoric of “Africanization” ostensibly refers back to pan-African or national-liberationist ideals. However, the “transformation agendas” of South African higher education institutions, of which “Africanization” forms an integral part, have been shown to be closely linked with the commercialization and corporatization of the university, and with elite nationalism. Many African academics across the continent have articulated this development in terms of a sense of loss. This article investigates that sense of loss. To the extent that African intellectuals expected their visions for political and social transformation to be taken over by the postcolonial developmentalist state, their hopes were dashed by national chauvinism, by the recession of the state and the tightening grip of repression. Rather than revisiting nationalism and “indigeneity” as potentially critical forces, this article cautions against such reclamations, proposing a renewal of the emancipatory aims of higher education focused on the teaching-learning relationship.
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