An Analysis of the #FeesMustFall Agenda and Its Implications for the Survival of Education in South Africa: The NWU Mafikeng Campus Writing Centre Experience

UP Ejoke, PC Enwereji, JE Chukwuere


The #FeesMustFall-protests were symbolic of unguided social dynamics as stakeholders directly or in directly (indirectly) scramble for escape due to the financial implications that fees increment would engender. South African government is aware of the importance of education in any growing economy as this was demonstrated in the agenda of the post-1994 government in prioritising primary and secondary education, even though the quality of education remained decidedly poor. However, same cannot be said for tertiary Universities in South Africa, the low priority granted to higher education over the past two decades had always been a bone of contention. This paper therefore attempts to interrogate various explanations for fees must fall movement and how this impact on the writing centre at the North-West University, Mafikeng Campus. In contextualizing this problem, the paper employed key elements of Altbach’s empirical theory of student movements. Using Focus Group discussion and by means of Atlas-ti statistical package, the paper demonstrated the richness of data available for analysis and reflects on correlated methodological challenges when attempting to understand student movements and the dynamic relationship between the University environment as well as the country-wide movement, the territorial space and that of writing centre experience during and after the protest. The paper concludes by reflecting and suggesting on elements of a possible research agenda on balancing education and economy.

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Research in World Economy
ISSN 1923-3981(Print)ISSN 1923-399X(Online)


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