Students’ participation in university governance in South Africa is published by AOSIS Scholarly Books.
The purpose of this book is to examine the academic experiences of students who participated in university governance at South African universities. Scrutiny is placed on the alignment of student representative council constitutions and university statutes with the actual experiences students had in discharging their roles in governance and in the way this impacted their academic progress. Through a multi-site case study design, semi-structured interviews were conducted with members of the student representative council who participated in university governance and supported by document analysis and observations to generate the data. The study adopted Tinto’s Integration Theory and Astin’s Theory of Involvement as the two frameworks are based on the relationship between students’ extra-curricular activity and their academic experiences. The study invokes a greater awareness of students as major stakeholder in governance and informs policies and practices that may better serve students’ academic experiences. The study will contribute to the understanding of cooperative governance principles while drawing from the perspective of the students on their understanding, limitations and challenges in discharging their roles in university governance.
Copyright (c) 2022 Vuyo Mthethwa (Author)
What drives a South African university student to participate in university governance? How does such a student manage time for study and time for university governance, or do they? Does participating in university governance affect a student’s academic performance? Vuyo Mthethwa, through empirical evidence in her book, Students’ participation in university governance in South Africa, addresses these and other crucial questions. The advent of democracy in South Africa in 1994 has provided a richer framework for student participation in university governance than ever before. Political parties have rooted themselves on university campuses as fertile grounds for recruitment to influence decision-making in those institutions. Universities are resource-intensive organisations, thus attracting stakeholders to jostle for power and influence. The university student is one such key stakeholder. Consistent with the South African culture in general, a nothing-about-uswithout-us atmosphere prevails in every public university in the country. Vuyo Mthethwa’s book
could not have been born at a better time. The book reveals student representative council (SRC) members’ experiences and views about their participation in university governance. It juxtaposes two critical dynamics: the political (participation in university governance) and the intellectual (academic performance), and examines the intersection thereof; thus, the book makes an important contribution in that regard.
Prof. Vitallis Chikoko, Department of Educational Leadership, Management and Policy,
School of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.