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2011 - 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society Words: 359 words || 
1. Mabokela, Reitumetse Obakeng. "Negotiating race and gender identity in the knowledge age" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 01, 2011 <Not Available>. 2019-10-20 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Globalization has played a significant role in redefining the role and identity of higher education institutions across the world and universities in developing are no exception. Education policies in many developing countries have historically favored and funded the development of basic education; however there has been a gradual shift in national policies towards investing in higher education sector. This trend is also evident in the funding priorities expressed by major external donor agencies, such as USAID. Using South Africa as a case study, this presentation examines how higher education institutions in this country have negotiated the tension between the national objective to create equitable and accessible universities on the one hand, while also seeking to be an active player and leader in the knowledge era. Taking into consideration the significant role racial politics have played historically and even in the post-apartheid era in this country, this chapter specifically explores how the intersection of race and gender has impacted South African universities’ efforts to create an equitable and accessible system of higher education, that will launch South Africa as a critical player in the global academic arena.

To ground the argument presented, this presentation begins with an overview of the global status of women in higher education by drawing insights from both developed and developing countries, to understand where South African women academics fit within this landscape. To further explore the public good debate, as exemplified by vigorous debates about access and equity within higher education in South Africa, the second part of this presentation examines the centrality of cultural identity in the post-secondary education sector in this country. Given the history of South Africa, it is challenging to effectively implement a public system of higher education without interrogating and seeking to redress injustices created by the apartheid legacy. To this end, race and gender are still part of the identity of higher education institutions and their constituents. The final part of this presentation highlights continuing challenges that impact academic and professional experiences of African (or Black) women, who despite the passage of various gender policies, continue to be systemically marginalized.

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