Masterclass: Decolonizing the University and Beyond

Updated: Sep 8, 2020

CriSHET & CIPSET Masterclass | Prof Boaventura de Sousa Santos



The Chair for Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation (CriSHET) and the Centre for Integrated Post-School Education and Training hosted the masterclass, ‘Decolonizing the University and Beyond’, in October 2019 at South Campus, Nelson Mandela University.


At its best, the modern university formulated credible knowledge in favour of a more just society. However problematic, such formulation was premised upon the idea that the goal of social justice could be achieved without cognitive justice. This premise is today untenable as it can be shown that the knowledge produced by the university legitimated and often reinforced social injustice. The future of the university depends on how well it will respond to the emerging imperative that there is not global social justice without global cognitive justice. The epistemologies of the south and the pedagogies and methodologies they call for will enable the university to give a positive response to such a challenge.


Prof Boaventura de Sousa Santos was the main speaker at this event. He is Professor of Sociology at the University of Coimbra (Portugal), and Distinguished Legal Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is Director Emeritus of the Center of Social Studies at the University of Coimbra. He has been awarded several prizes, most recently the Science and Technology Prize of Mexico (2010), and the Kalven Jr Prize of the Law Society Association (2011).


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