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Institutional racism and its effect on higher education: a case study of UKZN Howard College.

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2020

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of black academics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. National statistics have revealed that there is a low number of black academics working in senior positions in public institutions. The literature which has been reviewed in conjunction to the study suggests that black academics experience racism, discrimination and intellectual bullying throughout their journey of career advancement. This study has sought insight from a group of black African academics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in pursuit of answering the overarching research question: Are there any institutional barriers preventing the progression of black academics in institutions of higher learning? The individuals in this study were ideally suited for such an inquiry as their race, gender and professional positions in the institution have allowed them to provide insightful information to the subject matter. From the findings gathered, it is evident that black African academics experience racial discrimination and intellectual assault. By the findings of this research, it is evident that the institution lacks a coherent foundation of institutional support for aspiring academics. Furthermore, the findings of this study suggest that the institution is not reflective of cultural diversity in higher ranking positions such as professoriate and management. By using the critical race theory as the basis of analysis for this study, it suggests that black Africans face institutional barriers to the advancement of their careers based on race and discrimination. Institutions of Higher Education may find the results of this study helpful to examine their institutional policies, practices and initiatives.

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Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.

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