Prof Merridy Wilson-Strydom
Associate Professor
Higher Education Stud Sen Prof
43A 110
Sr Professor Higher Education Studies
051 4017566
Benito Khotseng Building 110

Short CV

Prof Merridy Wilson-Strydom completed her MPhil in Development Studies at Oxford University in 2001, on a Rhodes Scholarship. During her time abroad, she spent three months in Germany in the summer of 2000 on a DAAD fellowship at the first International Women’s University that brought together women scholars across disciplines to work on collaborative research projects. Merridy completed her PhD in Higher Education Studies at the University of the Free State in 2013. She started her career at the University of the Witwatersrand and then worked as an educational research consultant for six years prior to joining the University of the Free State in January 2009. She worked in the Directorate for Institutional Research and Academic Planning (DIRAP) from April 2010 to December 2013 where she was the head of monitoring and institutional research. Since January 2014, Merridy has been based in the Centre for Research on Higher Education and Development (CRHED) where she is employed as a Senior Research Fellow. She was selected as one of the Vice-Chancellor`s Prestige Scholars in 2013.

Publications (Short List)


  1. Walker, M & Wilson-Strydom, M (Eds.) (2017). Socially Just Pedagogies, Capabilities and Quality in Higher Education. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
  2. Wilson-Strydom, M (2015). University Access and Success: Capabilities, Diversity and Social Justice. London: Routledgde 

Book Chapters 

  1. Walker, M & Wilson-Strydom, M (2017). Chapter 1: Thinking about the university context and socially just pedagogies. In, M. Walker & M. Wilson-Strydom (eds). Socially just pedagogies and quality in higher education. Palgrave MacMillan (Palgrave Studies in Global Citizenship Education and Democracy).
  2. Wilson-Strydom, M (2017). Pedagogic rights for transformative student learning: What do lecturers say and do? In, M. Walker & M. Wilson-Strydom (eds). Socially just pedagogies and quality in higher education. Palgrave MacMillan (Palgrave Studies in Global Citizenship Education and Democracy).
  3. Wilson-Strydom, M & Walker, M (2017). Human development as an expansive perspective on socially just pedagogies and quality. In, M. Walker & M. Wilson-Strydom (eds). Socially just pedagogies and quality in higher education. Palgrave MacMillan (Palgrave Studies in Global Citizenship Education and Democracy).
  4. Wilson-Strydom, M (2017). Widening access with success: Using the capabilities approach to confront injustices. In, A Moutford-Zimdars & N Harrison (eds). Access to Higher Education: Theoretical perspectives and contemporary challenges. London: Routledge/SRHE.
  5. Wilson-Strydom, M; Strydom, JF & Hen-Boisen, L (2016). Chapter 13: Institutional research and the student: the promise of mixed methods and intersectional analysis. In, J. Botha; N Muller; & K Webber (eds.). Institutional Research in support of evidence-based decision-making in Higher Education in Southern Africa. Sun Media.
  6. Wilson-Strydom, M & Hay, HR (2010). Reducing the gap between being eligible and being ready for higher education: a learner engagement perspective. In, D. Francis; S. Mahlomaholo; & M. Nkoane (eds.). Praxis towards sustaining empowering learning environments in South Africa, pp.239-252. Bloemfontein: Sun Media.
  7. Butcher, N; Wilson-Strydom, M; Hoosen, S; MacDonald, C; Moore, A & Barnes, L (2008). Chapter2: A Profile of Higher Education in the Region. In, P. Kotecha (eds), Towards a Common Future: Higher Education in the SADC Region. Research Findings from Four SARUA Studies. Study Series 2008. Johannesburg: Southern African Regional Universities’ Association (SARUA).
  8. Butcher, N & Wilson-Strydom, M (2008). Technology and Open Learning: The Potential of Open Education Resources for K-12 Education. In: J. Voogt and G. Knezek (eds). International Handbook of Information Technology in Primary and Secondary Education, 707-727. Springer (2008).

Peer reviewed journal articles 

  1. Wilson-Strydom, M. (2017) Disrupting structural inequalities of higher education opportunity: ‘Grit’, resilience and capabilities at a South African university. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities. Online first.
  2. Calitz, T; Walker, M & Wilson-Strydom, M. (2016). Cultivating a capability approach to equal participation for undergraduate students at a South African university, Perspectives in Education, 34(2):75-69.
  3. Wilson-Strydom, M. (2016). A Capabilities List for Equitable Transition to University: A top-down and bottom-up approach. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 17(2): 145-160. DOI: 10.1080/19452829.2014.991280.
  4. Wilson-Strydom, M & Okkolin, M (2016). Enabling environments for equity, access and quality education post-2015: Lessons from South Africa and Tanzania. International Journal of Educational Development (IJED): 49: 225-233.
  5. Wilson-Strydom, M & Walker, M (2015). A capabilities-friendly conceptualisation of flourishing in and through education. Journal of Moral Education, Special Issue: Flourishing and Moral Development, 44(3): 310-324.
  6. Wilson-Strydom, M. (2015). University access and theories of social justice: Contributions of the capabilities approach. Higher Education, 69(1): 143-155. (DOI) 10.1007/s10734-014-9766-5
  7. Wilson-Strydom, M. (2014) Confronting Contradiction: Diversity experiences at school and university. Perspectives in Education, 32(4):56-73.
  8. Wilson-Strydom, M. (2012) Using the NBTs to inform institutional understandings of ‘under-preparedness’: Implications for admissions criteria. South African Journal of Higher Education 26(1): 136-151.
  9. Wilson-Strydom, M (2011). University access for social justice: a capabilities perspective. South African Journal of Education, 31(3): 407-418.
  10. Wilson-Strydom, M (2010). Traversing the chasm from school to university in South Africa: A student perspective. Tertiary Education and Management, 16 (4): 313-325.

  1. Wilson-Strydom, M (eds) (2016). In Our Own Words. Perspectives on Being a Student. Bloemfontein: Sun Media.  For a digital copy please see:
  2. Wilson-Strydom M. (2016) Complexities and contradictions of doctoral education in South Africa. S Afr J Sci. 112(3/4), Art. #a0147, 2 pages. http://dx.doi. org/10.17159/sajs.2016/a0147 
  3. Wilson-Strydom, M (2015). Annexure 12. Access and Success – Transitions into and through higher education. Briefing paper prepared for the second national Higher Education Transformation Summit, 15-17 October 2015 (commissioned paper).
  4. Wilson-Strydom, M (2015). Students’ experiences show it’s time to rethink ideas of university ‘readiness’. The Conversation Africa.
  5. Wilson-Strydom, M (2015). Multi-dimensional approach to readiness for university. Independent Thinking (Post-school education and training supplements). Independent Media.
  6. Wilson-Strydom, M (2015). Ambushed in academia. Mail and Guardian online, 21 August 2015.
  7. Wilson-Strydom, M (2014). Taking up the challenge of implementing higher education for the public good. Book Review. ASSAF South African Journal of Science, 110 (3/4).
  8. Butcher, N., & Wilson-Strydom, M. (2013). A Guide to Quality in Online Learning (edited by Stamenka Uvalic-Trumblc and Sir John Daniel). Dallas, Texas: Academic Partnerships. [This guide has been published in English and in Chinese]


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