‘BIG TICKET’ questions

How do we build a decent society, with human capabilities secured for all?

How should and how does education contribute?


Three themes underpin all our research projects, including postgraduate work:

  • Opportunities and functioning achievements of individuals and of groups, and in comparison with one another;

  • Critical policy analysis; and

  • Key challenges to advancing human development and social justice.


  1. To generate a research-based understanding of higher education and its contributions to the human capabilities of diverse individuals, to human capital, and to the social good;

  2. To increase our understanding of transformative practices and policies, of inclusive processes across teaching, research and community, and of equitable opportunities and outcomes for all students; and

  3. To engage policy makers, professionals, and higher-education practitioners in the development implications of the research programme.

The centre and the research programme therefore:

  • Theorises, operationalises, and critically analyses policy and practice, framed by concerns with justice, knowledge, diversity, and solidarity;

  • Connects the processes and findings of research to practice, in order to advance public reasoning and dialogue;

  • Seeks to influence transformative change in education in South Africa, and contribute to reducing inequalities and poverty in society; and

  • Contributes to critical reflection on global development dynamics in ways which foreground human development.