Selected Books by HEHD Research Members

prof book
This book explores the potential of participatory research and the capability approach to transform understandings of higher education. The editors and contributors illuminate the importance of epistemic in/justice as a foundation to a reflexive, inclusive and decolonial approach to knowledge, as well as its importance to democratic life and participation in higher education. Drawing together eight global case studies, the authors argue for an ecology of knowledge that expands epistemic capabilities in higher education through teaching, research and policy making. Moreover, the chapters illustrate how these epistemic capabilities can be marginalised by both institutions and structural and historical factors; as well as the potential for possibilities when spaces are opened for genuine participation and designed for a plurality of voices. This book will appeal to scholars of social justice and participatory research as well as ongoing debates around decolonising the academy.
Purchase here.
This book establishes community engagement and service-learning as pathways to advancing human development and common good. Using the human development and capability approach as normative frameworks, with South Africa as a frame of reference, the author investigates the theoretical contributions and ultimate benefits of university-community partnerships. In doing so, this book demonstrates that three interrelated capabilities – affiliation, common good professionals and local citizenship – are developed through community engagement and service-learning. Subsequently, the notion of transformative change through community engagement and service-learning is illuminated, particularly when operating within the context of power differentials, inequality and extreme poverty. This book will be of interest and value to students and scholars of service-learning, and its implications for partnerships between universities and external communities.  
Purchase here.
Human Development and Community Engagement through Service-Learning
patiences book

Whilst many studies have explored how quality in higher education is conceptualised in the Global North, less attention has been paid to quality in higher education in Africa and the Global South. This book uses the human development and capabilities approach to demonstrate how quality in teaching and learning contributes to a range of benefits, such as improved wellbeing, economic outcomes, political engagement, and human capital formation amongst graduates.

The book interrogates the various dimensions of quality as well as factors that impact on the realisation of quality in universities and society at large. Recognising that measures of quality are context and stakeholder specific, the book uses the Zimbabwean context as a Global South case study. It evaluates how quality is conceptualised and operationalised in Zimbabwean universities, and how that impacts on teaching and learning policy and practice. The book also demonstrates the need for economic resources for individuals and universities, and emphasises the importance of a social and educational environment conducive to critical learning, and post-university opportunities.

This book will be of interest to researchers across Education, African and Development Studies, as well as to policymakers and practitioners with an interest in quality assurance and the promotion of teaching and learning in universities in the Global South.
Available for purchase here

This book demonstrates how the theoretical concepts of the capabilities approach can be applied in the context of engineering education, and how this could be used to add nuance to our understanding of the contribution higher education can make to human flourishing. In demonstrating the usefulness of the capability approach as a lens through which to evaluate the outputs of engineering education, the author also shows how the capability approach can be informed by, and informs, the concept of ‘sustainable development’ and discusses what pedagogical and curricula implications this may have for education for sustainable development (ESD), particularly in engineering. As such, the book builds on the work of scholars of engineering education, and scholars of university education at the nexus of development and sustainability.

Engineering employers, educators and students from diverse contexts discuss both the capabilities and functions that are enlarged by engineering education and the impact these can have on pro-poor engineering or public-good professionalism. The book therefore makes an original conceptual and empirical contribution to our thinking about engineering education research.

The book provides inspiration for both engineering educators and students to orient their technical knowledge and transferable skills towards the public good. It will also be of great interest to students and researchers interested in education for sustainable development more generally and to engineers who are interested in doing work that is aligned with the goals of social justice. The book will also appeal to scholars of the capability approach within higher education.
Available for purchase here.

Mikatekos book
Faiths Book

This book explores the lives, experiences and the formation of higher educational aspirations among marginalised migrant youth in South Africa. Using a case study based in Johannesburg, the author illuminates their voices in order to demonstrate the reality faced by these young people in the context of migration to the Global South. Within the complex landscape of global and African migration, this book draws on detailed narratives to understand the conditions under which aspirations for higher education are – or are not – developed. In doing so, the author highlights the value of understanding individual lives, experiences and opportunities from a human development point of view, capturing the multidimensional disadvantages experienced by migrants in a balanced, intersectional manner. Balancing empirical data with theoretical analysis, this volume tells a rich, nuanced story about marginalised migrant youth – an essential work for understanding the conditions necessary for such youth to live valuable lives in both local and international contexts. This book will appeal to students and scholars of youth migration, aspiration and educational opportunities, particularly within the Global South.
Available for purchase here

Persistent educational, economic and social inequalities perpetuate unequal participation in higher education for a significant number of students in both developing and developed contexts, offering these students fewer opportunities to convert academic resources into equal participation. Enhancing the Freedom to Flourish in Higher Education explores the insight that student narratives can offer to the debate surrounding the complex reasons of why some students flourish at university while others are marginalised socially and academically. Proposing a new model of equal participation that draws not only on international comparisons, but is also embedded in the experiences of students, the book offers practical suggestions on how to enhance opportunities for equal participation.

Using South Africa as a case study, the book tracks the experiences of eight undergraduate students whose narratives illuminate the structural inequalities affecting participation in higher education. Despite the political, economic and academic factors that lead to diminished participation, the book foregrounds the resources that students used to negotiate obstacles and grounds these individual narratives in broader global debates around justice, widening participation and equality in higher education.

Enhancing the Freedom to Flourish in Higher Education brings critical social theory to the problem of unequal participation so as to challenge the invisible and implicit forms of inequality found within student narratives. It will appeal to lecturers and tutors, practitioners based in student affairs, and policy makers, as well as postgraduate students.

Available for purchase here

Talitas book
Walker and Boni 2017 book

This book makes the case for a critical turn in development thinking around universities and their contributions in making a more equal post-2015 world. It puts forward a normative approach based on human development and the capability approach, one which can gain a hearing from policy, scholarship, and practitioners dealing with practical issues of understanding policy, democratising research and knowledge, and fostering student learning - all key university functions.

The book argues that such an approach can elucidate development debates drawing on local, national and international issues and examples to show why higher education matters for sustainable development goals both in educational and social terms. It advocates a new arena of engagement with universities as key sites of development and freedoms beyond human capital and challenges development omissions and gaps around university education. The book explores how the human development approach addresses the following core ideas: the meaning of well-being, the idea of agency, participation and democratic citizenship, how to address inequalities, the relation between local and global, and the idea of equitable partnerships.

This book is addressed to researchers and postgraduate students in development studies, university education, the capability approach and human development community.
Available for purchase here.

This book explores the idea that teaching and learning – pedagogy – at universities is a crucial space for students’ formation as ethical graduates, equipped with knowledge, skills and values to contribute to more equal societies. We know that universities across the globe do not stand apart from social and educational inequalities at multiple levels; they have the potential to reproduce or reduce social inequalities and therefore towards transformative ends. This book suggests how this could be achieved both via policy and practice around the globe.
Available for purchase here

Melanie and Merridy book
Merridys Book

The challenge of widening access and participation in higher education in a manner that ensures students are successful in their studies is a major issue globally and a significant research-focus within higher education studies and higher education policy. Similarly, the challenge of under-preparedness of students entering higher education has become increasingly pertinent as universities in both developed and developing countries struggle to improve their throughput rates in a context in which schooling no longer seems to provide sufficient preparation for entering university.

In this book Merridy Wilson-Strydom applies the capabilities approach to better understand university access and participation and draws on a rich case study from South Africa to critically and innovatively explore the complex and contradictory terrain of access with success. The book integrates quantitative and qualitative research with theory and practical application to provide a new framework for considering and improving the transition from school to university.

University Access and Success will appeal to academics and researchers in the field of higher education internationally. The book also contributes to the growing body of international and comparative scholarship on the capabilities approach in higher education and will therefore be of value to higher education practitioners, such as those working in the promotion of teaching and learning, higher education quality assurance, institutional research and student affairs.
Available for purchase here

The book makes a significant contribution to critical higher education studies, specifically to graduate employability research and to capabilities and education research. The book moves beyond the simplistic conception of alleged 'gaps' in graduate skills and 'mismatches' between employers and universities, and instead provides an innovative multi-dimensional and intersectional human capabilities conceptualisation of graduate employability. The book challenges an individualised notion of employability, instead locating employability issues in social and economic conditions, and argues that employability choices cannot be divorced from inequality. Qualitative and quantitative data from multiple case-study universities in South Africa are used to explore the perceptions and experiences of diverse students, lecturers, support officers and employers, regarding what each university is doing, or should be doing, to enhance graduate economic opportunities and contribute to inclusive development. The book will be highly relevant to students, scholars and researchers in the fields of education and sociology, particularly those with an interest in graduate employability.
Available for purchase here.

Walker and Fongwa
Walker book

Most current social welfare policies aim to ameliorate immediate problems or injustices, but they do little to foster human development or support the potential of people within marginalized communities. How can we more effectively use public policy to foster human development? How can we overcome the injustice of contemporary society and give people across the social and class spectrum equal opportunities to flourish? Capability-Promoting Policies offers case studies and analyses of a number of different existing approaches to these questions, presenting newly conceptualized strategies for developing and implementing effective policies for fostering human development at the local, national, and international levels.
Available for purchase here

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