Universities can use their influence to fight inequality

Alicia James

University World News: Africa Edition

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Universities are the single most influential institutions in societies all over the world. They are centres of ideas, discoveries, technological development and culture and engines of local, national and global economics.

As such they also have the potential to perpetuate inequalities and social injustice, according to Dr Ira Harkavy, associate vice-president and founding director of the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States.

Harkavy was a keynote speaker at Universities South Africa’s (USAf’s) second national Higher Education Conference focused on ‘the engaged university’.

The conference grappled with existential questions in the higher education sector – Who owns the university? What is its role? Where to after the COVID-19 pandemic?

Hosted by USAf, the Council on Higher Education in South Africa and the South African Department of Higher Education and Training, the conference was framed by the stark inequalities in the sector that were magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To read the full article in the University World News: Africa Edition, click here.