This unique and timely book focuses on research conducted into the experiences of students from rural backgrounds in South Africa: foregrounding decolonial perspectives on their negotiation of access and transitions to higher education.

This book highlights not only the challenges of coming from a rural background against the historical backdrop of apartheid and ongoing colonialism, but also shows the immense assets that students from rural areas bring into higher education. Through detailed narratives created by student co-researchers, the book charts early experiences in rural communities, negotiations of transitions to university and, in many cases, to urban life and students’ subsequent journeys through higher education spaces and curricula.

The book will be of significant interest and value to those engaged in rurality research across diverse settings, those interested in the South African higher education context and higher education more widely. Its innovative, participatory methodology will be invaluable to researchers seeking to conduct collaborative research that draws on decolonising approaches.

chapter 3|21 pages

Transitioning into and through higher education in South Africa

Contexts and concepts

chapter 5|17 pages

Negotiations of transitions to university

Figured worlds and identity transformations

chapter 6|17 pages

Cultural values and practices

From rural communities to higher education

chapter 10|13 pages

International collaborations

Opportunities and tensions

chapter 11|10 pages


Looking back, moving forward