Gugu Motlanthe, wife of former President of South Africa Kgalema Motlanthe, attended the graduation ceremony of her cousin Dr Nompumelelo Thabethe at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). Thabethe is also a staff member at the University’s School of Education. Motlanthe congratulated her cousin on getting her PhD in Education.
Thabethe looked at epistemological experiences in community-based learning, making critical connections in theory and practice. She argues that there is disjuncture between the current Higher Education Institutions (HEI) system and students epistemological experiences resulting in irrelevant knowledge production.
‘It highlights a shift in knowledge production from traditional students regarded as privileged to non-traditional students studying communities they share similar struggles with. This exposes the elitist nature of university education and reveals that while HEI systems have transformed structurally, institutional cultures remain untransformed leaving students to balance tensions,’ explained Thabethe.