Negotiating learning and identity in higher education by Dr Bongi Bangeni and A. Prof Rochelle Kapp, is the latest addition to the collaborative books produced jointly by CHED and other faculties at UCT. The book addresses the issue of students’ multiple transitions in and out of the higher education system, and uniquely documents the agency they display as they negotiate the constraints of multiple contexts over time.
Interestingly, the book offers a snapshot of eight years of collaborative, longitudinal research involving over 100 students, 10 collaborators and 5 research assistants, to locate the synergies in university students’ experiences across disciplines. It traces how these students, particularly Black working-class students enrolled in the Academic Development Programme, navigate their learning journey over the years, the choices and decisions they make, the agency, resilience and resourcefulness they exhibit, and how they constantly re-position themselves in relation to home, their disciplines and the institution. In this, the study contests the deficit discourse that sometimes characterises research on extended curriculum provisions.