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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Diverse Approaches in a South African Debate on Language and Diversity in Higher Education
Author:Van der Waal, C.S.ISNI
Periodical:Anthropology Southern Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:plural society
languages of instruction
Afrikaans language
Education and Oral Traditions
Anthropology and Archaeology
Abstract:A central issue at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, in 2002 was the tension between the need for racial transformation and increased access for the previously excluded part of the population, and the demand for entrenching Afrikaans as the main medium of undergraduate instruction. An intensive public debate, known as 'Die Groot Afrikaanse Debat' took place, in which the language issue was tied to the issue of diversity. The debate was a reaction to processes of transformation at the university, triggered by the unfolding of the national policy for higher education in 2002. While the participants in the debate seemed to be united in their emphasis on the need for promoting Afrikaans as an academic language, there were sharp differences in their views on the relationship between Afrikaans and issues of diversity. This article analyses the various meanings associated with the concept of diversity in this context, arguing that notions of human diversity in South Africa are based on sets of different political interests and assumptions, which can broadly be divided into an inclusive and critical approach (affirmative diversity) on the one hand, and an exclusive and essentialist approach (difference diversity) on the other. Bibliogr., sum. in Afrikaans and English. [Journal abstract, edited]