Food and housing challenges: (Re)framing exclusion in higher education

Yasmine Dominguez-Whitehead


Food and housing challenges in higher education are increasingly apparent on a global scale, and South Africa is no exception (see, for example, Broton & Goldrick-Rab, 2016; Gallegos, Ramsey, & Ong, 2014; Munro, Quayle, Simpson, & Barnsley, 2013). The rising cost of living coupled with consistent fee increases, has meant that students are struggling to access basic necessities such as food and shelter. The recent and ongoing #FeesMustFall movement has, among other things, signalled that large numbers of students are experiencing material hardships, and are unable or unwilling to continue to pay the high cost of attending higher education institutions. This paper provides a review of food and housing challenges within the South African context, before arguing that exclusion from higher education, based on material hardship should be interrogated, given that much of the literature on exclusion in higher education has been based on interrogation of academic barriers and challenges with respect to epistemological access. This discussion will serve as the basis for a critical examination of the assumptions and core features of selected institutional responses to food and housing challenges in higher education in South Africa.


Food and housing challenges; exclusion

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Journal of Education