Comment on Yunus Ballim’s “The place of teaching, learning and student development in a framework of academic freedom: Attending to the negative freedoms of our students”
Yunus Ballim’s article, based on his 2021 TB Davie lecture, focuses on how academic freedom can enhance teaching, learning and institutional culture in South African universities. He uses the concept of “negative freedom” to argue that universities’ institutional culture and everyday practices can shape the kinds of education students receive and potentially enhance their learning, development and humanity. We appreciate this creative approach to the concept of academic freedom that moves beyond classic understandings of the term. We also call for further exploration into how student agency is conceptualised from this perspective, questioning how university-society relations intersect with forms of academic freedom.
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