‘Higher Education in the melting pot: emerging discourses of the 4 IR and decolonisation’ is an engaging and timely resource for tertiary level academic researchers, post graduate students and policy makers who are caught up in the intricate matrices of transformation in post-colonial higher education systems including in South Africa. Both the 4 IR and decolonisation are seductive ideological stances, which few, amongst us can dismiss peremptorily. However, although they share some commonalities, especially in terms of their transformative power, their underpinning epistemological, ontological, axiological, and methodological assumptions are often at cross purposes. That both will constitute robust impetuses for transformation in not in any doubt. But whether there will be sufficient synergies to underpin the desired transformation is highly questionable.
The book draws from expert analyses of largely South African scholars who tackle a wide range of topics in areas such as ICTs in higher education, the potential, and implications of the 4 IR and decolonisation in the transformative purposes of higher education including their impact of specific disciplinary areas, the theoretical assumptions, and practical implications for professional degree programmes in universities.
It suggests a bold strategy for embracing the two ideological perspectives but warns of the possibilities of decolonisation being turfed out of the post-colonial momentum of transformation in HE.
There is enough in this book to appeal to the tastes of a wide variety of scholarship, including those with persuasions towards empirical institutional research, case studies, theoretical and conceptual analyses. It is, as the title suggests, a melting pot of current, stimulating and thoroughly researched contributions.