The book moves between reflecting on the events of the last three years on university campuses, and reimagining the future of South African higher education.
Was it worth it? Should we have forced the completion of the academic year with police presence and security activation? There is a debate about this, of course. It was not the only option. The entire higher education system was in turmoil in October 2016, and institutions adopted a variety of responses to the crisis. On the one end of the spectrum were institutions like UJ, which activated quite stringent security measures very early on to complete the year.
On the other end, institutions like UCT went out of their way to avoid a security response, closed their academic programmes early, and even postponed some of their teaching and examinations to the new year. Wits University had always been somewhere in between; at the end of 2016, we shifted towards the UJ end of the spectrum. I had always publicly argued that we required a mix of political and security interventions, the precise balance of which was to be determined by the specific circumstances that confronted one.
It is worth noting that Max Price and...