year in review 2018 Paperturn - Page 166



A COMMUNITY
OF CARE
Developing “mechanisms for self-care” emerged as
a central message in 2018 following three years of
campus unrest and conflict.
marketisation of higher education.
In commodifying higher education,
teaching and learning had become
more instrumental; students were
more concerned about obtaining
a certificate than about the depth
and quality of their education and
its transformative value.
All these factors had created
complex challenges.
Brooks said her department had
taken the lead from US student
engagement theories that centre on
what students –
in all their intersectional diversity
– bring to the institution, how they
enrich the community, and how
universities can provide opportunities
for students to engage and develop.
“The idea is that the more students
engage, the happier they are and the
more likely to succeed.”
A community of care is vital in a
transforming institution exploring new
ways of teaching and learning, said
Edwina Brooks, director of Student
Development in the Department
of Student Affairs, during the 2018
Teaching and Learning Conference.
In Brooks’s presentation,
“Criminalising Students Who
Protest(ed): Do we care?”, she said
caring for staff and students who were
vulnerable, or became vulnerable as
a result of challenging the status quo,
was crucial.
Under the banners of Rhodes Must
Fall and Fees Must Fall, students
confronted UCT’s colonial identity
and its role in terms of the public
good. This was not new, Brooks said.
Student protests around the world
challenged the global trend towards
the mass commodification and
164

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