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Quality enhancement in student affairs and social justice: A reflective case study from South Africa

Thierry M. Luescher


Quality enhancement in student affairs is an integral part of professional  practice, and its documentation and reflective evaluation are important in the ongoing professionalisation of student affairs in Africa. This article proposes a way of conceptualising a reflective scholarship of practice in student affairs in Africa and method to conduct reflective practice studies to build a relevant knowledge base. Based on this methodology, it then analyses a student affairs quality enhancement review at a South African university in detail, showing its conceptualisation and implementation, and reflecting on its outcomes. The article thus provides evidence of a ‘home-grown’, ‘activist’ quality enhancement review that focuses on key issues in the South African context and the context of the case university: the professionalisation of student affairs, the co‑curriculum, and social justice models such as participatory parity, universal design for learning, and student engagement.

Keywords: assessment; higher education; participatory parity;  professionalisation; quality assurance; quality enhancement; reflective practice; scholarship of practice; social justice; student engagement; universal design for learning