Original Research

Using transdisciplinarity in the university: Giving a voice to the voiceless in the grounding program at Fort Hare

T C Garutsa, P M Mahlangu
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 10, No 3 | a179 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v10i3.179 | © 2014 T C Garutsa, P M Mahlangu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 March 2016 | Published: 30 December 2014

About the author(s)

T C Garutsa, Centre for Transdisciplinary Studies, Law Building University of Fort Hare, South Africa
P M Mahlangu, Centre for Transdisciplinary Studies, University of Fort Hare, South Africa

Full Text:

PDF (246KB)


In this article giving a voice to students in higher institutions acknowledges that there is much to be gained from entering into the students’ world and respecting their versions of reality. If transdiciplinarity is to be achieved in institutions of higher education, knowledge should be presented through mutual learning and dialogue across disciplines towards a horizon of shared understanding. The student participation, transdisciplinary interface provides a critical framework and an experience of building a diverse intellectual community as a basis for curriculum renewal. This paper builds upon fieldwork conducted amongst students enrolled for the Grounding Program also known as Life Knowledge Action and staff. Unstructured interviews were used. Narrative descriptions where derived and were analysed through content analysis. The findings indicated that, the student participation-transdisciplinarity interface is elucidated through the case of the Life Knowledge Program under the Centre for Transdisciplinary Studies at the University of Fort Hare. The interface is embedded in the exchange of ideas which supercedes mono-inter- discipline, addressing cross cutting issues that create additional value. The discourse of Transdisciplinarity has been promoted through the structure of the curriculum and emphasis placed on the attainment of mutual dialogue amongst learners themselves and with lecturers.


Student participation; Trandisciplinarity; Grounding Program; University of Fort Hare


Total abstract views: 2144
Total article views: 982


Crossref Citations

1. A reflection on the role, potential and challenges of transdisciplinarity at the University of Fort Hare
Chene E. Ward, Nomzamo Dube, Siphamandla Nyambo, Christopher T. Chawatama
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa  vol: 15  issue: 1  year: 2019  
doi: 10.4102/td.v15i1.648