Univeristy of the Free State

Social justice project to promote disadvantaged students' engagement in higher education


Univeristy of the Free State




South Africa

founding year


student body



Institutional Approach

The main vision of the University of the Free State, South Africa, is to contribute to development and social justice through supporting globally competitive graduates and knowledge production. The social justice theme is exemplified by the university’s Miratho project, a university-wide sustainable development project promoting higher educational achievement amongst marginalized and disadvantaged Black students. At the core of the Miratho project is a co-developed Human Capabilities-Based Higher Education Learning Outcomes Index aimed at quantifying and qualifying what students individually and as social groups are able to achieve through their higher education experiences and achievements, positioning students as both givers and takers of knowledge. The project seeks to address “how interacting and complex biographical, socioeconomic, policy, and educational factors enable or inhibit pathways for students from challenging backgrounds into, their experiences in, and their transitions out of higher education, and relate these specifically to the learning outcomes achieved.” At the university’s QwaQwa campus, the University co-develops and tailors curriculum and university activities to bolster sustainable development of the region as a whole. Expansion of the campus is planned and carried out in engagement with and in consideration of the regional communities and economy.


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