Degrees of Higher Education Precariousness for Unregistered Students: Displacements, Exploitations and Forced Labour
Pedro Mzileni (Nelson Mandela University)

Televised protests in universities are reported as being led and undertaken by students. The public assumption is that these students belong to these universities. This paper reveals that the status of being “a student” itself is embedded in structural hierarchies of access and existence. The ‘missing’ and ‘unknown’ group of unregistered students is not recognised in government, university, and media documentation despite their involvement and claim in the higher education political landscape. This unrecognition of these group of students subjects them to numerous forms of exploitation, forced labour, displacement, and precariousness. The conversation on the democratisation of higher education cannot be critical unless these ‘informalised students’ are recognised as one of the outcomes of the racial and class structure of the post-apartheid higher education model.