Challenges Faced by Racial Minority Students at Justus-Liebig University, Germany and North-West University, South Africa

Didimalang Matsheka, Tendayi Garutsa


Educational institutions are characterised by cultural and institutional racism that is embedded in their structural systems, curriculum and practices that negatively impact the social and academic experiences of racial minority students. Prejudice and discrimination are rooted in hierarchies whereby some cases evidence one directional oppression of a racial group by the dominant or majority group. The study aimed at exploring challenges faced by racial minority students at Justus-Liebig University and North-West University. The study utilized a qualitative research approach in order understand the opinions, experiences and views of racial minority students about their campus realities. Fourteen in-depth interviews were undertaken with racial minority students and findings were analysed through content thematic analysis. The findings revealed that challenges faced by minority racial students from Justus-Lieberg University and North West University were similar. The challenges include but are not limited to; difficulties with interaction with the racial majority group, academic stressors like failure to adapt to high workload, adaptation to the academic climate, language and cultural barriers. This study calls for the development of new policies that pursue a restructuring of the campus environment to make it beneficial to all students. There is a need for universities to establish and maintain inclusive educational programs and policies that can assist minority students to be integrated into the academic systems.

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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