In 2020 the Transformation Strategy Group (TSG) of Universities South Africa (USAf) initiated a research study to create a deeper understanding on how institutional cultures could be reshaped to create a more student-centred higher education system in South Africa. The research report was adopted by the USAf Board in March 2023, and has since sparked a range of thought-provoking questions and responses from different stakeholders in the South African higher education system.

At the quarterly virtual Higher Education Leadership and Management (HELM) Engage 12 event of 28 March, 2023, a gathering of 84 individuals logged in for a virtual presentation on this study. This presentation was led by the Lead Researcher, Dr WP Wahl (above), Director: Student Life at the University of the Free State, and Professor André Keet, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Engagement and Transformation and the Research Chair on Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation, based at Nelson Mandela University. Both scholars were also members of the Advisory Board that conceptualised this study and guided its strategic direction.