Aspirations for Higher Education: Evidence from Youth Living in Kenneth Gardens Municipal Housing Estate (Durban)


  • Ndwakhulu Stephen Tshishonga University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Zethembe Mseleku University of KwaZulu-Natal



Youth, Students, Higher education, Kenneth Gardens, Durban, Aspirations


This paper explores the obstacles that prevent young people from accessing higher education. Inadequate and unequal access to higher education internationally and in South Africa, in particular, has undermined young people’s potential to contribute to national development. In South Africa, limited access to higher education for the majority remains a major problem. Hence, young people are underdeveloped socially, economically and academically. Thus, lack of educational opportunities relegates young people to the periphery of the mainstream socio-economic development. This paper uses Kenneth Gardens as a case study to interrogate a lack of access to higher education and its implications for youth vulnerability and non-participation in their own development. The research was qualitative in nature. The imperial data were solicited from semi-structured interviews with Kenneth Gardens youth. In addition, participant observation was used as a research instrument. The major findings from the research were the lack of aspirations as one of the major obstacles that hinder youth from accessing higher education, and the research also found that lack of funding, lack of awareness and inability to meet the minimum university entry requirements were underlying factors. Additionally, a lack of career guidance in schools and unemployed graduates were found to be fundamental for poor access to higher education.

Author Biography

Ndwakhulu Stephen Tshishonga, University of KwaZulu-Natal

KwaZulu-Natal University

School of Built Environment and Development Studies

Howard College Campus




How to Cite

Tshishonga, Ndwakhulu Stephen, and Zethembe Mseleku. 2021. “Aspirations for Higher Education: Evidence from Youth Living in Kenneth Gardens Municipal Housing Estate (Durban)”. Commonwealth Youth and Development 17 (1):22 pages.



Received 2017-05-29
Accepted 2020-04-07
Published 2021-02-17