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Alejandra Boni, Carola Calabuig and Victoria Pellicer


This chapter analyses the experience of the Development Cooperation Master’s Degree at the Universitat Politècnica de València (Spain), as an example of a socially just pedagogy taught within a managerialist university system in a depoliticised context of development. From a historical and systemic standpoint, and supported by the analysis of documents from secondary information sources and six in-depth semi-structured interviews, the chapter looks into two issues particularly relevant for understanding the Master’s approach: participation and critical practice in development. Conditions that enable and constrain the development of these two issues include the Master’s origins and influences, teacher’s backgrounds, the existence of formal spaces to ensure participatory governance, diversity of students and teachers, informal learning spaces, and also tensions within a managerialist system of governance. Being aware of the complexity and challenges of transforming the university system, we have evidence that the Master’s, based on inclusive and participatory governance and promoting social just pedagogies, is impacting on students’ learning in the direction of social justice.

Year of publication 2017