Prof Sharlene Swartz

Prof Sharlene Swartz is a Divisional Executive in the HSRC’s Equitable Education and Economies research division. She holds a PhD in the Sociology of Education from the University of Cambridge (2007). Swartz specialises in ‘navigational capacities’ for the just inclusion of youth in societies in the Global South. She researches and writes extensively on transformative cognate education (including moral, citizenship, and vocational education), reimagined inclusive economic development (including the future of work), and decolonising and emancipatory practices in youth research. Swartz is the Principal Investigator of a longitudinal research study The Imprint of Education, funded by the Mastercard Foundation, that investigates the ways in which higher education impacts on the lives of first-generation students, and how they in turn affect their worlds. Previous studies included young fathers, race and education, the role of education on alleviating poverty, and peer education. Before embarking on her graduate studies, she spent 12 years at a youth NGO where she pioneered peer-led social justice and life skills education programmes.