This issue of Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning (CriSTaL) features five papers and two book reviews. The papers provide a strong account of social justice concerns in institutions of higher education in Southern Africa today. A common thread found across the articles is a critical interrogation of definitions, structures, and relationships in higher education. The articles draw attention to the intricate and often invisible ways that power works within an institution and the people that occupy its spaces. All the articles touch on ways that uneven power dynamics can be troubled and challenged, in relationships in higher education. These dynamics include the relationship that students and staff have with knowledge. As a collective contribution, the articles unpack taken-for-granted understandings that shape access to and participation in higher education.