In this paper we use the methodology of self-study to explore our experiences as academics applying for promotion. We use Mezirow's transformative learning theory and the African philosophy of Ubuntu to frame the study. Through narrative inquiry, we document our experiences of applying for promotion, and those narratives unpack the ‘hidden curriculum’ of academic recognition and promotion as we experienced it within our context. Guided by Mezirow’s 10 elements of transformative learning, we critically examine these experiences through collaborative reflection, and recognise that the process of applying for promotion represents counter-cultural transformative learning. In addition to pointing out some limitations of the transformative learning theory, the critical examination of our experiences helps us recognise the need for promotion processes in our context to open up space for the application of the indigenous worldviews.
Key words: Promotion; self-study; transformative learning; Ubuntu, counter-cultural transformative learning