The South African higher education environment remains plagued by a host of injustices. Similar injustices and inequalities in the global context were also noted, even though the particular historical trajectory might be different. The more specific focus has been on accessing university and the fact that increased and broadened access, in many instances, does not lead to success for large numbers of students, and may indeed be creating new forms of injustices. The capabilities approach takes as the starting point the well-being of individuals and asks about the extent to which people are able to be and do what they have reason to value being and doing. The conceptual device used within the capabilities approach for bringing structure and agency together is the notion of conversion factors. Therefore the Personal, social and environmental conversion factors impact on the extent to which a given individual is able to make use of available resources to create capabilities and functionings.