Higher education’s relationship with society to be deliberated at higher education conference
Some 600 staff from institutions of higher education across Southern Africa will descend on Stellenbosch this week to deliberate on how to promote the quality of higher education practice.
Hosted by Stellenbosch University (SU), the annual conference of the Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of Southern Africa (HELTASA), will take place at various venues across the University’s Stellenbosch campus from 28-30 November 2012.
HELTASA is a professional association for educators and other significant role-players in the tertiary sector drawing membership mainly from staff in higher education institutions. HELTASA seeks to work collaboratively with policy-makers, statutory bodies and other professional associations with an interest in higher education.
The conference, themed ‘Higher education that matters to society that matters to higher education’, will focus on the relationship between higher education and society.
Prof Russel Botman, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University, commented that the conference theme draws higher education and society into a circular relationship, and the message that binds them is that the two need to matter to each other.
“Delegates will interrogate the relationship between them by asking difficult questions such as: How should higher education and society matter to each other? To whom should higher education and society matter? What are you currently doing that makes higher education meaningful to society? Our answers to these questions, and the choices we make as a sector, will shape the future society we are all building for our students and those outside of our universities.”
Main speakers at the conference include Prof Arnold Schoonwinkel, Vice-Rector: Teaching and Learning at SU, who will do a word of welcome at 09:00 on 28 November, to be followed by Dr Tai Peseta, Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Teaching and Learning at the La Trobe University in Australia; Prof Crain Soudien, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, who will speak on Inclusion, Innovation and Excellence: Higher Education in South Africa and Its Role in Social Development at 08:30 on Thursday 29 November 2012 and Prof Ronald Barnett, Emeritus Professor of Higher Education at the Institute of Education in London in the UK who will address delegates on Glimpsing the Ecological Curriculum at 12:00 on Friday 30 November 2012.
Conference keynotes will be streamed live here.
An annual HELTASA highlight is the plenary panel, Telling Teaching Tales in which the five recipients of the national Teaching Excellence Awards share their experiences and highlights of teaching. This will follow directly after the keynote address by Prof Soudien on Thursday 29 November.
Evidence that the scholarship of teaching and learning has come of age in South Africa, is that six new books on teaching and learning in higher education in South Africa are to be launched at the conference.
Some of the more than 300 papers at the conference include: What We Have Learned While Using Peer Instruction, Flashcards and Mobile Clickers to Improve Learning in Three Different Settings?; Effective Teachers and Their Practices: A Student Feedback Perspective; “I don’t like reading”: The Reading Histories, Identities and Practices of First-Year Bachelor of Education Students; Challenges to Women’s Academic Careers; Integrating e-Learning and Blended Learning Approaches in a Learning-By-Doing Course; If Students Could Be Helped to Conquer Their Fear of Numeracy – Imagine the Implications for Subjects Involving Mathematical Computations!; “What did the god Bumba do before he vomited the sun?” – Students with Diverse World Views Contribute to a Critical Pedagogy of Democratic Thinking and Critical Questioning; Social Networks = Social Capital: First-Year Students’ Use of Facebook for Cognitive and Affective Learning; Using Podcasts in Teaching Law; What Employers Want and What Students Need: New Directions for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education; and Science Education for the Future: The 21st Century.
- Liaise with Sonja Strydom at tel 021 808 3083, email@example.com or visit www.heltasa2012.co.za for more information.
MORE INFORMATION ON HELTASA
The Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of Southern Africa (HELTASA) is a professional association for educators and other significant role-players in the tertiary sector. Its membership is drawn mainly from staff in higher education institutions, but it seeks to work collaboratively with policy-makers, statutory bodies and other professional associations with an interest in higher education.
At the institutional level, within and across institutions, HELTASA seeks to promote networking between staff in central units responsible for enhancing educational quality and faculty-based academic staff with a scholarly interest in teaching and learning. It seeks to extend this networking through linking up with or helping to create networks of professionals in specific subject areas.
HELTASA’s main forum is an annual conference, but it also has special interest groups that provide further opportunities for constructive engagement and collaboration.