By Zenoyise John and Menziwa Msibi
The North-West University's (NWU's) Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL), in collaboration with the Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of Southern Africa (HELTASA), will be hosting the HELTASA (Un)Conference from 24 to 26 October 2023 on the Vanderbijlpark Campus.
This year’s conference theme is “Celebrating Scholarship: Connecting the Lights”, and participants from South African higher education institutions are welcome to be part of the event.
The event provides a valuable opportunity to connect with colleagues from across Southern Africa and share, discuss and debate on how teaching and learning in higher education can be improved and enhanced. The conference is supported by HELTASA’s strategic partners, including the Department of Higher Education and Training, Universities South Africa and the Council on Higher Education.
“We encourage participants to connect and to put the spotlight on teaching and learning – institutionally, nationally and globally. It promises a space for reconnection, rekindling and networking, bringing together old and new HELTASA members,” says Dr Manuela Fernandes-Martins, one of the NWU's conference coordination team members.
Reeta Ganas, president and chairperson of HELTASA, emphasises the importance of dialogue, conversations, building relationships, and social interactions among higher education practitioners, including students and strategic partners. She says these aspects hold transformative value that should not be underestimated.
"Higher education teaching and learning is in a process of change after the Covid-19 pandemic. This period of change is often characterised by vulnerability, doubt and tension on the one side, and excitement, appreciation and reflection on the other side. This is an opportunity to problematise and theorise around changing higher education practices within the African context that is more reflective of learning and teaching knowledge aligned to our lived realities within the global South,” she says.
She adds that through the efforts of the NWU, HELTASA is excited to be afforded the opportunity to come together as a hybrid community and to further explore the area of higher education scholarship in varied ways.
Registration is now open and interested participants are encouraged to register before 12 October.
For more information on HELTASA membership, please contact Nomfundo Siqwede at email@example.com.