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Conference to explore transformation, decolonisation in higher education

South African universities, as with their global counterparts, are under pressure to increase enrolments to accommodate burgeoning social demand for higher education opportunities. As a result, student populations are increasingly drawn from historically disadvantaged communities and, in many cases, the students are inadequately prepared to meet the demands of tertiary education.

In the midst of the national university crises, two groups have controlled the dialogue: university management on one hand and students on the other, resulting in an excluded academic voice. What is this academic voice and how can we promote it, instead of shunning it?

Leading the charge, the Vaal University of Technology (VUT), based in Vanderbijlpark, has committed itself to exploring this excluded voice with the hope of understanding and assessing to solve future problems. The Centre for Academic Development (CAD), based within VUT, will be hosting its annual Academic Staff Development Conference, themed: "The Academic of 2017: Future Realities".

The conference aims to explore curriculum transformation and decolonisation, the modern academic in higher education, student challenges, African languages development and the use of technology in the classroom. To help facilitate the dialogue, a wealth of internationally renowned experts will be presenting discussions, including:

Prof Jonathan Jansen, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State, Prof Candace Thille of Stanford University, and Prof Narend Baijnath, CEO of the Council for Higher Education (CHE).

Prof Dick Ng'gambi, founder and project director of the Educational Technology Inquiry Lab (ETILAB) at the University of Cape Town, will be hosting a two-hour workshop on the latest in the e-learning field.

Abstracts that followed a critical narrative approach were sought after and 30 papers pertaining to the theme will be presented from authors from 10 different South African universities. Furthermore, exhibitors from a range of educational technology institutes will be on display.

The conference will be held at Emerald Resort and Casino - Emerald Hotel in Vanderbijlpark from 14 - 16 November. Attendance is free and NGOs, government and business are welcomed. Online registration can be done @

Anton Pillay(078)118 [email protected]