Thursday, 11 October 2018

Conference highlights transformation of higher education

DIGNITARIES: Dr. Chris Nhlapo, CPUT Vice-Chancellor (blue tie), Prof Thobeka Mda, Dean of the Faculty of Education at CPUT (blue coat), leaders of the Southern African Society for Education (SASE) and members of the Local Organising Committee of this year’s SASE Conference. DIGNITARIES: Dr. Chris Nhlapo, CPUT Vice-Chancellor (blue tie), Prof Thobeka Mda, Dean of the Faculty of Education at CPUT (blue coat), leaders of the Southern African Society for Education (SASE) and members of the Local Organising Committee of this year’s SASE Conference.

CPUT recently hosted the three-day International Conference of the Southern African Society for Education (SASE) which provided a forum for debating multi-disciplinary educational issues which impact higher education.

Keynote speaker on the first day, Deputy Dean of Research at the University of the Western Cape Prof Beverley Thaver, said education does not only happen in the classroom but in multi-dimensional spaces and the marginalisation of communities outside the western world justifies the calls for decolonised education.

Dean of the Faculty of Education at CPUT Prof Thobeka Mda complemented SASE on its longevity and said the Society’s strength has ensured it was not collapsed or swallowed by other professional bodies. Mda added that the conference’s theme, Creating sustainable teaching and learning spaces, Shaping futures, Envisioning unity in diversity and transformation, talks to her research work, especially around the physical learning space.

SASE President Dr Elphinah Cishe paid tribute to Fort Hare, Zululand and Limpopo universities whose education faculties established the Society in 1971 to discuss issues affecting their academic work and environment.

She explained the conference was a capacity-building forum where emerging researchers presented their work without being ridiculed by experienced researchers.

Cishe pointed out that all South African universities were battling with transformation resource constraints owing to the increased enrollment figures witnessed in the advent of #feesmustfall.

CPUT Vice-Chancellor Dr Chris Nhlapo said education and technology should be used to unite and solve the problems of the continent. After discussing the status of research at universities Nhlapo outlined CPUT’s collaborations with other regional institutions such as the Cape Higher Education Consortium (with Stellenbosch, UWC and UCT) and the U6+ (with various African universities).

The Conference included sub-themes related to the ideals of a new inclusive identity and vision for the future of South African Higher Education that reflects a more representative profile of cultures, heritage and epistemologies reflecting the diversity of a postcolonial society.

Written by Kwanele Butana

Email: butanak@cput.ac.za

Provides coverage for the Business and Management Sciences and Education Faculties, Student Affairs Department and Cape Town and Mowbray Campuses.