The International Consortium for Educational Development (ICED) is a network whose members are themselves national organisations or networks concerned with promoting good practice in higher education. ICED advances education by promoting, sustaining, and increasing individual and collective knowledge and understanding of all aspects of educational development in higher education. The ICED Council is formed by a representative from each member network, often the president of the network. There are no individual members.
HELTASA is a member network of ICED, among 25 other networks, and as such is represented on the ICED Council by the HELTASA chair. Networks can apply to be part of ICED and representation currently is mainly from the US, UK, Australia, and the Scandinavian countries but is expanding now to include Kenya, Thailand, Portugal, Colombia and Chile.
The two-day annual Council meeting is divided into a symposium on the first day and a business meeting on the second day. The symposium focused on Network News and Collaborative Development. The president of ICED, Allan Goody (HERDSA chair) welcomed us and presented a short historical overview of ICED which served as an induction for new members (see http://icedonline.net/about-us/). We were reminded that our membership on the ICED Council contributed to continued dedication to the promotion of educational and academic development in higher education worldwide (see www.icedonline.net).
Each network presented its report, prepared and circulated in advance, which had to include examples of successful practice, innovation, and organisational development. As chair, I presented HELTASA’s upward trajectory in the next few years, focused on stronger infrastructural support and more engagement with members, challenges and scholarship. Emanating from each network report, ‘hot topics’ were identified to illuminate challenges and current issues that networks are facing. These formed the basis for small group discussions across networks and included governance of AD, funding, succession planning, access and support, and contextual issues. Emerging from this discussion, HELTASA was invited to join a South-South collaboration with Kenya, Colombia and Chile, as an informal sub-group of ICED. The formation is based on similar experiences, problems and opportunities in the South and its purpose is to share experiences, promote good practice and envision a better future in the context of university teaching and research in the global South. Topics flagged by this group and relevant to the global South include access to education, financial issues, philosophy and ideology of education, local, regional, and national traditions of teaching and learning in a world characterized by globalization – among others. HELTASA looks forward to the collaborative work that ensues from this partnership.
Day 2, which was the business meeting, dealt with various reports on activities and items that required discussion and resolution by the Council. These included elections to the Board, financial matters, IJAD news and spirit of ICED, among others. The ICED council paid tribute to Brenda Leibowitz, who was memorialised and recognised as a spirited contributor higher education globally. She was posthumously awarded the ICED Spirit Award at the GALA dinner where Dr Mandy Hlengwa (previous HELTASA chair) paid tribute and received the award.
HELTASA’s involvement with ICED is important and provides a critical opportunity not only to learn but to share with others, issues and perspectives that our country, universities and networks in the global South are engaging with, in the context of national and global HE challenges and opportunities.