The very successful and engaging 2016 Conference in November was a combined effort, jointly convened by the International Consortium for Educational Development (ICED) and HELTASA. ICED is a network whose members are themselves national organisations or networks concerned with promoting good practice in higher education. The ICED Council is formed by Presidents, or their representatives, of a country’s academic staff development network(s). The 2016 Conference was hosted regionally by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Stellenbosch University, the University of Cape Town and the University of the Western Cape; a model which has worked extremely well as a collaborative venture and one we would like to promote where possible regarding future HELTASA conferences.
The conference took place in the Mother City from 22 -25 November at Park Inn by Radisson Newlands & Southern Sun Newlands, with plenary sessions taking place at the Baxter Theatre in Rondebosch. The thematic focus of the conference was Ethics, Care and Quality in Educational Development which lent itself to a variety of sub-themes which certainly succeeded in both presenters and organisers achieving the aims of the conference, namely, to “re-focus the practice of educational development, to encourage critical thinking on the roles and responsibilities of educational developers, and to offer opportunities for researchers and theorists to explore the complex relationships between ethics, care and quality enhancement” that have always been at the centre of AD/ED work.
The international delegates benefitted from the rich diversity of presentations from South Africa (see ICED President Helen Guerin’s report) while HELTASA delegates were able to explore and compare a range of educational development issues being experienced at international level with our national context. ICED/HELTASA 2016 was attended by 600 delegates with a 20:40 split between international and national representation (see Conference Organiser Chris Winberg’s report).
The South African team of conference organisers must be commended on and congratulated for an outstanding conference experience. Apart from the logistics of venues, accommodation, social events, transport and catering, the scholarly activities and engagements, including key note addresses were very stimulating and provocative, nudging us to reflect on our academic development work in relation to current contexts in higher education.
We look forward to an equally engaging HELTASA conference in 2017 which is being hosted by the Durban University of Technology in Durban. The DUT conference team is led by Nalini Chitanand and we wish them all the best in their preparations for our next HELTASA gathering.
Have a good break everyone! 2017 promises to be a year of important change!
Dr Kasturi Behari-Leak (PhD)
Incoming HELTASA chairperson
Obo HELTASA executive committee