The ICED-HELTASA 2016 Conference, Ethics, Care and Quality in Educational Development, Cape Town, South Africa, was hosted by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Stellenbosch University, the University of Cape Town and the University of the Western Cape. May I express my sincere gratitude on behalf of ICED to you all for the tremendous work done by you and your various teams to ensure this conference was a resounding success.
In particular I wish to extend ICED’s thanks to the conference organizing committee, Prof. Chris Winberg, Conference Convenor, Prof. Vivienne Bozalek, academic programme coordinator, Ass. Prof. James Garraway, workshops coordinator, Ass. Prof. Jeff Jawitz, logistics coordinator, Dr. Cecilia Jacobs, social programme coordinator, and last, but by no means least, Dr. Amanda Hlengwa, ICED Vice President (2014-2016) and HELTASA/ICED executive liaison.
The international audience of more than 600 delegates was enthralled by the thrilling performance of the renowned praise poet who opened the conference and we welcomed the good wishes bestowed upon the conference by him. We were challenge by the four keynote speakers to think outside the box and challenge dogma at every level, including decolonizing knowledge, so as to ensure we were doing the best job possible in educating our students and preparing them for the demanding global digital world that they face.
The keynotes included presentations from Prof. Joan Tronto, Professor of political theory at the University of Minnesota; Prof. Denise Wood, Director of the Centre for Regional Advancement of Learning, Equity, Access and Participation at Central Queensland University; Prof. Achille Mbembe, Professor in History and Politics at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of the Witwatersrand; and Ass. Prof. Michalinos Zembylas, Educational Theory and Curriculum Studies at the Open University of Cyprus. We experienced a diverse and informed international array of over 200 research and practioner papers, as well as 27 conference workshops lead by international experts, a new records for an ICED conference, and 100 poster presentations.
We also were invited to participate in various panel discussions ranging from ‘Theorizing learning to teach in Higher Eduction’ to ‘Developing the agency of Academic Development.’ In particular I would like to highlight the important issues raised at the panel discussion on the South African Universities Learning and Teaching (SAULT) Forum and to thank in particular Prof. Brenda Leibowitz, University of Johannesburg, and her colleagues for the sterling work being carried out by this hard working team to develop research-led best teaching practice in the region. I would also like to thank Prof. David Gosling, for his Trojan commitment to the SAULT Forum from its initial inception until his recent retirement, as well as to gratefully acknowledge the work done by Prof. David Baume since he took up the role of ICED-SAULT liaison this year.
It was an exhilarating and insightful jointly hosted conference from which I learnt a lot and gained valuable insights. The visit to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, was simply amazing, as was the knowledge of our garden expert guide. I wish to congratulate all involved in the organization of this conference for doing an outstanding job in challenging circumstances.
Thank you again to Dr Amanda Hlengwa, ICED Vice President (2014-2016) and out going HELTASA President and welcome to Dr Kasturi Behari-Leak, incoming HELTSA President and ICED representative (2016-2018).
I leave you with some inspiring words from a true educationalist, who was mentioned by many throughout the conference, Paulo Freire.
“For apart from inquiry, apart from the praxis, individuals cannot be truly human. Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.” Paulo Freire (1993), Pedagogy of the Oppressed, New York.
Kind regards, take care of yourself and each other, On behalf of ICED, Helen. Sláinte Mhaith! (Good health in Irish). Helen Guerin, President, International Consortium for Educational Development.