Writing Centres2017-05-19T13:39:46+00:00

Organising committee

Jacques du Toit Convenor/Chairperson


021 936 4180 (office)

060 36 36 898 (mobile)

Laura Dison Co-Convenor/Co-Chairperson


083 973 1503 (mobile)

083 973 1503 (mobile)

Sherran Clarence Emeritus Convenor



Global challenges facing higher education are well-known; providing academic and cognitive skills-based support to university students to meet the demands of 21st century can be quite daunting, especially against a Higher Education (HE) infrastructure that constantly requires change. This is particularly evident in cases where the emphases on learner support structures require constant adjustment to address the challenges and recommendations made by new HEQSF and national imperatives.

Writing Centers in South Africa represent institutional responses to address the learning needs of students enrolled at South African institutions by providing academic and cognitive support driven through connection and dialogue. Driven by ethos of student-centeredness and a pedagogy of collaborative learning to allow more equitable and flexible approaches to student learning, Writing Centres equally afford concentrated focus on developing students’ reading and writing abilities, to cultivate cultures of scholarship, community and transformation.

Each year, the HELTASA Writing Centres SIG brings together academic development practitioners, Writing Centre Coordinators, Directors and professional staff dealing with student reading and writing to support, and develop a community of scholars and practitioners concerned with academic reading and writing at university.

All stakeholders interested in working with student writers, or who wish to explore reading, writing and critical literacies in Higher Education should attend.


The objectives for 2015 are to:

  • share practice-based experiences through scholarship, dialogue and professional practice
  • maintain and strengthen good practices, as derived from engagement with stakeholders
  • cultivate and nurture an inter-institutional nexus of multi-membership across Writing Centres in Higher Education institutions in Southern Africa
  • organise events, such as seminars and workshops, to nurture connection and engagement and support the achievement of Writing Centres practitioners in general


December 2015 -March 2015 Discussion document circulated as per HELTASA 2014: Writing Centres SIG Agenda item. Find attached.

March 2015: PanSALB Language Policy Seminar (Presentation: UNESCO 2015 International Mother Tongue Day 2015; UNESCO Theme: Inclusion in and through education: Education Counts). Guest Presenter: Jacques du Toit

April 2015: Invitations already forwarded to new publication: ‘Writing Centres in Higher Education: Working In and Across the Disciplines’ A call for chapter proposals for the new edited collection on writing centres, edited by Sherran Clarence and Laura Dison. Abstracts are due in on the 10th of April. Contact persons: Co-Convenor: (laura.dison@wits.ac.za) and Emeritus Convenor (sherranclarence@gmail.com).

April 2015: Writing Centres in an Open-and-Distance Learning Environment (Video Conference to national ODL sites). Guest Presenter: Jacques du Toit (Convenor)

July 2015: Consultants Day (Stellenbosch University). Organizers:  Sharifa Daniels & Rose Richards

September 2015*: HELTASA Writing Centres Indaba (still to be confirmed)