Closing date now: 31 March 2017

Special Edition: Tutoring and Mentoring – Key Strategies for Tertiary Educational Development in South Africa

The JSAA Journal has received accreditation!

Editor in Chief, Prof Teboho Moja

Guest Editor: Dr Nelia Frade (

Editorial Committee: Dr Thierry Luescher, Prof Martin Mandew, Dr Birgit Schreiber,

Ms Lucy Alexander, Prof James Garraway


Overview of the JSAA Special Edition – Tutoring and Mentoring – Key Strategies for Tertiary Educational Development in South Africa (Nov 2017)

Student support through tutoring and mentoring, as understood in the academic mainstream as well as in the Student Affairs domain, are demonstrations of an ethics of care in higher education. Such strategies, integrated or embedded in mainstream teaching and learning practices, have been supported by the Department of Higher Education and Training through Teaching Development Grants to facilitate a more effective transition for students into academe, to achieve better learning, retention as well as increased academic success rates. Through this Special Issue, we hope to promote a broader exploration and interrogation of these strategies within Teaching and Learning at universities, thereby contributing to strengthened scholarship and debate, which might lead to further research, insights and questions, and ultimately the strengthening of practice.

Published research on these topics from South Africa and Africa have contributed to engaging scholarly approaches to educational development: however, as an emergent field of research and scholarship, educational support and development, requires evaluative, descriptive and analytic research approaches to share best practices, theorise the field and consider the role of contextual factors unique to the South African context.

The diverse roles played by different forms of educational support, as well as terminology variations contribute to challenges around the coherence of research on tutoring and mentoring in South Africa, and comparative analysis. Frameworks, implementation, theory and practices for tutoring and mentoring strategies also vary across the diverse disciplines in any one institution. Interesting debates are being held across institutions, in faculties, in Student Affairs, and Teaching and Learning Units, regarding discipline specific versus generic approaches; also under debate is who best plays these support roles, as well as issues of embedding or differentiating such support strategies. More theorising is required to understand and conceptualise these issues towards more effective practice.

Papers are invited which move beyond the specifics of programme application and outcome evaluations to exploring factors which could form the basis of student support theory and practice, without losing the specificities of discipline and context, so critical to making sense of an intervention. The issues of social justice and transformation underpinning such interventions are also pertinent, as are specific manifestations of these values.

We invite papers that engage critically with questions such as these or introduce additional questions for the 5th volume (November 2017) of the Journal for Student Affairs in Africa. Papers can be conceptual or empirical but must address the concerns of the Special Issue clearly.

Papers on the following topics are invited:

Tutoring and mentoring as strategies for transforming higher education

  • key educational development and transformation strategies for equity in higher education
  • the policy and funding landscape in HE influencing tutoring and mentoring
  • is responsibility for student educational support optimally distributed?
  • institutional-systemic versus programme support strategies
  • tensions around remediation and development
  • social justice and the ethics of care in higher education support strategies
  • educational development strategies for retention and integration of students
  • alignment of academic and personal social engagement
  • attaining graduate attributes within and outside the classroom through tutoring and mentoring
  • the role of formal and informal student groups in supporting each other towards social justice and equity goals.

Tutoring and mentoring theory and development in Higher Education in SA

  • theoretical underpinnings in tutoring and mentoring for South African Higher Education
  • the implications of context for tutoring and mentoring
  • articulation of support and development with mainstream curriculum
  • generic versus disciplinary tutoring models
  • capacity development and professionalization of staff with reference to a wider conceptualisation of support and development
  • training and development, and valued attributes of mentors and tutors.

Successful models of tutoring and mentoring

  • systemic reviews and meta-analysis of theory and practice of tutoring and mentoring in South Africa
  • evidence of strategies which bring success in tutoring and mentoring in higher education
  • educational support via supplemental media, multimedia/curriculum pathways/frameworks.

The Journal of Student Affairs in Africa plans to publish a Special Edition which creates a platform for debate and engagement on the tutorial and mentoring support provided to higher education students in South Africa, within and linked to the academic and disciplinary domain.

The JSAA is an independent, peer-reviewed, multi-disciplinary, open-access academic journal that publishes scholarly research and reflective discussions about the theory and practice of student affairs in Africa. Authors publish free of charge; there are no processing or page fees.

Two article types are invited:

Research-based (academic) articles and reflective practitioner (professional) articles.

Research-based Articles

Contributors are encouraged to submit original research-based manuscripts of approx. 5000 words, including all references, notes, tables and figures. Manuscripts should be accompanied by an abstract of approximately 150-300 words. Research-based articles should include consideration of recent literature and theory, their contribution to it, and they must comply with standard academic conventions and scholarly practices.

Reflective articles

Reflective practitioner accounts of professional campus practice are also invited for peer review. They are screened and reviewed according to the same criteria as research articles, albeit with a different emphasis. Unlike a research article, they do not need to include extensive consideration of recent literature and theory, but they must nonetheless comply with standard academic conventions and scholarly practices. Reflective practitioner articles must be original, must make a significant empirical contribution and significantly enhance our understanding of tutoring and mentoring practices within their respective scope and focus. Typical length: 2,500 – 5,000 words.

Submission process and important dates

Please send your paper to the Guest Editor: Dr Nelia Frade, Senior Coordinator: Tutor Development, University of Johannesburg, at

Manuscripts due Mon 13 February 2017 Mon 27 March 2017
Review process 1 March-7 May 2017 (including return to author/s for amendments or adjustments)
Final re-submission date for accepted and reworked articles 17 July 2017
Envisaged publication date 1 November 2017

Submission procedure:

Because this is a Special Edition, please send this to the Guest Editor, Dr Nelia Frade at Please do not submit it online. Queries may be directed to the same email address.

JSAA: Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission’s compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  2. The submission file is in MS Word, OpenOffice, or RTF document file format.

The text is double-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.

  1. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.

The Journal uses the APA author-date referencing system (for details see our referencing guide).

  1. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, i.e. as a research article or reflective practitioner account, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.
  2. If submitting a proposal for the Interview/Dialogue section, a Call or Notice, or a Comment/Critique, please email directly to the Journal Manager.
  3. The final text of the article has been professionally edited and proofread prior to submission.
  4. The front page of the manuscripts indicates the Section under which the article is proposed to be published i.e. Research Article (peer reviewed); Reflective Practice (peer reviewed); or Book Reviews.
  5. Permission to reproduce any copyrighted material has been obtained and can be produced upon request by the Editorial Team.
  6. The submission must be accompanied by a scanned signed statement that: The following article (Full title) is confirmed as the author’s own work. Signed (Author/s’ name/s).

This Special Edition is related to the joint conference of the International Consortium of Educational Development (ICED) and the Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of Southern Africa (HELTASA). We particularly welcome papers presented at the conference. It is published with the support of funding from the Department of Higher Education National Collaborative Teaching Development Grant: The improvement of teaching and learning in South African universities through researching and evaluating TDG projects in the First Year Experience (FYE) initiatives, Tutorials, Mentoring and Writing Retreats.

Download the Call for Papers