HELTASA 2020: our first virtual conference!

We hope you enjoyed the virtual conference experience as much as we did. Technical hiccups aside, it was great to connect and experience knowledge sharing from a digital first perspective. The Central University of Technology team, under the expert guidance of Dr Ntsoaki Malebo, did a fantastic job of hosting, and brought to life a dynamic programme of rich dialogue and debate.

Keynote speakers were invigorating, thought-provoking and inspiring – to instill in us a sense of urgency about our involvement as academics confronted by a pandemic and the swift shift to remote teaching and learning. Paper presentations, posters, critical dialogues and workshops all offered different opportunities to raise awareness on important issues pertaining to the theme “create enabling learning spaces for all”.

Keynote speakers

Our keynote addresses were thoughtful, inspiring and engaging. Watch the recordings of each of our keynote speakers below.

“Spot on Prof! We need to stop blaming basic education for the poor quality of students we receive at university. It is now our responsibility in HE to make the best of the students we have in front of us” – #HELTASA2020 delegate, Atrimecia Hass (UFS).

“An inspiring and a very practical account of how to move towards an institutional culture of care and concern from Prof Yunus Ballim – another keynote call for courageous behavior to advance humanity for all by all”
– HELTASA CLC Convenor, Reita Ganas

“Prof Ballim, you are definitely setting the key notes for all in HE to take teaching and learning seriously. Who teaches matters, who we teach matters, and what we teach too. We have to teach as if it all matters – and for all.” – HELTASA President and Chair, Kasturi Behari-Leak (UCT)

“Wow, this is so powerful!!! Hitting on the real issues for transformation and decoloniality in higher education” – Dr Trunette Joseph (CPUT)

“The keynote address by Prof @ERamugondo at the @HeltasaConf this morning is absolutely on fire, very thought provoking” – HELTASA2020 delegate, Ole Tladi (NWU)

“Such a powerful and informative session by #ERamugondo speaking into ” who’s lives matter in the academy” #HELTASA2020 This conversation was very necessary indeed” – Twitter user, @teddmystro.

“Thank you Prof for challenging us to confront the realities of our everyday experiences which we often chose to ignore because naming and confronting the reality is scary” – #HELTASA2020 delegate, Rejoice Nsibande (Wits University).

“Wow! What powerful inspiration on 4IR. Thanks Prof Marwala” – HELTASA Treasurer, Rosaline Sebolao (CUT)

“Keynote speaker, Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, shaking our foundations with the implications of 4IR and AI for higher education” – Anthea Adams (Rhodes University)

“Investing in human capacity development is very important and essential for 41R” – #HELTASA2020, Adeola Akinyemi (UFH)


HELTASA 2020 was blessed with a programme chock full of captivating speakers. Read through some of their presentations below.

4IR integration in teacher training_presentation
HELTASA 2020 12 Ballim
HELTASA 2020 Makura AH
HELTASA Presentation Moving to Remote Learning v1
HELTASA Waiting to exhale_final
HELTASA_2020_Peer review_SDT abstract
N Velelo & C Sokhela Powerpoint Presentation for 2020 HELTASA Conference
Ongoing efforts to decolonize academic curricula_V3

Collaborative Learning Communities

“Exhausting, sobering, diffractive, reflective, stressful, development, marginalising, growth, transformative” – these are some of the words that delegates used to describe the year that was during the HELTASA 2020 Virtual Conference session facilitated by our Collaborative Learning Community (CLC). During the session, our Professional Development and First Year Experience CLC Convenors invited delegates to share the many gains and losses for higher education at the personal, institutional and national levels brought about by Covid-19. They compiled their responses in the following document.

HELTASA’s Collaborative Learning Community (CLC) Convenors hosted a dialogue session in which they, along with #HELTASA2020 delegates, reflected on how Covid-19 has impacted higher education in 2020 on a macro, meso and micro level. They invited delegates to share their personal experiences and unpacked lessons learnt for the future. The purpose of the session was to brainstorm realistic ideas and set tangible goals for bringing about meaningful change in higher education for the year to come.