We have had the privilege of being addressed by distinguished academics and practitioners in various fields in higher education (HE) at each of our annual conferences. In keeping with our new mandate to be resilient, responsive and relevant, as well as our (un)conferencing model, the HELTASA (Un)Conference 2021 will feature a diverse range of keynote panelists.

We are excited to hear from these individuals who will draw on their experiences as academic development practitioners, HE activists, university leaders, and key role-players in the HE space to offer interesting perspectives and insights on the conference theme. They will present their ideas in provocation panels on each day of the conference, tackling a different subject related to their niche.

Read more about the keynote panels and their participants below.

Keynote address and Vice Chancellors panel

Dr Saleem Badat of the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal will moderate an exciting panel discussion between Vice-Chancellors Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng (University of Cape Town), Dr Sizwe Mabizela (Rhodes University) and Prof Sakhela Buhlungu (University of Fort Hare) on what university leadership entails during the COVID-19 pandemic. Don’t miss their riveting session on day one of the (Un)Conference in which they discuss present and future possibilities.

Higher Education Activist Panel

Dr Molaodi Wa Sekake (social activist), Athenkosi Sopitshi (Head of Equal Education in the Eastern Cape) and Mr Ntando Sindane (lecturer at University of the Free State) make up the activist panel that will discuss HE in the global South on Tuesday, 7 December. This riveting dialogue will be moderated by Dr Sue Pather.

Stakeholder Engagement Panel

On Wednesday, 8 December, Dr Britta Zawada (Council on Higher Education), Dr Thandi Lewin (Department of Higher Education and Training), Prof Diane Grayson (National Coordinating Committee) and Dr Linda Meyer (Universities South Africa) will discuss how we can leverage stakeholder relationships to collectively achieve being responsive, resilient, and relevant in any crisis. Dr Grieg Krull will facilitate this session.

Decolonial Praxis Panel

On day four of the (Un)Conference, Dr Mlamuli Hlatshwayo will facilitate the Decolonial Praxis panel which consists of Ms Simamkele Dlakavu (University of Cape Town), Mr Siseko Kumalo (University of Fort Hare), Mr Xolani Dube (Former SRC/Student Leader) and Ms Camalita Naicker (University of Cape Town). Given that these individuals are in touch with student issues on the ground, we are keen to hear their interesting insights on the practice of creating transformative pedagogies and dynamic learning institutions.

Reflexive Praxis Panel: Shaping the HE Academic Project Through Grounded Praxis

Is the needle shifting on transformation? The final provocation, facilitated by Kasturi Behari-Leak and Rieta Ganas on 10 December, features experts from HE institutions across South Africa: Prof Michael Samuel (University of Kwa-Zulu Natal), Dr Oliver Seale (Higher Education Leadership and Management), Dr Kibbie Naidoo (University of Johannesburg) and Mr Siyabulela Sabata (Cape Peninsula University of Technology) and  who will tackle this question. They will examine the national projects running at present and reflect on the gains made for the HE transformation agenda.