Authored by: Chris Winberg, Vivienne Bozalek, James Garraway, Cecilia Jacobs and Jeff Jawitz

Prof Chris Winberg was responsible for the overall convenorship of the 2016 Conference and under her stewardship, the conference sub-committees worked together to produce the ICED/HELTASA 2016 conference experience. Amanda Hlengwa, the HELTASA Chairperson, acted as liaison between the conference committee and the ICED Council.  Highlights of the conference are reported on below:


A/Prof Jeff Jawitz carried the Conference Logistics portfolio, which included the conference venues, transport and a range of general planning issues. This portfolio became increasingly complex as the conference date got closer and involved a huge amount of work, often on a daily basis. At the last registration check a total of 634 delegates had registered for the conference from 34 different countries:

Conference theme

While there seemed to be some controversy about the programme theme when it was proposed, the delegates seemed to enjoy it and almost all the papers and presentations ‘spoke’ to the theme, as one of the delegates commented:

The theme of the conference was very relevant and highlighted the global struggle. It certainly has tabled various challenges and debates about current issues.

Pre-conference workshops

Prof James Garraway organized these workshops. There were 14 workshops (considerably more than at other conferences), which meant that they were shorter than normal (1 ½ hours). Around 250 delegates attended the workshops; some were well-attended and others less so.

Keynote speakers

Joan Tronto’s keynote was very appreciated and found to be highly relevant to higher education generally as well as the work of educational developers. Denise Wood’s presentation was found by many to be ‘inspiring’. Michalinos Zembylas was commended for both the deep theoretical insights and practical examples that his talk provided:

He gave us some theoretical and practical ways of thinking about doing educational development in ethical and caring ways, and the references and ideas were very helpful.

Professor Archille Mbembe’s address was particularly appreciated by delegates:

Inspiring and powerful talk on de-colonizing terms and fields of knowledge…

The academic programme: papers, panels, posters, conference proceedings, publications

Professor Vivienne Bozalek was the academic programme chair with the role to ‘ensure that a well-balanced, high-quality program is organized and presented at the conference’ and to manage ‘the call for papers through the selection and review of every paper’.  218 papers were accepted for presentation and 118 posters were accepted. Twenty-six papers were submitted for inclusion in the conference proceedings, representing twelve countries (Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Kenya, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates), many different institutional types (research-intensive, teaching-intensive, vocational, professional, general and specialised universities), and many different disciplines (Design, Economics, Engineering, Medicine and Social Work – amongst others).

Ten panel presentations were accepted (but due to cancellations only 8 were presented). The panels were well attended and received good feedback:

Brilliant – excellent range of work, nice to see increase in theorization/scholarliness.

There are three special issues of South African academic journals dedicated to the ICED/HELTASA 2016 conference, namely:

  • A special edition of the South African Journal of Higher Education (SAJHE) will be dedicated to ‘The ethics of care and academic development’. The proposed publication date is this first edition of 2018.
  • A Special edition of Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning (Cristal), 2017, dedicated to “Ethics, care and quality in teaching and learning”
  • A special Edition of the Journal for Student Affairs in Africa (JSAA), 2017, dedicated to Tutoring and Mentoring – Key Strategies for Tertiary Educational Development in South Africa

Social events

Dr Cecilia Jacobs carried the social portfolio. Social events are important for networking and for colleagues from different universities and different countries to converse in an informal way. The social events included: 1) welcome evening at the Two Oceans Aquarium which included a chamber music group, the Conference Dinner at Moyo’s Restaurant that included a marimba band and a DJ for dancing after dinner, and an optional tour of the Kirstenbosch Gardens (before the conference dinner). There were also two cultural events: 1) a praise poet who opening the conference and 2) a performance by the poet Diane Ferrus. While we did not specifically request an evaluation of the social events, many respondents commented positively as the comment bellow explains:

I think you should have asked feedback on the artistic performances as well. Both were moving but Diana Ferrus took my breath away. Cannot remember being this moved by a performance poet. She connected me with the core of the human condition. People around me were in tears…so was I.