The 4th annual SAULT forum was hosted by the Centre for Academic Development (CAD) at the University of Botswana and was well attended by 30 participants from Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe
The two-day forum meeting began with a number of presentations aimed at introducing participants to CAD. The first presentation by Prof Thapisa on the CAD strategy provided a useful context for the presentations that followed. Short presentations by the deputy directors of the various centres at University of Botswana provided an overview of the work that they engage in. This sharing of practice is an important part of the SAULT forum as it allows participants to identify concerns that institutions are grappling with and to explore similarities and differences with a view to facilitate sharing and collaboration. One issue that many institutions are grappling with, is that of the role of indigenous knowledge and the presentation on ethno-mathematics by Mr Pitso provided some useful insights and raised some important issues on this topic.
David Baume (the SAULT Forum link with the International Consortium for Education Development, ICED) facilitated a session on curriculum, pedagogy and learning. This practical session was useful in engaging participants and helping them develop curricula that explicitly address student learning – an area where there is often silence despite its importance. This was followed by a session facilitated by Francisco Januario from Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique, on assessment. This interactive session was both insightful and useful.
The second day of the forum was focused on the joint research that the SAULT Forum has embarked upon: a three year study on rurality and its influence on higher education. Many exciting ideas about rurality, colonization and indigenous knowledge systems were held in order to prepare for the concept papers the Forum is generating.
The Forum included a business meeting, where the following matter was discussed:
Growing the Forum
The question was whether we increase the size of the forum given the funding constraints. SAULT’s biggest expense is the funding of participants who attend the annual forum meeting.
A decision was reached, to continue to grow membership to include Tanzania and Angola and to reach universities (including private universities) that are not represented. Participants were invited to contact colleagues from other institutions and other countries in Southern Africa to encourage them to join.