The symposium programme on student and staff experiences during the CoVID-19 pandemic is packed

Published On: 27 June 2022|

Today’s higher education symposium set to unpack policy implications of student and staff experiences during the Co-VID-19 pandemic for Funding, funding, and quality assurance, is a loaded programme featuring no fewer than 11 speakers.

The Chief Executive Officer of Universities South Africa (USAf), Professor Ahmed Bawa, will set the stage for deliberations before the audience is taken through the findings, in detail, of the two research projects up for discussion. The two studies were Students’ Access to and Use of Learning Materials (SAULM) survey that was carried out in 2020, and Staff Experiences of, and Perspectives on Teaching and Learning and its Future(SEP-TLF) study, completed in the second half of 2021.  Two senior researchers from the University of the Free State’s Centre for Teaching and Learning, who led the administration of these two studies, will present the findings.

Policy implications of these studies will be dealt with in three dedicated sessions, namely Implications for Planning, Implications for Funding, and Implications for Quality, all led by panels of experts drawn from the university sector.  A team of four panelists will explore how students and staff experiences during the pandemic influence higher education planning for the future. Included in the line-up are Professory Cheryl Foxcroft, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Learning and Teaching at Nelson Mandela University, Ms Liana Griesel, Executive Director: Strategy, Planning and Quality Assurance at the University of South Africa; Dr. Kirti Menon, Senior Director: Academic Planning, Quality Promotion and Professional Academic Staff Development at the University of Johannesburg; and Professor Nomathemba Taukobong, Director: Institutional Planning at the Sefako Makgatho University of Health Sciences.

The second panel, that will dissect implications for funding, includes Mr Manie Regal, Chief Finance Officer at the University of the Western Cape, Dr Linda Meyer: Director: Operations and Sector Support at the USAf Office, and Dr Gary Paul, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Resources and Operations at the Central University of Technology.

Thirdly, policy implications on the quality of teaching and learning will be led by a two-member team comprising Dr Vanessa Brown, Director: Academic Planning Unit at the University of the Western Cape and Professor Nokuthula Hlabangane, Associate Professor: Quality Assurance in the College of Human Sciences, of the University of South Africa.

As the symposium draws to a close, Dr Britta Zawada, Director: Institutional Audits at the Council on Higher Education (CHE), will co-lead reflections on the day’s deliberations with Professor Ahmed Bawa before the meeting adjourns.

This symposium, to be held in a hybrid format, will be physically hosted from the National Research Foundation’s Chief Albert Luthuli Auditorium in Pretoria, from 10:00 to 13:00. Virtual attendees will link to the event via zoom. The meeting is expected to gather deputy vice-chancellors overseeing teaching and learning at their institutions, senior other academics as well as policy makers from the Department of Higher Education and Training and the CHE. The event, organised under the auspices of USAf’s Teaching and Learning Strategy Group, is being co-hosted by USAf, the CHE and the University of the Free State.

Delegates wishing to join the symposium online are invited to Please register for the event using this link.

Inquiries re: attendance and registration: Ms Ntswalo Ngobeni (012 030 0651 / ntswalo@usaf.ac.za