The National Higher Education Conference was a resounding success, says Professor Ahmed C Bawa

Published On: 9 September 2019|



Universities South Africa’s first National Higher Education Conference concluded successfully on 4 October, 2019, at the CSIR’s International Convention Centre in Pretoria. The speaker line up delivered thought-provoking perspectives on the topics allocated to them and the delegates were equally engaging – with some sessions sparking off more rigorous debates than others. 


Attended by over 250 delegates representing academics, researchers, postgraduate students, policy makers as well as representatives of business, the conference was also graced by the presence of three international speakers from the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the University of Oslo in Norway and the Nairobi-based United States International University.


Professor Ahmed Bawa, Chief Executive Officer at USAf, has called the event a resounding success. “It proved to be a much-needed engagement platform over the key issues at the centre of reimagining the higher education sector and its relationship with its publics. It was also a solid platform and an excellent benchmark for how to pitch future events of this nature. The conference was worth every bit of investment we put into it.


“I must commend all the speakers for sharing critical thoughts and generating the debates that ensued from the numerous sub-themes. We extend our gratitude to all the delegates for making time to attend and participate in this important event. We trust that you are accessing the Daily Higher Education News for the post-conference write-ups that we have been sharing since early October. We will maintain usage of that platform in updating the sector on USAf’s milestones, as we continue to:


  • advocate for adequate funding for the sector including support for the post-graduate pipeline;
  • optimise our engagement with integrated technologies to enhance teaching and learning, to understand their impact on research and innovation and to grapple with their potential to improve efficiency and effectiveness;
  • support programmes building supervisory capacity of our early career researchers and to understand how to build a sustainable, productive academic sector for the 21st century;
  • gear up towards changing institutional cultures to respond better to address the overall, holistic development of our students;
  • equip our students appropriately for the changing world of work.”


Conference presentations now accessible


The presentations that were made available to us at the conference have all been uploaded onto this page.


These may be accessed by scrolling to the bottom of this page and clicking on “Conference Presentations.” This will take you to the conference programme. The presentations we got are hyperlinked to the names of the presenters.


Inquiries: Michelle Mandalain (012 030 0652)