HELTASA is looking for vibrant and committed academics to join its executive team

Three members of the HELTASA executive committee will be stepping down this year after having completed their term of office and having served the organisation with commitment and dedication. Space is now available for 3-4 new members to contribute to enhancing Teaching and Learning within the Southern African region.

What’s your value-add?
How can you add to the growth and development of the existing organisation? Is there a special skill- set or set of perspectives that you have that could benefit the organisation in this phase of its development?

What’s in it for you?
Apart from the benefits of serving the organisation, this is also part of your professional service to the HE sector and as such counts on your CV as professional engagement. Come and join a team that is keen to develop new ways of working by playing to its members’ strengths. Be open to being stretched and developed too as we push the boundaries of what organisational work means and should mean in HE. Build your capacity to lead from anywhere in the organisation as you take up a portfolio and shape it in the interest of the organisation.

What are we looking for?
Someone with a strong professional gaze; disciplinary gaze; understanding of the HE landscape – national, regional and institutional; critical being; dynamic; team player;

What do you need to know?
Picking up the baton from previous executive committee members and presidents of HELTASA, who provided the foundation for HELTASA work to be established and to grow, the current executive team has had significant success with regards to realising the vision and mission of HELTASA in relation to the current national higher education context. The student protests in 2015-17 was a time of great upheaval in HE but also a moment of deep reflection and opportunity – a chance to re-imagine and re-envisage a more robust role for HELTASA in the national transformative space.

How can you contribute?
Based on the role of HELTASA going forward, these are the key foci that you can contribute to:

  • #Walk-the-talk: The executive team needs to walk the talk – involved at all levels and trying to be the change we want to realise for the organisation.
  • #Recruit&retain: We need to focus on membership recruitment and retention by drawing membership into events and activities beyond Conference; new membership model
  • #New voices-new perspectives: We need to continue to include new members– with local, regional and global South interests foregrounded. Members and academics need to feel that HELTASA is a place of belonging
  • #Communic8: A communication and media strategy has been adopted to integrate activities and to keep the membership involved and informed about events and activities of interest to them. We need to continue to establish and strengthen communication via online through Newsletters, and a social media presence website through FB and Twitter – to stay in touch with members
  • #SoTL-in-the-South: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in the South and scholarly work in general needs to be invigorated and promoted through publications and conference. We needed to extend the reach of HELTASA beyond AD to disciplinary academics and professional bodies.
  • #SiGs-for-HELTASA: the sustainability of the organisation has been addressed by reviving and revitalising infrastructure and engagement with the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and Special Projects such as TAU and SAULT
  • #TheVoice: We need to strengthen a national voice, to respond to national HE issues as well as continue to offer value to key stakeholders such as DHET, CHE and other bodies

What have we achieved thus far?

  • HELTASA was successfully awarded a collaborative grant by DHET to support the strengthening of admin and operational infrastructure, Organisational Development, Networking, Development of Exec, Member Support & Development, SIGS, Scholarly Outputs and responsive practice guides
  • The UCDG enabled a focus on a Strategic Project namely the sustainability of the organization. To this end HELTASA recruited the services of Prof Chrissie Boughey to take on this role which includes among other aspects a bi-monthly HE Watch – making sense of the literature, HELTASA imprint, short courses, EU Project, etc
  • HELTASA was awarded a grant to establish a HELTASA PhD Programme with a focus on SoTL

Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

HELTASA enjoys the privilege of having 7 Special interest groups (SIGs) which offer a platform for member involvement, beyond the annual conference. Opportunity exists for networking, collaboration, professional learning as well as scholarship engagement. SIGs host various events beyond the conference and currently some offer the opportunity for becoming involved in funded scholarship outputs. The SIGs occupied an extremely valuable space at the last conference to raise awareness of who they are and what they do. Member voices regarding the current form and activities of the SIGs were raised during the critical dialogue session at the last conference. As a result of the concerns as well as suggestions of members, the SIGs this year will be involved in dialogue around a theory of change with regards to the type and form of SIG that would be timeously and contextually relevant for Higher Education. The SIGs welcomes the enlisting of members throughout the year and welcomes member involvement at all levels of activities. Suggestions are also most welcome and this can be done through the contact list provided.


  • HELTASA strengthened existing ties with DHET through its participation and contribution to the Framework for Strengthening University Teaching Project released in Nov 2018.
  • HELTASA continues to be a member of the ICED council
  • HELTASA continues to be involved in the CHE-HELTASA National Teaching Excellence Awards Project and the Revitalising thereof. HELTASA members and the HE community in general will benefit from the increased visibility and status being created for excellence in teaching.
  • The executive team has strengthened its profile through modes of Scholarly Contributions:

Engaged Conference Presence

HELTASA 2018 conference

Critical Dialogues at Conference
The purpose of the HELTASA-led critical dialogues is to initiate opportunities for members and others in the higher education arena to debate key issues affecting the sector, with a particular focus on contemporary topics. The dialogues are designed to gather differing perspectives on how these critical issues affect teaching and learning practice. The idea is to have regional critical dialogues throughout the year as way of engaging membership at grass roots level.


Conference Presentations

  • Behari-Leak, K., Vorster, J.E., Chitanand, N., Ganas, R., Padayachee, K., Merckel James, V., Masehela, L. (2017). How to be or not to be? A Critical Dialogue on the limitations and opportunities of Academic Development (AD) in the current AD context. HELTASA 2017.
  • Merckel James, V., Behari-Leak, K., Strydom, E., Padayachee, K., Ganas, R., Masehela, L.M., Rink, B. (2018). Who We Are Counts: Inserting our Personal and Professionals Selves in Organisational Spaces. Panel Presentation at ICED 2018, Atlanta.
  • Merckel James, V., Behari-Leak, K., Strydom, E., Padayachee, K., Ganas, R., Masehela, L.M., Rink, B. (2018). Who We Are Counts: Inserting our Personal and Professionals Selves in Organisational Spaces. Extended Presentation at HELTASA 2018, Port Elizabeth.



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