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Our annual HELTASA (Un)Conference, which will be taking place between 6 and 10 December 2021, will be a participant-driven and participant-focused event centred on how we can and should be resilient, responsive and relevant in a shifting Higher Education context.

Where do we come from? Where are we? Where are we going?

These are the questions that will be at the centre of the seminars and discussions we hold about the potential for transformative pedagogies at the virtual conference this year. This theme provides passage for further thought on the conference subtheme: Shape-shifting (past experiences, current realities and future possibilities). Blended into stimulating conversations and maintaining the academic rigour that the HELTASA conference is known for, the HELTASA 2021 (Un)Conference echoes the recognised need for transformation in the higher education sector and will ensure that both academics and students are wholly equipped.

HELTASA aims to foster a participant-driven space, with conversations that will demonstrate critical reflection, participation, theoretical understandings and new insights about novel conceptual frameworks. In further exploring the “Sivela phi? Siphi? Siya phi?” themes – within the key context of a rapidly shifting global technological, economic and educational context – HELTASA seeks to identify innovative approaches to the new sphere of online learning. With the worldwide disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting shift to online and remote learning, these themes serve to address, with increasing urgency, the development of curricula that adequately respond to accessibility and quality of learning.

In a democratic South Africa the redress of past injustice, inclusion and representation of academic voices across the spectrum of academia is of critical importance, particularly in the reimagining of the traditional conference. The (Un)Conference is appropriate in a reshaped higher education atmosphere. In a tertiary sector that is being challenged at its roots, it is fitting that the form of the HELTASA conference itself serves to challenge current approaches to knowledge sharing and access to digital learning.

As we collaboratively embark on this journey of being change agents in learning and teaching at institutional, national and global levels, we look forward to engaging with you. The call for submissions is in areas of student learning, professional learning, curriculum development, academic development and decoloniality. The closing date for submissions of proposals is 30 August 2021.

Submissions can be made here. If you would like further information, please contact Nomfundo Siqwede: info@heltasa.org.za.

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