Stellenbosch University
Welcome to Stellenbosch University
Race and Transformation in Higher Education Conference
Start: 15/11/2022, 09:00
End: 17/11/2022, 17:00
Contact:Candice Andries -
Location: STIAS, 10 Marais Road, Stellenbosch

​​​​Theme of the conference: Race and Transformation in Higher Education

Hosted by Stellenbosch University

Co-hosted by Bath University and Nelson Mandela University

15 to 17 November 2022

Venue: STIAS, 10 Marais Road, Stellenbosch. 

This conference focuses on the vexed question of race and transformation in South African higher education. The context for this conference is Stellenbosch University's (SU) complex and variegated experiences of grappling with the imperative to transform the university in conformity with human rights, equity, and redress. This focus will be considered in light of higher education transformation in regional, national, and global contexts.

The conference will discuss how race intersects with notions of class, gender, sexuality, language, and other markers of difference to provide the basis for universities' institutional culture and operations. Understanding the institutional dynamics impeding universities from establishing a transformed institutional culture will be central to the conversation. The conference will also deliberate on generating concepts, norms, ideas, and practices to galvanise and deepen transformational outcomes.

The conference will consist of keynote plenary sessions in the mornings that cover various dimensions of the themes, including the role of race in higher education transformation, race research in university functioning, and race in institutional change.

The afternoon session will consist of several parallel sessions staged in various sites in the broader Stellenbosch, in partnership with local communities as well as on-campus engagements. These sessions will concentrate on the university's knowledge, teaching and learning, social impact, and engagement relationship with the various communities and community-based partners. They will focus on developmental dimensions such as sustainability, educational development, restitution, sport and recreation, slavery and indigeneity, university residences, and redress at and around the SU Library. The overall purpose of these sessions is to generate robust discussion about racialised exclusion and lack of development in communities. The engagements will offer perspectives on how to use the knowledge and infrastructure of the university in processes of restitutive development in local communities.

Keynote – Tuesday 15 November 2022: Race and Higher Education Transformation (​​Prof Rajani Naidoo, International Centre for Higher Education Management and Vice-President [Community & Inclusion], Vice Chancellor's Office, University of Bath, United Kingdom​)

This plenary session focuses on how race and racism have been informing the functioning of universities, impacting, constraining, and providing the terrain for university transformation. Situated with the overall regulative context of governmental and quasi-governmental higher education policy discourses over the last 28 years, this session focuses on the impact of race on the policies, discourses, approaches, governance, and practices of transformation at universities. It would particularly discuss how race and racism have been addressed by universities as one of the cornerstones of the transformational quest at universities, within the regional, national and international context. 


Keynote – Wednesday 16 November 2022: Race Research in Higher Education (Prof Jonathan Jansen, Distinguished Professor, Faculty of Education, Stellenbosch University​​)

This plenary session focuses on how the study of race has been pursued in higher education and how this has impacted current scholarship and teaching and learning practices and the broader transformational quest.


Keynote – Thursday 17 November 2022: Race and Institutional Transformation in Higher Education (Prof Melissa Steyn, Wits Centre for Diversity Studies, University of the Witwatersrand​)

This plenary session focuses on the internal institutional culture dynamics of race and its constraining or enabling impact on transformation at the university, specifically at the level of, for example, faculties, residences, teaching, learning and research, and the functioning of the various responsibility centres (such as gender equity, disability, student counselling and educational support). The focus is on the qualitative operational dynamics of race and racism – involving staff, students, institutional actors, heads of department and chairs – in the daily operations of the university in pursuit of its transformational objectives.

Click here to register for this conference and confirm your attendance​

Click here to download the detailed conference programme