Welcome to Stellenbosch University

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Department of ​Health Professions Education

Scholarship of Educational Leadership at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences ​​ ​​

Position statement 

SoEL-FMHS is a group of faculty staff members interested in exploring leadership in and scholarship of Teaching and Learning (T&L). The initiative is linked to the faculty development activities of the CHPE.  

The goals of SoEL- FMHS are to:

create an awareness and interest in educational leadership

engage academic leaders in scholarly approaches to educational leadership practices

build a critical mass of T&L leaders in the FMHS

become part of a growing community of SU staff who play a leadership role in T&L​​

SoEL-FMHS links to the SU T&L policy, which identifies four aspects of lecturer Professional Learning, for their teaching role which are: 
​Reflective practitioners; Scholarly teachers; Teaching scholars; and Leaderly teaching scholars. 

SoEL-FMHS will mainly focus on the fourth role – developing leaderly teaching scholars. 


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Prof Karin Baatjes

Prof Karin Baatjes is the Vice Dean of Learning and Teaching and an Associate Professor in Surgery at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of Stellenbosch University. She obtained her under- and postgraduate qualifications, including PhD in Surgery in 2018 at Stellenbosch University. In the same year, she completed a Fellowship in Teaching and thereafter a short course in the Scholarship of Educational Leadership in 2019. In this year, she was also awarded the Teaching Excellence award in the Developing Teacher category at Stellenbosch University.She maintains involvement in research projects relating to Breast and Endocrine health out​comes as well as Health Professions Education. Her main educational research focus is linked to the use of wearable point-of-view technology as a tool for teaching in the health professions. She has been awarded institutional and international grants to facilitate research in Teaching and Learning in Health Professions Education (HPE).​

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Prof Renée Blaauw

Prof Renée Blaauw, PhD (Nutritional Sciences) is a Professor in Therapeutic Nutrition at the Division of Human Nutrition, Stellenbosch University, South Africa. She is actively involved in teaching and training in dietetics, with a passion for mentoring. She strives to fulfil her educational philosophy “To stimulate, create interest and empower others to help themselves”. She completed the Scholarship of Educational Leadership (SoEL) short course in 2020. Her main research interests include Nutrition support of critically ill patients; Hospital malnutrition and Nutritional management of gastro-intestinal diseases.

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Dr Marli Conradie-Smit

Marli Conradie-Smit is head of Endocrinology at Tygerberg hospital and head of the division of Endocrinology in the Department of Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University and primarily a practicing clinician. She is a member of the Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism of SA (SEMDSA) and Exco member of the SA Metabolic Medicine and Surgery Society (SAMMSS). She is involved in drafting of guidelines and policies at a national level. She is actively involved in teaching, learning and assessment activities at a local and national level. She is chairperson of the Subcommittee for Undergraduate teaching of the Department of Medicine and plays an active role in teaching and assessments of medical students. She teaches postgraduate students and is an examiner for the Colleges of Medicine both for the Fellowship of Physicians (FCP) as well as Certificate in Endocrinology & Metabolism subspecialist examinations. She is currently enrolled for the MPhil in Health Professions education.​

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Ms Janine Correia​

Janine Correia is an Anatomy Lecturer in the Division of Clinical Anatomy, Stellenbosch University. She holds a Masters in  Medical Sciences with specialisation in Human Anatomy and Cell Morphology from the University of the Free State and a Masters (MPhil) in Health Professions Education, Stellenbosch University. Her previous work experience includes lecturing Anatomy and Physiology to undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of the Free State, Nelson Mandela University and the University of the Western Cape. Ms Correia’s research interests rest within the anatomical sciences, health science education and the historical aspects of anatomy and medicine. She has a longstanding interest in finding innovative ways to teach a challenging subject such as anatomy.

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Prof Ian Couper​

Ian Couper is Director, Ukwanda Centre for Rural Health, and Professor of Rural Health, Department of Global Health, Stellenbosch university (SU) since 2016, following nearly fourteen years at Wits and the North West Provincial Department of Health. He is African section editor of Rural and Remote Health, and an associate editor for BMC Medical Education. He is currently PI for the SU Strengthening Rural Inter-Professional Education (SUNSTRIPE) Project and the SU arm of the Africa ECHO Network for Health Professions Education. He was elected to the Governing Council of the African Forum for Research and Education in Health (AFREhealth) in 2022. He completed the inaugural Teaching Advancement at University (TAU) Fellowship programme in 2016. He has held visiting appointments at Monash and Flinders Universities in Australia and the University of Washington, USA. He is a visiting professor at Wits, and an Honorary Adjunct Professor of Adelaide University, Australia. He is a Member of the Academy of Science of South Africa.

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Prof Dawn Ernstzen​

Dawn Ernstzen is an Associate Professor at the Division of Physiotherapy in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. She is currently the Physiotherapy Postgraduate Program Coordinator, and she previously chaired the Physiotherapy Undergraduate Program committee, Clinical Education portfolio, and Student Support portfolio. Dawn holds a BSc and PhD in Physiotherapy, as well as an MPhil in Higher Education. Dawn worked as a physiotherapist in South Africa and in the United Kingdom. She teaches on undergraduate and postgraduate level. Her teaching and research interests includes health professions education (workplace-based teaching and learning), neuro-musculoskeletal rehabilitation, chronic pain management and patient empowerment. Dawn led the editorial team for an e-book entitled: “Transformation of Learning and Teaching in Rehabilitation Sciences: A case study from Africa”. She has received scholarly recognition for teaching and learning, including the Rectors award for Excellence in Teaching. Dawn remains involved in the delivery of the regional Patient Education and Empowerment Program for people with persistent pain. ​

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Prof. Faadiel Essop

Prof. Faadiel Essop, BSc (Hons) (UCT), PhD (UCT), BA (Hons) (Arabic) (UWC), is a former Fulbright Fellow and currently a full professor in the Division of Medical Physiology (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences) at Stellenbosch University (South Africa). He is also the Director (and co-founder) of the Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research Centre in Africa (CARMA) at Stellenbosch University. His research focus is on HIV-related cardiovascular diseases and also the effects of chronic stress on cardio-metabolic diseases onset. This is a largely understudied research area and very relevant as South Africa is regarded as one of the most stressed nations globally. During 2018 Prof. Essop received a university Teaching Excellence Award (Developing Teacher), and also completed the one-year part-time course Scholarship of Educational Leadership (SOEL) at Stellenbosch University. Prof. Essop received a Stellenbosch University Teaching Excellence Award (Leaderly Teaching Scholar) during 2022 and is also a Teaching Advancement at University (TAU) Fellow where his focus is to develop a philosophical framework for the introduction of broader humanities and arts concepts into the biomedical, science and engineering curricula in order to ensure more holistic graduates​.

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Dr Berna Gerber

Dr Berna Gerber, B.Communication Pathology (UP); MSc (Speech Pathology) (UCT); PhD (Stellenbosch), is a senior lecturer as well as post​graduate programme coordinator in the Division of Speech-, Language-, and Hearing Therapy in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. She was Head from Division from 2011-2016. Her research interests include early intervention, cross-cultural health care, health humanities as well as health professions education. She is a Stellenbosch University Teaching Fellow as well as a TAU (Teaching Advancement at Universities) Fellow. Her fellowship projects focussed on health humanities education as well as educating for cultural competence.​

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Dr Lee-Ann Jacobs-Nzuzi Khuabi

Dr Lee-Ann Jacobs-Nzuzi Khuabi is a senior lecturer in the Division of Occupational Therapy. Her current research foci in the domain of teaching and learning include: developing innovative ways in teaching to improve upon the competencies of graduates to optimise the relevancy and responsiveness of service delivery; curriculum development using a collaborative approach and the exploration of transformative learning as a pedagogy to inform the curriculum activities of undergraduate health science programmes. She has completed the SU SoEL short course and is a registered student in the SU MPhil HPE programme. She also a member of SAAHE WC Chapter and fulfils the role as secretary and events co-co-ordinator. Additional research foci include the use of service user perspectives to improve upon the rehabilitation and participatory outcomes of clients with acquired and progressive neurological conditions. This includes the mapping of access to care and the identification of the enablers and barriers to service provision.​

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Ms Tshepo Makinta

Tshepo Makinta is a lecturer in the Bachelor of Nursing and Midwifery (R.174) programme at the Department of Nursing and Midwifery at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. She holds a Master of Science in Nursing (Wits), a Diploma in Medical and Surgical Nursing Science (Trauma and Emergency Nursing) (Wits), a Diploma in Nursing Education (UJ), and a Bachelor of Nursing (UL, Medunsa Campus). She is currently a PhD candidate with the University of the Witwatersrand, whose research focus is disaster nursing. Tshepo has worked her nursing career in public and private health care, and nursing education institutions, with a keen interest in emergency nursing and quality of care. She is a member of the Alpha Beta Beta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, Honor Society for Nurses (Sigma/STTI).

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Dr Liezl Smit

After obtaining her MBChB degree in 1995 and completing her internship, she worked in the United Kingdom as senior house officer where she obtained the Diploma of Child Health from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, London, in 2000. She returned to South Africa to further her studies in paediatrics and obtained the Masters in Paediatrics at Stellenbosch University (SU) in 2004. As newly qualified paediatrician she then embarked on a MSc in Child Health at Warwick University, Coventry, United Kingdom. Before completion of this degree, she was appointed as Programme manager, and later as Clinical Director, of a new Paediatric HIV capacity building programme at Stellenbosch University (SU), ‘South to South’, in 2006. This programme was funded by USAID and a joint venture between SU and Columbia University in New York, the United States. During this time she obtained the MSc in Child Health (cum laude), and completed a certificate, Advanced Health Management Programme (AHMP), offered by the Foundation for Professional Development & Yale University in 2009 (cum laude). In November 2011 she returned to clinical practice at Tygerberg Hospital, and completed a certificate from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Cambridge, USA, as Improvement Advisor in 2012. As paediatrician and clinical teacher of both under-and postgraduate medical students, a solid theoretical grounding of medical education became important and she obtained the MPhil in Health Science Education at the University of Stellenbosch in 2014 (cum laude). Currently she is a general paediatrician and member of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS), Stellenbosch University. Liezl enrolled as PhD student in Health Professions Education in 2022, with her study titled ‘Medical students’ self-regulation of learning in the clinical setting- an exploration of agency and context’. Liezl loves road trips, especially the planning part, and to specifically not travel on the quickest or well-known routes to her destination. That way she is constantly surprised and inspired by new places and people, and continues to learn. She loves music and have been singing in a choir or small group since school. Hiking in nature and travelling comes with the road trip territory and provides constant joy. She loves to see people and plants grow. She values the journey, and not just the destination. Liezl followed the same approach with her professional and academic career! Exploring different aspects of health care, project management and leadership brought a breadth of experience and knowledge of different organisations, systems and cultures. Her current role as clinical teacher in the hospital and involvement in the planning and implementation of the medical curriculum at SU have opened new professional roads to explore. Her PhD and involvement in other medical education research projects will allow for a growing role in educational leadership, which is her current professional objective.​

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Talita van Schalkwyk

Talita van Schalkwyk, is a Lecturer in the Bachelor of Nursing programme offered by the Department of Nursing and Midwifery. She holds a Master of Nursing (SU), Bachelor of Nursing (SU) and Advance University Diploma in Health Studies: Health Science Education and Health Services Management (UNISA). She worked in Western Cape Department of Health Hospitals and previously worked at a Nursing College. Talita has an interest in person-centredness, leadership, and teaching and learning. Her philosophy in teaching is underpinned by person-centredness and praxis. She aspires to provide a transformative learning experience, with a focus on relational pedagogy and a learning-centred approach. ​

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Mariette Volschenk

Mariette Volschenk (PhD) is a senior lecturer at the Centre of Health Professions Education in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University. She is the programme leader for the Master in Health Professions Education Programme and also manages the learning technologies portfolio. Her key focus areas include postgraduate teaching and supervision (MPhil in HPE), as well as digital pedagogy. Research interests include identity learning, postgraduate supervision, critical digital pedagogy and threshold concepts in undergraduate and postgraduate education.​

Dr Rhoda Meyer

Rhoda Meyer (PhD) is a lecturer at the Centre for Health Professions Education. She manages the Faculty Development portfolio and is a lecturer on the MPhil for Health Professions Education programme. She is an operating room nurse by clinical background and has worked in various clinical environments, both locally and internationally. Her research interest includes learning in the clinical environment, curriculum development with specific reference to the role of the environment in teaching and learning, and faculty development. She is passionate about supporting academics and clinicians in their role as teachers, through Faculty Development. 


Scholarly activities

Recent event - Recording to be posted soon

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Past Events

  • ChatGPT and other generative AI systems
    18 May 2023
  • Flyer

  • Journey between the humanities and health sciences
  • Slide

Scholarly activities​ of SoEL mem​bers

NEW eBook: Transformation of learning and teaching in rehabilitation sciences: A case study from South Africa

The Department of Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, FMHS is excited to announce the publication of its second eBook entitled: Transformation of learning and teaching in rehabilitation sciences: A case study from South Africa. The book was a collaboration between the Divisions of Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech-Language and Hearing Therapy and offers insights regarding contextually and globally relevant curricula.

Read more...​​