Stellenbosch University's (SU) Prof Maureen Robinson has been elected president of the South African Education Research Association (SAERA).
Robinson is one of the founding members of SAERA, which was launched in 2013. The organisation's main aim is to professionalise, cohere and improve educational research and academic work in South Africa.
Robinson, who was elected at the recent Annual General Meeting, says she is honoured but also aware of the great responsibility that comes with the position.
Currently, the Acting Vice Dean of Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Education and professor in the Department of Curriculum Studies, Robinson has held various key positions in the education sector. She has served as Dean of the Faculty of Education at two universities – the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (2002–2012) and Stellenbosch University (2012–2017). She has served on the executive of various national and international policy structures, including the Education Deans' Forum.
A National Research Foundation (NRF) rated researcher, Robinson's work as a researcher and lecturer supports her passion for innovation in the education sector. “I enjoy new projects, to think about educational innovations and to develop learning material, but also to work with students and engage with young scholars. Most of all, I enjoy participating in initiatives that can improve the quality of education in our country," she says.
Robinson is conscious of the challenges that students, academics and others involved in the education sector face.
According to her, SAERA has a crucial role in linking research, policy, theory and practice, encouraging the promotion of quality research, and helping develop the next generation of researchers.
In line with the strategy of SAERA, Robinson commits herself to help promote interaction and collaboration between national and provincial education departments and research organisations such as policy units and the NRF. Besides these responsibilities, she also hopes to strengthen existing networks between international educational research organisations and other relevant organisations in Southern Africa and the African content.