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Highlights of 2017

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference 2017

This year the Division for Learning and Teaching Enhancement hosted the 10th annual Scholarship of Teaching and Learning conference at the Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West. Approximately 250 SU colleagues attended the conference, hosted from 23 to 25 October 2017 at the Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West. All 10 faculties were represented as well as various Centres and Divisions, the Library and special guests.

The conference programme took a particular focus on the history and development of the scholarship of teaching and learning at SU over the past decade, as well as taking a forward look to the next ten years. The opening keynote address by Dr Antoinette van der Merwe, (Senior Director: Division for Learning and Teaching Enhancement) took a broad institutional view of the past 10 years by focusing on structural changes which contributed to an enabling environment for the professionalisation of the teaching and learning role of academics, as well as the growth in innovative practice, scholarly teaching and the scholarship of learning and teaching. The second keynote was delivered by Prof Brenda Leibowitz (University of Johannesburg), who addressed the audience on the topic of “ SOTL in the global South: Implications for university teachers researching their practice". Prof Francois Cilliers from UCT, reflected on the SoTL conference as an initiative that contributes to creating an enabling environment for SoTL, and the FIRLT grant scheme as an initiative creating a community of practice. The keynote presentations were special in the sense that all three keynote speakers were founding members of the annual SOTL conference at SU.

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The individual papers covered an impressive array of topics, such as transforming the curriculum, social justice in teaching and learning, technology in education, assessment and feedback, academic literacies and reflection. For the first time in the history of this conference, 19 posters were presented by newly appointed lecturers at SU as part of the PREDAC 2017 induction programme! The conference programme ended on a high note with an interactive closing session which focused on “Imagining the future: The next 10 years of Learning and Teaching @ SU".


Six papers were nominated as potential winners for best conference presentation.  This judging process was adjudicated by a panel of three judges, of whom two were external to SU. With her paper entitled “'Inhabiting a more ambiguous self': Using discomfort to explore issues of social justice " Marianne McKay from the Faculty of AgriSciences walked away as the overall winner. This has won her one free attendance towards an international Teaching and Learning conference of her choice in 2018. Bjorn von der Heyden from the Faculty of Science won 2nd prize for his presentation entitled “Outsourcing to the experts: Industry interviews as a tool to advance knowledge of the applied aspects of Economic Geology ". He won free attendance to Heltasa 2018 or any other disciplinary educational conference of his preference. For the second year in a row, Marianne McKay from the Faculty of AgriScience, won the delegates' choice prize.

The feedback from delegates indicated that they experienced the conference as a valuable opportunity to network with colleagues across the university and that the sharing of ideas and research provides inspiration for one's own teaching practice.​​

New Academics' Transitions Regional Colloquium
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Thursday 4 May 2017 saw the launch of the very first New Academics' Transitions Regional Colloquium at the University of Cape Town. The Colloquium brought together new academics from UCT, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), Stellenbosch University (SU) and the University of the Western Cape (UWC).  Read more about the colloquium:  News feed.pdf

Programme Renewal at Stellenbosch University


The programme renewal process is a holistic institutional project, with the first year focusing on the identification of one candidate programme for renewal per faculty as well as drawing up a programme renewal roadmap within faculties with different levels of renewal per programme.  Read more about the process:  Programme renewal.pdf



Learning to Teach in Higher Education in South Africa

An investigation into the influences of institutional context on the professional learning of academics in their roles as teachers.  
A collaboration between eighteen researchers across eight universities.  Download the article:  Learning to Teach in Higher Education in South Africa.pdf.