While teaching and research are widely recognised as the defining characteristics of universities (for example, see Barnett, 2014; Collini, 2017; Swartz et al, 2018), universities are increasingly called on, especially in the local context, to fulfill many roles. Contemporary higher education institutions, both locally and globally, face substantial pressure to contribute to the economy through marketable research and the production of graduates with economically useful skill sets. In South Africa, professional degrees from universities are highly valued as routes out of poverty for entire families (Swartz et al, 2018). In addition to this economic orientation, South African universities have, since the mid 2000s, been tasked by government with addressing social inequality and preparing socially aware and critical citizens (DoE, 1997). More recently, South African universities have been sites of intense student protests - focused on fee-free education, the outsourcing of labour and the decolonisation of curricula and institutions.
In the face of these sometimes contradictory requirements of universities, rooted in complex, local and global phenomena, universities are challenged to re-imagine their role in society (Leibowitz, 2017). Educators within universities, particularly, are required by the context to consider carefully what they teach, who they are teaching, and what impact their students’ learning is likely to have on the society to which they belong. With this context and the changing roles of the university in mind, the theme for this year’s Teaching and Learning Conference at UCT is “Re-imagining higher education: Teaching and learning for a changing world”.
Theme for TLC2019 is “Re-imagining higher education: Teaching and learning for a changing world”. We invite presentations that relate the theme to one fo the subthemes below:
Big Questions in Higher Education - presentations that seek explicitly to address issues in higher education that go beyond the scope of the classroom, that have global influences and impacts. We anticipate that these papers will be substantially theoretical.
Staff development & perspectives - presentations that focus on the professional learning, experiences, and development of staff in relation to key themes in higher education
Student experiences – Presentations about, with and by students, that emphasise student perspectives on and experiences of curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, and university life.
Curriculum and pedagogical development and renewal - presentations that consider and reflect on change in the curriculum and new pedagogical approaches.
Engaged Teaching and Learning – Presentations that focus on teaching and learning activities that strongly include engagement with communities outside of UCT. This includes social responsibility initiatives.
Open education - Presentations that discuss experiences of open educational practices and sharing including open data, open research and open textbooks.
Assessment - Presentations with an explicit focus on assessment design, challenges and experiences in the higher education context
Integrating technology – Presentations focused on the integration of existing or new technology systems in learning