Annual Transformation Conference


Conference overview

The Department of Leadership and Transformation, in the office of the Vice Principal, University of South Africa will host the annual transformation conference from 21 to 23 November 2022 in Pretoria, South Africa.

Transformation of higher education has been public discourse since the enactment of democracy in South Africa. Attempts to transform have taken various forms and approaches. Many of these approaches drew from the post-colonial canon and have since been interrogated for their integrationist and reformist angles that make African epistemologies appear as appendages while western knowledge retains its mainstream status. The second decade of the current millennium has witnessed a further interrogation of these post-colonial approaches and renewed demands for the centering of African knowledge in the curriculum. These demands have been accompanied by the understanding that a university founded on African philosophy would easily transform into an African university because its ways of doing things would automatically transcend the Western script. This has led to numerous developments in higher education, that include curriculum change, culture and governance change and an overarching shift of policies and systems including those that inform employment principles. This change discourse has been grounded on Decolonization and Re-Africanisation notions that perceive change as a praxis.

With moves towards 4IR scholarship and doing knowledge in the context of Covid-19 there has been debates suggesting that efforts to decolonize and Africanise have been eroded.  What are our realities? What are the opportunities and challenges for decolonization and Africanisation presented by shifts to 4IR?  Has the Covid-19 pandemic opened opportunities for reimagining how we do knowledge and build the African University?

It is against this background that this conference focuses on the broad theme “Transforming Scholarship After Covid-19 and in the context of the 4th IR”

Conference themes

Theme: Transforming Scholarship After Covid-19 and in the context of the 4th IR”

The conference will focus on the following themes and more;

  • The role of decolonization and re-Africanisation in higher education transformation
  • The communication and epistemic role of indigenous languages in a transformed curriculum
  • The meaning of a transformed culture and transformed systems of governance in higher education spaces
  • African Epistemologies as foundational epistemologies of a transformed university
  • Transformation regulatory environment and change
  • What do decolonial methodologies look like in the African Context post Covid and in the 4IR context.
  • How do we center historically marginalized knowers and knowledges?
  • Thinking about biography and centering the historically marginalized knower.
  • Uneven infrastructure across the HE sector and its impact on knowledge, scholarship, curriculum, and language transformation.
  • Conceptualization, development, and deployment of Online teaching and learning in the post covid-19 context as well as unavailability of data and unstable ICT infrastructure to all.
  • Physical infrastructure in the 4IR and growing moves to work from Home, what does it mean in under developed context.

Conference Session Types

This conference will have presentations in roundtable (panel) discussion format and interactive workshop format.

Conference key dates

Deadline for Abstracts

 03 September, 2022

Abstracts review feedback

 15 September ,2022

Who should attend?

Representatives from all countries and from institutions of all types and missions, including:

  • Higher education faculty and scholars from all disciplines
  • Higher education leaders (executives, deans, directors, chairs)
  • Higher education staff and administrators
  • Representatives from government and NGOs working with higher education institutions
  • Graduate students preparing to become professional educators – we welcome joint proposals from graduate students and their faculty mentors/advisors
  • Transformation Leaders

Venue and location

The 2022 Annual Transformation Conference will take place at The University of South Africa, Senate Hall, Winnie Madikizela Mandela Building, Muckleneuck Campus in Pretoria South Africa.

The Airports

  • Lanseria International Airport is approximately 40 minutes from the Unisa Muckleneuk Campus.
    • Click here for directions to Unisa from Lanseria International Airport.
  • OR Tambo International Airport is approximately 35 minutes from the Unisa Muckleneuk Campus.
    • Click here for directions to Unisa from OR Tambo International Airport.

Aims and objectives

Participants from all over the world are expected to present their latest research findings. The programme committee encourages the submission of articles that communicate applied and empirical findings of interest to higher education professionals.

The conference aims to bring together higher education researchers and practitioners to share and promote best-practices, case studies, empirical research, diverse views and innovative approaches to teaching and learning in higher education.

The conference theme addresses the challenges and the sustainability character and nature of the ODL philosophy of access, flexibility and student centeredness.  It is recognised that many traditional contact higher education institutions have begun to use a blended or ODL mode to address the challenges faced though the need for massification and expanding outreach.  This conference will draw on higher education and ODL experts, academics and practitioners from around the world to debate critical issues and challenges confronting higher education in general and the ODL model in building social, political and economic development for sustainable futures.

This conference will not only promote and create awareness about the use of ODL provision in Higher Education but it will also assist in strengthening capacity of African Higher Education researchers, academics and institutions to improve on the quality of delivery of education specifically where the ODL model is drawn upon to enable expanded reach. The ultimate aim is to enhance quality in open, distance, flexible and online education, including e­learning

Abstract review process

To ensure that the quality of papers and posters presented at this conference is of high standards, all submitted abstracts will undergo a rigorous peer review process. In addition, those that are successful will be sent back to the author/s with clear guidelines on how to prepare full papers.

Each proposal submission will be reviewed by the scientific committee who will provide a judgment on the presentation’s suitability for the conference. Responsibility for the content of each abstracts lies with the authors and the presentation abstracts (if accepted) will appear in the conference proceedings.

High Level Conference Programme

A detailed conference schedule will be created closer to the conference date (sometime after proposal acceptances have been sent out).