Calendar & events

29th SAAIR Conference 2022

Event date:
14 - 17 November 2022

Theme: Reintegration during and after disruption

Hosted by:

Important Dates

The submission deadline for outlines and abstracts: Friday 24 June 2022.
Acceptance/revision or rejection: Tuesday 19 July 2022.
Please register your abstracts and outlines by Friday 24 June 2022.
For accepted contributions, submissions of an electronic copy of the presentation should be sent to the Conference admin ( not later than Mon 31 October 2022.


Face to face attendance: R 5500
Online only attendance: R 3500

Registration are not open yet at this stage

For any queries related to the conference, you can contact


The higher education sector, like most of the world, has experienced and continues to battle massive disruption in the past few years. These disruptions are medical, economic, political and social and the effects of which has pervaded all walks of life. The human toll of these upheavals has been massive both mentally and physically. Despite this, we have seen the resilience of higher education and observed how institutions responded to the various crises brought on by the disruptions. As we fight to restore some form of balance among the tumultuous circumstances we find ourselves in, we also realise that there is a growing need to reintegrate our state of being to normalize day to day life. This reintegration is aimed at restoring the various components of higher education into a harmonious unity. We see this reintegration process as drawing from the lessons learned during the crises and integrating these with known wisdom to address historic divides such as gender and racial inequality and more recently topical divides such as the digital divides. We must grasp this unique moment in time to reshape ourselves in terms of policy, praxis, technology, our workplaces, our relationships and organisations. As institutional researchers, planners, quality assurors and business intelligence practitioners and academics, we are in a unique position to shape the path of this reintegration process.

You are therefore, invited to submit an abstract reflecting on your practice at both individual and institutional levels under any of the following sub-themes:

Locked down and locked out

One of the main responses to the COVID-19 crisis was the use of national lock downs to control population movements. This resulted in major disruption of teaching and learning and gave rise to emergency remote teaching and learning to keep the academic year alive. This pivot to online learning served to highlight the deep digital divides between institutions, students and academics. In this theme we invite papers that reflect on the long-term challenges and opportunities of the move to online or blended learning; highlight the digital divides that exist within institutions; and provide frameworks for the long term integration of online and face to face modalities.

Integrating Business Intelligence and social justice

Business Intelligence in higher education has provided the sector with unprecedented access to data about  organisations. The development of information products that serve specific institutional objectives has become a well-established practice. However, the sourcing, transforming, analyzing and dissemination of this key information tends to happen in isolated silos leading to disparate insights that fail to capture the core of the institution. Increasingly, there is a need for analytics that are informed by the principles of social justice to highlight the lived experiences of those who are excluded or marginalized by institutional systems. In this theme we explore the ways in which business intelligence can and should contribute to the social justice imperatives facing the sector. We therefore invite examples of practice; social justice frameworks for business intelligence and; critical discussions on the impact of algorithmic bias present in our current practices.

Student and staff support in a disrupted space

The student and staff experience of the recent and on-going disruptions is still being documented. However, there is an emerging picture of intense pressures that took a toll both physically and mentally. Coupled with the physical distancing brought on by the various lock downs, student and staff support practitioners had to develop novel and innovative ways of supporting and guiding both students and staff. In this theme we invite reflections and empirical studies focusing on the student experience; documenting novel and innovative support initiatives and; reflections on praxis.

Planning in a fragmented environment

The focus of higher education institutions has largely been on surviving the disruptions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Short term plans such as the pivot to online learning, remote work and closing institutions served to keep institutions operational. Very few, if any, institutions had established long term plans to cope with a pandemic that could last for years. As a result, institutions are forced to recalibrate their mid to long term strategic plans to cope with the drastic changes in environment. Planning and quality assurance serve to connect an institution to its environment and provide unity and direction. It is therefore imperative that new ways of operating become standardized and pockets of excellence become amplified across the institution in response to the current challenges. In this theme we invite reflections on the planning and quality assurance processes that guided the institution through change; reflections on the future of higher education in South Africa and; illustrations of new frameworks required to navigate an uncertain future.

Quality assurance and academic planning under crisis

Quality assurance plays a key role in ensuring key institutional goals, services and qualifications are met at the appropriate national and international standards. The development of both internal and external QA procedures has always involved a delicate consultation and collaboration process. Understandably the volatile COVID-19 context in higher education significantly disrupted these processes and, in some cases, invalidated existing procedures of quality assurance and planning. In a sense academic planning has increasingly become synonymous with QA as it aligns with the principles and procedures of internal QA. In this track we therefore look at both the external QA processes and how these have changed in response to COVID-19 as well as internal QA with a particular emphasis on academic planning, PQM and accreditation processes. We welcome contributions relating to reflections on experiences of QA within the remote learning and teaching context, new frameworks for ensuring that the quality of student and institutional outcomes are maintained and reflections on praxis within QA in the COVID-19 context.

Open track

In this track we invite papers that fit with the overall conference theme but do not fit into one of the sub-themes.