Transformation Conference 2023


Conference overview

The first university in South Africa has a long history, unfortunately that history is full of contestations with regards to who and what knowledges are valuable. As we celebrate 150 years of the Unisa existence we do so with a keen awareness of how transformation efforts remain elusive for many and how gains made in some areas are being clawed back because of backlash including corruption, continuing entrenchment of knowledges from the global north as normative, continuing violence against black women in particular, reduced funding for higher education, and exclusion of the poor/working class.

As we ponder how Unisa has contributed to Transformation of the Higher Education sector in South Africa and the continent we find that this question is fundamental for the entire SA higher education sector. As we look to our futures we are invited to look to the past and reflect on - what has been our efforts and challenges in transforming the sector. Transformation is an on-going, uncomfortable process that requires constant reflection, our objective with hosting this conference annually is because universities remain highly contested spaces thus making constant engagement and reflection an important part of the transformation agenda.  Again, for Unisa this year marks an important milestone that requires a deeper pause and grapple with our past efforts with an eye on transformed futures. Engagement with this question will allow us the required energy to anticipate our futures and thus plant the necessary seeds for humanising the higher education sector.


Conference themes

This calls us for reflection on the following themes:

  • How are intuitional cultures changing and or staying the same?
  • What have we learnt from compliance driven governance modalities of the past?
  • What are our lessons for dealing with compliance-oriented operating in a transforming context – what room do we create for innovation?
  • How does decolonial theorising help us think about compliance in the research space.
  • What are the continuities of the past that impede the transformation process in the higher education sector?
  • How are transformation gains being clawed back – what can we do to maintain these gains?
  • Are calls for curriculum transformation receiving the necessary support and innovative space, what is blocking and or facilitating transformation in this area? How are we drawing from the past to anticipate our futures?

Conference key dates

Deadline for Abstracts

 05 August, 2023

Abstracts review feedback

 31 August, 2023

Venue and location

The 2023 Annual Transformation Conference will take place at The University of South Africa, Function Hall, Kgorong Building, 4th Floor, 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.

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.


Click here to register.