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The 5th annual STADIO Academic Conference was hosted by the Chief Academic Officer, Dr Divya Singh, from the 13th to 15th October 2021 at the Boschendal Wine Estate in Franschhoek.

The theme was STUDENTS AT THE CENTRE, LEARNING AT THE CORE. The conference combined sharing knowledge with staff development, but also opened spaces for fun with a picnic at the dam, a Glitz-and-Bling gala dinner and a champagne breakfast. As part of STADIO’s vision to create role models and mentors at the institution, the conference was a unique opportunity to share STADIO’s academic trajectory beyond its leadership group. Staff members hence shared their research and/or practical experiences in implementing new practices, challenges experienced and lessons learned under the conference theme.

Several external speakers were included in the programme, and all the presentations were truly exceptional. Amongst them were: Professor Daniela Gachego from UCT, who spoke about humanising online learning and teaching; Maxim Jean-Louis, the CEO of Contact North, Canada, who addressed the audience on the topic of managing and maintaining staff morale and emotional well-being during Covid-19; Dr Britta Zawada, Director Institutional Audits of the CHE, who spoke on student support expectations as a CHE requirement; the ever inspiring Prof. Meera Baindur from the Manipal University in Jaipur, speaking about Zoom fatigue; and Ian Mann, who enlightened the conference attendees on the expectations of the student of the future.

Awards and recognition for EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AND STUDENT SUPPORT AND SUCCESS; RESEARCH TITLES as well as for RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS were also part of several highlights during the conference.


The presentations are available below:

Welcome and Opening address - Dr Divya Singh (Chief Academic Officer, STADIO)

Students are our priority: Widening Access - Mr Chris Vorster (Chief Executive Officer, STADIO)

Assessment Practices: Challenges, Opportunities and Shared Best Practices - Esther Venter

Blending digital literacy and a humanising lens of inclusion to transform postgraduate teacher education - Dr Avivit Cherrington, L Rembach & N Padayachee

Determining the effect of inclusivity on student learning in private higher education institutions - Dr Olivia Wilson, Andre van der Walt & Tatenda Chabata

Student Support Expectations under the CHE Institutional Audits - Dr Britta Zawada (Director: Institutional Audits, CHE)

Bridging the gap from school to university - Dr Jenni Underhill

Bridging the gap from school to university - Khaya Sithole

Hearing students’ voices: Reflecting on Postgraduate Certificate Education (PGCE) programme student module feedback and live chat room conversations - Dr Oluwakemi Adebayo & Jolanda Morkel

How students learn: A Case Study for Best Practice - Thea Coetzee

What does the student of the future expect from higher education institutions? - Ian Mann


View our Academic Award Winners of 2021 HERE