2018 25th Annual Conference

Re-imagining our universities: the role and impact of institutional research in times of disruption

The 2018 conference theme centres round the uptake of higher education research, either through HE scholarly research output and/or through the work of institutional researchers that largely evidences as grey literature in the form of policy documents and reports. This theme follows on from the 2017 conference theme of Rethinking university engagement in Africa, which considered how engagement could strengthen the quality of institutional research as well as questioning the role of sustainable leadership in using data to inform decisions and whether there is place and space for reshaping methodologies and techniques for institutional research.

The world is undergoing a fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), driven amongst others by mobile connectivity, artificial intelligence, big data, the Internet of Things, and next generation robotics. Alongside this, Southern African universities operate in an environment of constant change and challenge including increased calls for accountability and questions on their value to society, issues of socio-political, environmental and economic sustainability, to name but a few. These are complex times that require skilful navigation.

How might universities best prepare themselves to deal with such dynamic change? How do we buffer against the fallout from the ‘disruption’ that is refashioning the economy, reshaping the way we work and reimagining the way we engage with each other? How can we best prepare our students for engaged and productive lives spanning a longer productive life, multiple careers, changing technologies and the new world of work? These questions may be answered through Higher Education Research (HER) and/or through institutional research. But is there uptake of such research and is there evidence of improved/enhanced to the organisation in terms of informed decision-making, policy amendment/adoption or in any other way?

Host: Durban University of Technology (DUT)

Venue: Maharani Hotel, Durban

(negotiations underway)

Dates: 6-8 November 2018; workshops 5 November