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The connections between higher education and well-being “matter for the individual lives of the student and those who teach; [they matter for the disciplines and professions]; they matter for the institutions; they matter for the promise of a democratic civic society; and they matter for whether or not the unique and full promise of higher education – its greater purpose – can be advanced and realized”

(Harward, D. W. Well-Being and Higher Education: A Strategy for Change and the Realization of Education’s Greater Purposes. 2016)


Higher education worldwide is undeniably in a state of disquiet and disruption. The complexities and challenges confronting higher education require a careful examination of higher education well-being and innovative and creative responses that transcend boundaries and reframes excellence, looking beyond the institutional insularity and examining its contribution towards a greater good.


Well-being can be understood as encompassing a sense of wholeness, direction and agency. It could be extended as understanding what people value being and what people value doing. Well-being in higher education makes possible the advancement of public-good, engendering commitment to educational and social development in developing graduates, increasing their freedom to live the lives they regard as good. The responsibility of higher education is to engage institutions, students, academics and researchers and their declared and enacted curriculum in debating what is valued, by whom, for what purpose. Such examination could provide analysis of the experiential spaces in curricula and co-curricular programmes to develop the responsible freedoms in valuing the personal growth, moral and civic responsibility and criticality. Self, society and systems become the ingredients for contested analysis.


The HELTASA 2017 conference theme provides opportunities to interrogate and respond to the current challenges to higher education well-being. It brings to the fore academic conversations on the greater purpose of higher education and the need to engender, revive and preserve the roles of higher education and for institutions, students, academics and researchers to look beyond themselves to a greater good. The theme allows for problematising transformative public good that is beyond a narrowed, essentialist, ideological and politicised pursuit.


This conference encourages a disruption of current thinking about higher education and its connection to educational and social development and promotes transcending paradigmatic as well as disciplinary boundaries. This calls further for rethinking of traditional, limited orientations of learning and success and reframing excellence in higher education.


The conference includes workshops, oral papers, poster presentations, flipped paper session (a new format) and critical dialogue sessions. In presenting these, the conference organisers also encourage alternative and creative presentation modes that include poetry or drama.


You are invited to submit abstracts on any of the sub-themes below. Your abstract should focus on a conscious linking of theory and practice and its connection to higher education well-being. Suggestions are provided under each subtheme. There are many other possibilities under each subtheme.


‘Greater purpose’ of higher education

  • Critiquing the purposes of higher education
  • Reconceptualising and realizing the ‘greater purposes’ of higher education
  • Conceptual analysis of higher education well-being
  • Evaluating higher education policies, governance and structures and their implications
  • Embracing diversity within higher education
  • Rethinking staff and institutional development


Access and Parity of Participation

  • First year experience and students in transition (including extended curriculum programmes)
  • Cognitive justice, social inclusion and exclusion
  • Epistemological access
  • Digital access


Reframing student success

  • What is student success in our current contexts?
  • Inclusivity of students’ values of being and doing
  • Conceptions about learning for success
  • Pedagogies and assessment for student success


Enriching the curriculum

  • Socially just curricula
  • (De)colonising the curriculum
  • Liberal arts and the curriculum
  • Disciplines and the curriculum
  • Service learning and community engagement
  • Inter, trans and multi/disciplinarity
  • Digital technology innovations
  • Internationalisation of the curriculum


Knowledge in the academy

  • How is knowledge generated in the academy?
  • Whose knowledge is valued?
  • What are different methodologies or ways of coming to know in higher education?
  • Scholarship of teaching and learning

Keynote Speakers


Prof Bal Chandra Luitel

School of Education

Kathmandu University

BCL[7]Bal Chandra Luitel is an associate professor at Kathmandu University. Educated in Nepal and Australia and having worked in Nepal, Australia and Portugal, Bal’s expertise as a transformative education researcher lies in employing multi-paradigmatic research design for portraying the problem of culturally decontextualised mathematics and science education, a protracted problem that poses a serious challenge towards an inclusive and life affirming mathematics and science education in Nepal, a country that hosts more than 92 language groups and different cultural traditions arising from Vedic, Buddhist and Animist belief systems. Bal has been working with a number of Nepali teachers and teacher educators who examine their lived experiences as students, teachers and teacher educators, thereby developing visions for fostering experiences of meaningful mathematical learning among their students. In this process, Bal´s research program enables education researchers to engage with a host of research paradigms together with new analytics arising from dialectical, metaphorical, poetic and narrative logics and genres as a means for conceiving, expressing and implementing visions of an inclusive and life-affirming mathematics and science education in Nepal.


Selected Publications


  • Pant, B. P & Luitel, B. C. (2016, July). Beliefs about the Nature of Mathematics and its Pedagogical Influences. Paper presented at the International Congress of Mathematics Education (ICME-13, 2016)” in Hamburg, Germany
  • Luitel, B. C. (2013). Mathematics as an im/pure knowledge system: Symbiosis, (w)holism and synergy in mathematics education. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 1-23. doi: 10.1007/s10763-012-9366-8
  • Luitel, B.C.& Taylor, P.C. (2013) Fractals of ‘old’ and ‘new’ logics: A post/modern proposal for transformative mathematics pedagogy. Philosophy of Mathematics Education Journal. Available Online: http://www.people.ex.ac.uk/PErnest/(.)
  • Luitel B.C. (2012). Doing away with dualisms: Searching for inclusive alternatives in education. Nepalese Journal of Qualitative Research Methods, 1-15, 2.
  • Luitel, B.C.& Taylor, P.C.(2008, Jan). Globalization, ecological consciousness and curriculum as montage: A vision for culturally contextualized mathematics education. Paper presented at the 16th Annual Conference of the Southern African Association for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education (SAARMSTE), Maseru, Lesotho.



Prof Yusef Waghid 

Department of Education Policy Studies

Stellenbosch University

Waghid3-s[1]Yusef Waghid is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy of Education in the Department of Education Policy Studies at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. He joined Stellenbosch University almost two decades ago as Director of the Centre for Educational Development and has been full Professor of Philosophy of Education in the Department of Education Policy Studies since 2002. He was also Chair and, Dean of the Faculty of Education. He holds doctorates in the areas of Philosophy of Education (Western Cape), Education Policy Studies, and Philosophy (Stellenbosch). He is a fellow of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), internationally acclaimed scholar with the National Research Foundation. He is Editor-in-Chief of South African Journal of Higher Education. He has 326 research publications – 25 books and collections, 210 journal articles, 62 book chapters, 22 conference proceedings & 13 book reviews. His latest books that accentuate his research foci, include

  •  African philosophy of education reconsidered: On being human (London: Routledge, 2014);
  • Pedagogy out of bounds: Untamed variations of democratic education (Rotterdam/Boston/Taipei: Sense Publishers, 2014);
  • (co-editor with Chapman, J., McNamara, S. & Reiss, M.) International handbook for learning, teaching and leadership in faith-based schools (Dortrecht: Springer Press, 2014);
  • Dancing with doctoral encounters: Democratic education in motion (Stellenbosch: Sun Press, 2015);
  • (co-author with Davids, N.) Ethical Dimensions of Muslim Education (New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2016);
  • (co-author with Waghid, F. & Waghid, Z.) Educational Technology and Pedagogic Encounters: Democratic Education in Potentiality (Rotterdam/Boston/Taipei: Sense Publishers, 2016);
  • (co-author with Davids, N.) Educational Leadership-in-Becoming: On the Potential of Leadership in Action (London: Routledge, 2017);
  • (co-author with Davids, N.) Philosophy of Education as Action: Implications for teacher education (Malham, MA.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017).
  • (co-editor with Higgs, P.) Philosophy of Education Reader (Cape Town: Juta, 2017)
  • (co-author with Davids, N.) Education, assessment and the desire for dissonance (New York: Peter Lang, 2017);
  • (co-editor with Davies, I., Peck, C., Sant, E., Kiwan, D. & Paterson, A. International Handbook of Citizenship Education (New York: Palgrave-MacMillan, 2017)
  • (co-author with Davids, N.) Education and tolerance (New York: Palgrave-MacMillan, 2017)

In 2011 he was honoured with the National Research Foundation (NRF) Special Recognition Award: ‘Champion of Research Capacity Development at Higher Education Institutions in South Africa’ in recognition of his influence and significant contribution towards the transformation of the social science community in South Africa; and in 2014 he received the prestigious Education Research in Africa Award: Outstanding Mentor of Education Researchers from the Association for the Development of Education in Africa. He has promoted 22 PhDs and three post-doctoral fellows to completion, supervised 20 MEds to completion, examined 40 doctorates and 18 Ms, and currently promote 12 PhDs and supervise 10 Ms.
Prof Stephanie Allais

School of Education

University of the Witwatersrand


Associate Professor Stephanie Matseleng Allais is the Director of the Centre for Researching Education and Labour, in the School of Education at the University of the Witwatersrand. She is also the Special Advisor to the Minister of Higher Education and Training. Her research interests are in the sociology of education, policy, education and development, curriculum, and political economy of education, focused on relationships between education and work. She has recently launched a new Masters of Education focused on Knowledge and Work, and is currently teaching a course on Education, Skills, and Development, as well as supervising post-graduate students.

Prior to joining Wits University she was a fellow at the Centre for Educational Sociology at the University of Edinburgh. Immediately prior to joining the CES, she managed and conducted research for an international research project comparing qualifications frameworks in 16 countries, for the International Labour Organization. She has worked in various parts of the South African education system, including government, a non-governmental organization in distance education, running the education department of a trade union, and teaching in a high school, as well as teaching part time in adult basic education and training, and leading a student organization. She served on many committees by appointment of Ministers of Education in South Africa, and has been involved in numerous policy processes. She has a PhD in education policy from Wits University in South Africa.


Abstract Submissions

Abstract submission is closed.


Important Dates

Abstract Submissions First Call closing date 31st May 2017
Notification of acceptance of abstract 23rd June 2017
Abstract Submissions Second Call closing date 31st July 2017
Notification of acceptance of abstracts 18th August 2017
Final Revised abstract due date 15th September 2017


You are invited to submit proposals (500-750 words) for pre-conference workshops and critical dialogue sessions, and/or abstracts (350-500 words) for paper presentation, poster presentation and flipped paper session. All submissions will need to indicate a conscious linking of theory and practice in the context of the theme Higher Education Well-being: Transcending Boundaries, Reframing Excellence. As an example if the paper is on first year experience, it should frame the study within the theoretical lenses informing well-being.

Below are brief guidelines for each of the categories. Please indicate on your abstract the sub-theme your abstract relates to and the preferred presentation style. The abstract reviewers will consider your submission but may recommend that another presentation category be adopted.


Pre-conference Workshop


Proposals words should include

  • Topic of workshop
  • Name of workshop facilitators and affiliation(s) with a short (30 word bio)
  • Relevance to main conference theme and sub-themes
  • Proposal for the workshop including a short motivation indicating benefits for participants, purpose, outcomes and possible activities
  • Duration : 1.5hrs or 3 hrs
  • Maximum number of participants
  • 500-750 words
  • 3-5 keywords/ phrases


Paper and Poster Presentations


Abstracts should include:

  • A title that provides an indication of the subject being written about
  • A brief context
  • Purpose of the presentation
  • The theories, approaches, methodologies informing the study
  • How the research was/will be undertaken
  • Possible results and implications
  • 350-500 words
  • 3-5 keywords/ phrases


Paper sessions will be allocated 25 minutes (15 minutes for presentations and 10 minutes for questions).

Dedicated poster sessions will be included within the programme where presenters can discuss their work with interested delegates.

The conference organising team embraces diverse, innovative and creative presentations of the paper or poster.


Flipped Paper Session


A flipped paper session provides opportunities to discuss complete or draft papers. The intention of the session is to focus on the discussion of the paper instead of a presentation. Presenters will be given 5 minutes for a brief overview of the paper followed by discussion for the remainder of the session. Complete or draft papers must be submitted by 15th October 2017. These will be made available to delegates interested in the sessions to read prior to the conference. Abstracts should be included on work that will be completed at the time of the conference.


Abstracts should include:

  • A title that provides an indication of the subject being written about
  • A brief context
  • The theories, approaches, methodologies informing the study
  • Research design
  • Results and implications
  • Possible issues that the paper will raise
  • 350-500 words
  • 3-5 keywords/ phrases


The session will be allocated 25 minutes.


Critical Dialogue Session


These 90 minute sessions should focus on current higher education issues that enhance or impede higher education well-being.   The facilitator/s should present a brief context of the issue and its relevance to higher education well-being.


Proposals should include:

  • Title for the session that clearly indicates the issue to be discussed
  • Name of facilitator/s and affiliation(s) with a short (30 word bio)
  • Description of the issue, its context, relevance to main theme and sub theme/s
  • Suggestions to participants to prepare for the session.
  • Possible questions that could be discussed
  • 500-750 words
  • 3-5 keywords/ phrases


During the abstract selection process the following criteria will be used as a guide. We strongly recommend that you ensure your abstract meets these requirements

  1. Does the abstract title describe the subject being written about?
  2. Does the abstract make a clear statement of the topic of the paper and the research question?
  3. Does the abstract capture the interest of a potential reader of the paper?
  4. Is the abstract well written in terms of language, grammar, etc.?
  5. Does the abstract engage the reader by telling him or her what the paper is about and why they should read it?
  6. Does the abstract say how the research was/is being undertaken?
  7. Does the abstract indicate the value of the findings and to whom will they be of use?
  8. Does the abstract describe the work to be discussed in the paper?
  9. Does the abstract give a concise summary of the findings?
  10. Is the word limit of 350-500 words for abstracts and 500-700 words for the proposals adhered to?
  11. Does the abstract have between 3-5 keywords or phrases that closely reflect the content of the paper?



Registration is closed.


Important Dates

Conference Registration Opens 24th March 2017
Early-Bird Registration Closes 31st July 2017
Standard Registration Closes 30th August 2017
Final date for payment 15th September 2017


Registration Fees

Early-Bird Registration ZAR 4500
Standard   Registration ZAR 5000
Welcome Cocktail ZAR 0.00
Workshops Half Day – ZAR 600
Full Day – ZAR 1000
Gala Dinner Delegate – ZAR 500
Partner – ZAR 500



Please pay appropriate amount into the following account:

Account Name: Durban University of Technology

Account Number: 050007068

Bank: Standard Bank

Branch Code: 040026

Reference: E144- HELTASA 2017 – Delegates name


Once you have registered, you will receive an invoice indicating the total amount to be paid. If you have not heard from us within 10 days of registering, please contact us at heltasa2017@dut.ac.za


Proof of Payment:

Please email proof of payment to heltasa2017@dut.ac.za


Video highlighting Durban

Coastlands Umhlanga Map/



Accommodation in The Umhlanga Region:

  1. The Oyster Box Hotel: https://www.oysterboxhotel.com/
  2. Coastlands Umhlanga: http://www.coastlands.co.za/
    To make accommodation bookings at Coastlands Umhlanga Hotel and Conference Centre please take note of the information below
    Block ID for HELTASA 2017 Conference Delegates is 1875951
    Single @ R1250.00
    Sharing @ R1500.00
    Suites @ R2500.00
    Contact Person : Rita Pillay
    Senior Reservationist | TEL: +2731 514 6514| FAX: +2731 514 6575 |Coastlands Umhlanga Hotel and Convention Centre, a Division of SNG. E-mail: reservations1@coastlandsumhlanga.co.za
  3. Gateway Hotel: http://aha.co.za/gateway/
  4. Protea Hotel: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/durur-protea-hotel-durban-umhlanga-ridge/
  5. Road Lodge Umhlanga: https://clhg.com/hotels/385/Road-Lodge-Umhlanga-Ridge
  6. Express Holiday Inn: http://www.hiexhotels.co.za/holiday-inn-express/hotels/durban—umhlanga/accommodation.php
  7. Garden Court Umhlanga: https://www.tsogosun.com/garden-court-umhlanga
  8. Three Cities Square Boutique Hotel: http://www.threecities.co.za/hotel/thesquare/
  9. Beverly Hills Hotel: https://www.tsogosun.com/beverly-hills
  10. Endless Horizons Boutique Hotel http://endlesshorizons.co.za/


Search Engines:

  1. booking.com/Durban/Accommodation
  2. trivago.co.za
  3. https://www.sleeping-out.co.za/
  4. wheretostay.co.za/

List of Tours
Conference Committee

Nalini Nalini Chitanand
Chair: Organising Committee
Gita Gita Mistri
Livingstone Prof Livingstone Makondo
Nelson Nithianandhen Munsamy
Trevor Rajendran Naidoo
Rosaline Dr Rosaline Govender
Shoba Shoba Rathilal
Shubnam Shubnam Rambharos
Simon Simon Ndlovu
Judy Judy Reddy
Conference Administrator
Email: judyr@dut.ac.za
Tel: 031 373 2904
Nokwanda Mkhize 1[1] Nokwanda Mkhize
Conference Administrator
Email: heltasa2017@dut.ac.za
Tel: 031 373 2277

For all conference enquiries email heltasa2017@dut.ac.za