Relevance of Research

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Relevance of Research

The research programme uses a variety of methods in order to provide informed evidence-based analysis, which is systemic, institutional and individual in impact. The Chair promotes scholarship by:

  • Using evidence-based research to inform teaching and learning (T&L) strategies and pedagogical approaches, at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and engaging in some themes with digitisation and industry 4.0 plans;
  • undertaking research on T&L, within a holistic and theorized framework, to shift the focus away from student or teacher deficiencies, thereby contributing new knowledge to the field;
  • recognizing and promoting good practices based on social and curricular justice;
  • addressing the relationship between education equity and social equity, especially in a context of poverty and societal disadvantage;
  • building the capacity of young researchers, in order to contribute to the next generation of scholars; and
  • enhancing the position of the Chair as an intellectual hub in T&L research through national, regional and international collaboration with meaningful impact on policymaking and policy discourse.

The key focus of the research programme addresses and expands on the priority areas of academic teaching, academic learning and the academic curriculum within the following themes:

  • Theme 1: Teaching Excellence: Undergraduate Education
  • Theme 2: Equity, Access and Success: Undergraduate Education
  • Theme 3: Access and Success: Supervision for Quality Postgraduate education
  • Theme 4: Socially Just Pedagogy and the Decolonisation of the Curriculum

Current Research Projects

  1. A postcolonial critique of curriculum change in South African higher education

Research team

Everard Weber, Shireen Motala, Venise Joubert (research coordinator)

  1. University life in an era of disruption, of Covid 19: Perception of readiness and attitudes of South African students

Research team

Shireen Motala, Juliet Perumal, Richard Devey, Yu Ke, Zahraa McDonald (research coordinator) Sindi Msimango in collaboration with Emmanuel Ojo (Wits University) and Anthony Onwuegbuzie (University of Oxford)

  1. Overview of throughput and retention towards understanding epistemic access and success

Research Team

Shireen Motala, Zahraa McDonald ( research coordinator)  Ahmed Essop, Logan Govender, Sibonokuhle Ndlovu, Sindi Msimango, Richard Devey

4  Epistemic disruptions in reconstituting higher education pedagogy in South Africa: The student and management perspective

Research team

Shireen Motala, Yusuf Sayed ( SARChI ITE – CPUT), Otilia Chiramba (research coordinator), Zahraa McDonald, Marcina Singh-de Waal (CPUT)

  1. The political economy of Higher Education Student funding and the pursuit of equity in post-apartheid South Africa

Research team

Mukovhe Masutha (research coordinator), Prof Shireen Motala, Dr Gerald Ouma Wangenge (University of Pretoria) University of London (tbc), Prof Rajani Naidoo (University of Bath), Prof Joel Samoff (Stanford University)

  1. Postgraduate Teaching and Learning: Doctoral Education and the Pedagogy of Supervision

Research team

Moyra Keane, Gert van der Westhuizen, Marissa Rollnick, Tebogo Mofokeng, Vongai Mpofu, Liz Brenner

  1. Project on supervision

Research Team

Shireen Motala, Stephanie Burton (UP) Moyra Keane, Gina Wisker (University of Bath)Gert van de Westhuizen, Michael Samuel (UKZN) Chrissie Boughey (RU),Sioux McKenna (RU), Janet Carton (University College Dublin, Ireland), Sindi Msimango (Research coordinator), Felix Maringe ( Wits University) , Michael Samuel ( UKZN), Amasa Ndorephi ( Sol Plaatjie) .

  1. Modelling best practice interventions of postgraduate teaching and learning in Southern Africa (under discussion)

Research team

Shireen Motala, Gert van de Westhuizen, Everard Weber, Kirti Menon, Stephanie Burton (UP)

Kasturi Beharie Leak (UCT- tbc), Juliet Perumal

  1. Indigenous Knowledge Systems and doctoral education

Research Team

Team Leader: Prof Catherine Manatunga, University of Sunshine Coast, Australia (includes other Australian and New Zealand and Chinese partners). Multi country project. Funded by the Australian Research Council SA Partner: Profs Shireen Motala UJ; Gert van der Westhuizen; Moyra Keane, Sindi Msimango

Research Papers Commissioned by SARChI Chair Teaching and Learning

Baijnath N. (2021). The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Tertiary Education, and Teaching and Learning in the Context of Development in South Africa, March 2021

Boughey C. (2021). A Review of Research on Teaching and Learning in South African Higher Education, June 2021

Essop A. (2021). Old Wine in New Bottles: Covid-19 and the “New Normal” in Higher Education, March 2021

Keane, M, Castle J and Wadee A. (2021). Postgraduate Supervision literature review, April 2021