Universities South Africa (USAf) regularly brings together experts from universities, government, other role-players and stakeholders, to constructively deliberate issues of collective interest. This, to inform and develop a shared standpoint on specific issues and also to facilitate learning and deepen understanding on topics of priority interest within the sector.




“The human being in the 21st century in the context of global changes”

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Research and Innovation Dialogue 2018

The 6th Research and Innovation Dialogue of Universities South Africa (USAf), held at the Emperors’ Palace from 31 May to 1 June, turned out to be a great success. Up to 80 delegates attended the Dialogue, representing all of South Africa’s public universities – at the level of vice-chancellors, deputy vice-chancellors and directors responsible for research and innovation. Senior leaders from the National Research Foundation and other science councils were also in attendance, as were representatives of some embassies in South Africa (German, Japanese and Swiss), as well as industry representatives and senior officials from the departments of Higher Education and Training and Science and Technology.

This Dialogue is a platform from which senior academics, researchers, industry and other agencies engage on matters of priority interest and concern – pertaining to research and innovation. This year’s event focused on two themes: Post-graduate Training and Funding and Internationalisation and Inter-institutional Collaboration.

Day 1:From left: Prof Cheryl de la Rey, Chairperson of Universities SA’s Research and Innovation Strategy Group and Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria; HE Helene Budliger Artieda, Swiss Ambassador to South Africa; Mrs Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, Hon Minister of Science and Technology; Prof Ahmed Bawa, USAf’s Chief Executive Officer and Dr Joanna Newman, Chief Executive and Secretary General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, who delivered a keynote address on Day One.

Day 2:The Dialogue delegation included, in the middle row, the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Hon. Naledi Pandor — flanked on her right, by Prof Ahmed Bawa, USAf CEO (front row); Prof Cheryl de la Rey (back row), Chairperson of USAf’s Risk and Innovation Strategy Group, next to whom is Prof Thandwa Mthembu, Chairperson of the USAf Board. To the Minister’s immediate left is Dr Joanna Newman, Chief Executive and Secretary General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

The link below leads to the Dialogue programme, which is hyperlinked to speeches and presentations delivered at the two-day event.

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Click below to access a compendium of biographies of the speakers at the R&I Dialogue 2018. In some cases the presentation abstract is also offered.

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Click here to browse the R&I 2018 gallery.

Biennial Research & Innovation events

The biennial Research & Innovation conference was conceptualised by USAf’s Research and Innovation Strategy Group (RISG) in 2010. The events assembles under one roof, the brightest minds drawn from academics, researchers, policy makers, business and civil society to place research and innovation in the centre of policy-making national development planning and implementation for a more prosperous South Africa.

Research & Innovation Dialogue: 7-8 April 2016 Leveraging R & I for South Africa’s Prosperity

USAf proudly hosted this Dialogue at Emperors Palace Hotel & Conference Centre in April 2016. Sixty delegates attended from universities, departments of Higher Education and Training, Science & Technology and Trade & Industry. Agencies such as the National Research Foundation (NRF), the National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI) and science councils were also represented.
For more information click here

Universities SA Common Campaign Day

09 August 2017 – Universities of South Africa will celebrate a Common Campaign Day under the theme Manifestations of Typologies of Violence within Higher Education. The purpose is to highlight particular aspects of transformation across the university sector, and to profile public universities’ responsiveness to societal issues. Each institution will host its own event. The Common Campaign Day is a brainchild of the Transformation Managers’ Forum, supported by the Transformation Strategy Group and endorsed by the Board of the then Higher Education South Africa (HESA) in 2012.

Education Deans’ Forum Colloquium 2017

14 August 2017 – The Education Deans’ Forum (EDF) will be hosting a special one-day national colloquium themed The Africanisation and Decolonisation of Teacher Education in South Africa, as a response to the need to transform teacher education in South Africa. It will gather teacher educators (and student teachers) for a structured dialogue in this regard. The Education Deans’ Colloquium, which has now become an annual event since 2015, will be hosted at the Emperors’ Palace Hotel & Conference Centre in Kempton Park.

There are no registration costs. Faculties are encouraged to carry the costs of travel and accommodation of at least one academic and student delegate, as their means allow.

Click here for the draft programme and line-up of papers.

Community of Practice for the Teaching and Learning of African Languages

23 August 2017 – The Community of Practice for the Teaching and Learning of African Languages will convene at the University of Venda for their third meeting in 2017. This CoP is tackling three priority areas as identified during the regional transformation workshops of 2015. The CoP has prioritised the following three key focus areas: National and University Language Policies; Benchmarking, Developing, Advocating and Sharing Good Practices, and Information and Resources as well as Terminology, Translation and Interpretation.

Community of Practice for the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics

30 August 2017 – The third meeting in 2017 of the Community of Practice for the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics will be hosted at Mangosuthu University of Technology. The agenda continues to address three priority focus areas identified in 2016 around the teaching and learning of mathematics in the university sector. The focus areas, namely Diagnostic Testing, the Teaching of Mathematics and Extended Programmes in Mathematics Teaching were drawn from a 10-point priority action list identified during regional transformation workshops of 2015, which inspired the formation of this CoP to facilitate and support the transformation of Mathematics teaching and learning within the sector.

Joint annual RISG and DVC Research Forum

15 September 2017 – The Research and Innovation Strategy Group (RISG) and Deputy Vice-Chancellors Research Forum meet jointly once a year to discuss matters of common interest and concern with regards to research and innovation in the sector.  The focus of this year’s meeting will be the review of the Draft White Paper for Science and Technology. The meeting will be hosted at a venue to be advised in Johannesburg.