Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Kick-off of the Council on Higher Education’s Quality Promotion Conference 2019

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26 February 2018, CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria. South Africa

Today marked the first day of the Council on Higher Education‘s quality promotion conference which is taking place until 28 February 2019 in Pretoria, South Africa. The conference is said to comprise panel discussion session, parallel paper presentation sessions, plenary sessions, a gala dinner and an excursion.The conference agenda features an impressive lineup of speakers and topics and delegates in attendance have been sharing positive responses via major social networks since the commencement of the sessions this morning.

Panel Discussions

A panel of experts today discussed the different forms and manifestations of academic dishonesty, including in research and publishing, and their effects on integrity of higher education.

The experts included:

  • Prof Rushiella Songca (University of South Africa): Facilitator and moderator
  • Prof Adèle Thomas (University of Johannesburg): Panellist
  • Prof Gillian Finchilescu (University of the Witwatersrand): Panellist
  • Prof Mahlapahlana Themane (University of Limpopo): Panellist
  • Dr Shawren Singh (University of South Africa): Panellist

Parallel Platform Paper Presentations

A full schedule featuring original research, review, anecdotal and theoretical papers are being presented in parallel sessions for the duration of the conference.

The Conference Theme: Promoting Academic Integrity in Higher Education

The aim of the conference is to provide a platform for sharing experiences, lessons and good practices, as well as for raising issues and stimulating dialogue on the need to maintain academic integrity across the higher education sector. This would help ensure that the credibility and global competitiveness of the SA, and indeed African higher education qualifications, are not compromised.The Council on Higher Education (CHE) is a statutory body established under the provisions of the Higher Education Act [Act 101 of 1997], as amended. 

The functions of the CHE under the Higher Education Act are to:

  • Advise the Minister of Higher Education and Training on higher education matters;
  • Arrange and coordinate conferences;
  • Through the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) Promote quality assurance in higher education;
  • Audit the quality assurance mechanisms of higher education institutions; andAccredit programmes of higher education.
  • Publish information regarding developments in higher education, including reports on the state of higher education, on a regular basis;
  • Promote the access of students to higher education institutions; and
  • Perform any other function conferred or assigned to it in terms of the Act or the National Qualifications Framework Act [Act 67 of 2008].

The National Qualifications Framework Act [Act 67 of 2008] expands the mandate of the CHE to include a range of functions related to the development and management of the Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework [HEQSF].One of the CHE’s activities in the area of Quality Promotion has been that of organising and hosting workshops and conferences. In 2016, the Southern African Regional Quality Assurance Conference was organised and hosted under the auspices of the Southern African Quality Assurance Network (SAQAN). In 2017, the Southern African Regional Quality Assurance Workshop was organized and hosted with the funding from the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD). Furthermore, the mandate functions of the CHE as outlined above, include arranging and coordinating conferences.  The Annual Performance Plan (APP) for 2018/19 also lists a conference as one of the deliverable targets for the year.

It is against this background that the CHE organised its Quality Promotion Conference for the 2018/19 financial year. The conference is taking place from 26 to 28 February 2019 in Pretoria. The theme is ‘Promoting Academic Integrity in Higher Education’.

Published in Science and Education