Press release statement
Submitted by: The Department of Marketing & Communications
Via email: Hlophe@mut.ac.za
16 August 2022
Global academic heavyweights to descend on the MUT annual Focus Conference
Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) will host its annual Focus Conference to discuss the latest trends in teaching and learning in the post-Covid-19 higher education context from 17 to 19 August 2022 at Durban’s Elangeni Hotel. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Re-inventing higher education: insights, trends and lessons learnt from COVID-19’.
This year’s Focus Conference, which is organised by the Teaching and Learning Development Centre (TLDC) at MUT, features prominent scholars in the world of teaching and learning, along with academic leaders who experienced the impact of Covid-19 on teaching and learning first-hand. Over 200 delegates will take part in the conference to share their academic contributions to re-inventing higher education post-Covid-19.
Dr Phiwayinkosi Gumede, acting Senior Director: TLDC, said he was confident that the conference would succeed in its mission to have academics and researchers share their research and experience on teaching and learning in a world where Covid-19 continues to shape how things are done.
“There is still a lot that we need to learn about how Covid-19 will continue to affect the higher education sector years beyond the lockdowns,” said Dr Gumede. “We are also fortunate to be joined by senior scholars in the field of teaching and learning, who will share their wisdom as we re-imagine the higher education landscape”.
Dr Whitfield Green, Chief Executive Officer of the Council on Higher Education (CHE), will deliver the first keynote address on the first day of the conference.
One of the most anticipated sessions is the Vice-Chancellor’s panel discussion, which runs from 11h30 to 12h15 on Wednesday, 17 August 2022. The panellists for this session are former Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand and current Director of the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and Professor Tinyiko Maluleke, Vice-Chancellor of the Tshwane University of Technology. The panel discussion will be chaired by MUT acting Vice-Chancellor & Principal, Professor Marcus Ramogale.
On the second day, Professor Stephen J. Marshall, Director of the Centre for Academic Development at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand will deliver the second keynote address and share insights during his address. The University of Illinois’ Professor Bill Cope/Professor Mary Kalantzis will deliver the afternoon address on the second day of the conference.
The Focus Conference is a platform for academics and researchers to share knowledge and experiences on various subject matters; which include the dynamics and the complexities of the academic profession as altered by the Covid-19 pandemic, the importance of e-learning and virtual education as a mode of learning, staff and students health matters as a result of disruptions from the Covid-19 pandemic, the need to continue globalising education, and other challenges that academics experience within the profession and their possible solutions.
“Our sessions offer a variety of topics to provide a holistic understanding on the impact of Covid-19 beyond just access to teaching and learning,” said Dr Gumede. “One of the conference sub-themes will be looking at staff and students’ health in general, and mental health in particular, because most of the time the focus is on the adoption of e-learming, with less emphasis on psychosocial support”.