Colloquia 2012

Colloquium 1

Date: 25 June 2012

Topic: Neoliberal Common Sense and the Challenge to South African Universities

Presenter: Professor Carlos Alberto Torres, School of Graduate Education & Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

This colloquium turned the spotlight on neoliberal globalisation and academic capitalism. Torres argued that “neoliberalism has utterly failed as a viable model of economic development, yet the politics of culture associated with neoliberalism is still in force, becoming the new common sense shaping the role of government and education. This ‘common sense’ has become an ideology playing a major role in constructing hegemony as moral and intellectual leadership in contemporary societies. Neoliberal globalisation, predicated on the dominance of the market over the state and on deregulatory models of governance, has deeply affected the university in the context of ‘academic capitalism’.” Does this assessment hold true for South African higher education and what are the associated challenges and implications for transformation?

Colloquium 2 

Southern African Research Colloquium (UTLO, UKZN Research Office and IAKS Department) 

Date: 23 November, 2012

Topic: Methodologies and Epistemologies for Integrating Indigenous African Knowledge Systems (IAKS)

Southern African academic and research institutions are increasingly designing initiatives to integrate Indigenous African Knowledge Systems (IAKS) into research, teaching and community engagement in line with regional and continental aspirations of an African-led globalisation. These initiatives are also driven by the need to make higher education more relevant to the socioeconomic developmental challenges of a continent, characterised by poverty and social inequalities. The achievement of these goals requires a critical interrogation of the relevance and appropriateness of existing methodologies, epistemologies, knowledge production, teaching, learning and community engagement in higher education.

To bring these debates into the spotlight, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, in collaboration with the National IKS Office (Department of Science and Technology), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) and Institute for African Renaissance Studies, will host a Southern African Regional colloquium focusing, among others on the following sub-themes:

  1. Integrating IKS in Higher Education Research, Teaching and Learning;
  2. The Impact of Culture and Language on Research, Teaching and Learning;
  3. The Role of African Intellectuals in the Indigenisation of Higher Education;
  4. Technologies and IKS Research, Teaching; and
  5. Research and Teaching into Higher Education.

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