Keynote speakers and Think Pieces

Professor Penny Jane Burke

P Burke

Professor Penny Jane Burke is Global Innovation Chair of Equity and Director of the Centre of Excellence in Equity in Higher Education at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Penny is passionately dedicated to developing methodological, theoretical and pedagogical frameworks that support critical understanding and practice of equity and social justice in HE. She was awarded a full-time Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) PhD studentship from 1998-2001, and upon completion of her PhD (University of London), her first sole-authored book Accessing Education effectively widening participation was published (2002, Trentham Books). She has continued to publish extensively in the field of equity and widening participation including her authored books Reconceptualising Lifelong Learning: Feminist Interventions (Burke and Jackson, 2007, Routledge), The Right to Higher Education: Beyond widening participation (Burke, 2012, Routledge) and Changing Pedagogical Spaces in Higher Education (Burke, Crozier and Misiaszek, 2016, Routledge).

Penny is Editor of Teaching in Higher Education. She served as a member of the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) Governing Council and Publications Committee (2012- 2016), and was recipient of the UK’s prestigious Higher Education National Teaching Fellow award in 2008. Penny has held the posts of Professor of Education at the University of Roehampton, the University of Sussex and Reader of Education at the Institute of Education, University of London.

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Dr Tristan McCowan

T McCowan

Dr Tristan McCowan is Reader in Education and International Development at the Institute of Education, University College London. His work focuses on the areas of access to and quality of higher education, alternative and innovative universities, citizenship education and human rights, and covers a broad range of contexts, particularly in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

He is currently involved in multi-country research projects on higher education pedagogy and the public good in Africa, and in research on indigenous education in the Brazilian Amazon and Mexico. He is the author of Rethinking Citizenship Education (Continuum, 2009) and Education as a Human Right (Bloomsbury, 2013), and is editor of Compare: a Journal of International and Comparative Education.

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Prof Aslam Fataar

A Fataar

Aslam Fataar is Professor in Sociology of Education at Stellenbosch University. He was a Vice-Dean (Research) at the University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, where he started his academic career in 1994. He moved to Stellenbosch University in 2009 where he served as Head of Department and then Vice-Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Education.

Aslam has published two books, edited or co-edited six books, and published more than 80 journal articles. His latest book is Engaging Educational Subjectives across Post-Apartheid Urban Spaces (2015). He is currently pursuing research in urban sites, and writing on questions of curriculum knowledge selection. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of the Southern African Review in Education (2009-2016).

Aslam has served on a range of local, national and international educational bodies, including the Councils of three Western Cape universities. He has been awarded several prizes for his academic articles: the Pringle Prize for best article on education in South Africa (2011), the Joyce Caine Prize (2008) awarded by the Comparative and International Education Society, and a co-authored article awarded by the Afrikaanse Taal en Kultuur Vereniging, with his student Dr Henry Fillies. Aslam was the President of the South African Education Research Association from 2015 to 2016.

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Call For Proposals

Theme: Contemporary Higher Education: Close-up research in changing times

HECU 9 invites participants to consider, from a range of theoretical and contextual perspectives, the roles, work, and purposes of contemporary higher education in challenging times.






Early Registration  - up to 16 August 2018 R5600

Late Registration - from 17 August 2018    R6000

Student and day rates available.


Click here to register online.

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Contact Us

The conference is being organised by

Reneé Smit 

Delia Marshall

Sherran Clarence


The conference administrator is Belinda Chapman at the University of Cape Town’s Conference Management Centre.

 Please get in touch if you have any questions.