Purpose of the Colloquium

The 2021 Research Colloquium is organised by the Department of Higher Education and Training, in collaboration with the Department’s entities, which are the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs), the three Quality Councils, and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). The Department has also partnered with the University of Cape Town on this colloquium.

​​The objectives of the Research Colloquium are to:
  • Engage with research on Open Learning in Post-School Education and Training (PSET)
  • Consider implications of the research for policy, strategy, planning and practice
  • Identify research gaps in relation to PSET in the context of open learning; and
  • Debate whether and how diverse modes of teaching and learning can improve access to and quality of PSET.

The expected outcomes of the Research Colloquium are to:
  • Improve research utilisation to support evidence-based decision-making, policy and planning;
  • Improve knowledge sharing to improve practices in relation to open learning; and
  • Improve understanding of open learning (including diverse modes of teaching and learning).

The Colloquium will take place online, on Wednesday, 22 September 2021, and will be preceded by several Pre-Colloquium webinars. The Colloquium will showcase new and emerging research on key dimensions of this topic, thus providing an opportunity for stakeholders to reflect on policy, strategy and practice.
  • 7 September 2021 - Webinar 1: Institutional Leadership and Management;
  • 9 September 2021 - Webinar 2: Lecturer Development and Open Educational Resources;
  • 14 September 2021 - Webinar 3: Opening Learning through a New Qualifications Perspective;
  • 16 September 2021 - Webinar 4: Flexible and Blended Teaching and Learning Practices in PSET;
  • 20 September 2021 - Webinar 5: Inclusivity in Post-School Education and Training (PSET); and
  • 22 September 2021 – Research Colloquium on Open Learning: Flexible and Blended Learning in PSET.


  • Mr Buti Manamela

    Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

  • Prof Asha Kanwar

    President and Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth of Learning

  • Dr Ebba Ossiannilsson

    Vice-President of Swedish Association for Distance Education | Board member of Job and Skills Coalition Sweden

  • Mr Peter van der Hijden

    Independent Higher Education Strategy Advisor

  • Mr Matias Matias

    Global Education Specialist | Advisory Board Member for HP Foundation, HP Life Program HP Inc.

  • Prof Mpine Makoe

    Commonwealth of Learning Chair in Open Education Resources/ Practices | Research Professor in Open Distance eLearning at the University of South Africa (UNISA)

  • Prof Linda Cooper

    Emerita Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town (UCT)

  • Prof Ramneek Ahluwalia

    CEO of Higher Health

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