Category: Conference

Prof Michael Cross

SAERA expresses our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Prof Michael Cross on his untimely death.  He has made a huge contribution to Education in South Africa and will forever be missed. SAERA recognises his valuable contribution to Education and do believe that his works will continue to influence the field of educational research


Filed under: Conference

SAERA-conference 2020 message in light of COVID-19/coronavirus


Dear SAERA members

It is very unfortunate to find ourselves in yet another pandemic context that has the potential to impact on society in a very large scale. We, as SAERA executives, do hope that you take the necessary precautions as you go about your daily work and social engagement with colleagues, family and friends.

The executive of SAERA were in on-going conversations on the coronavirus, especially as it relates to the activities of SAERA, more especially on the planned annual conference usually held in October. At this stage of our conversation we believe that the membership of SAERA should be informed of our initial thinking which includes no formal decisions being made at this point regarding the October 2020 annual conference and that there will be on-going communication with the membership. An executive meeting is being planned shortly where discussions will take place on the conference and decisions will be formulated to sent to the entire membership of SAERA.

All the best and stay well

Labby Ramrathan
SAERA President

Filed under: ConferenceTagged with: ,

SAERA PhD and Honour awards

Nominations for the SAERA PhD and Honour awards are open. Find the information to nominate someone or read more about these awards below:

Filed under: Conference

New publication

Human Rights Literacies

Future Directions

Editors: Roux, Cornelia, Becker, Anne (Eds.)

This book adds impetus to the nexus between human rights, human rights education and material reality. The dissonance between these aspects is of growing concern for most human rights educators in various social contexts.

The first part of the book opens up new discourses and presents new ontologies and epistemologies from scholars in human rights, human rights education and human rights literacies to critique and/or justify the understandings of human rights’ complex applications.

Today’s rapidly changing social contexts and new languages attempting to understand ongoing dehumanization and violations, put enormous pressure on higher education, educators, individuals working in social sciences, policy makers and scholars engaged in curricula making. The second part demonstrates how global interactions between citizens from different countries with diverse understandings of human rights (from developed and developing democracies) question the link between human rights and it’s in(ex)clusive Western philosophies.

Continuing inhumane actions around the globe reflect the failure of human rights law and human rights education in schools, higher education and society at large. The book shows that human rights education is no longer a blueprint for understanding human rights and its universal or contextual values presented for multicomplexial societies.

The final chapters argue for new ontologies and epistemologies of human rights, human rights education and human rights literacies to open-up difficult conversations and to give space to dissonant and disruptive discourses. The many opportunities for human rights education and literacies lies in these conversations.

Read more:

Filed under: Conference

PLENARY PANEL: TUESDAY OCTOBER 23rd 2018 How sustainable and viable is multilingualism for higher education purposes in South Africa?

The realisation of Constitutional provisions as regards the use of all eleven languages for education, remain a mirage in South Africa. Recent judgments regarding languages for teaching and learning, as media of instruction, in the context of Unisa and the UFS seem to prophecy a monolingual higher education context in which English becomes a hegemonic language in the absence of viable alternatives. Furthermore, those alternatives are neither desired in terms of African language speakers themselves, or are resisted in terms of the use of a language like Afrikaans. In both the court judgments the education merits of multilingualism are lost and in the media the political and ideological positions dominate. This panel will debate the issues and consider how we move beyond the impasse.

PANEL CHAIR: Robert Balfour

Robert Balfour is currently the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) at the North-West University. After being awarded a Commonwealth Trust Scholarship in 1997, he completed his doctoral degree in English language at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge. He held fellowships at the Institute for Commonwealth Studies at the University of London, Clare Hall at Cambridge University, and the Institute of Education at the University of London. His previous book on literary-cultural studies Culture Capital and Representation (with Palgrave, 2010) was received with critical acclaim. In 2015 the book, Education in a new South Africa: crisis and change was published by CUP.  He is a C2 NRF rated researcher. In 2011 he was appointed as Dean of the Faculty of Education Sciences on the Potchefstroom Campus of NWU, and led the restructuring of the Faculty in 2013, and from 2016-2017 led the Education Joint Executive Task Team (Edu-JET) as Coordinating Dean responsible for the planning and transition towards an integrated single-Faculty structure for the three campuses of the NWU, Besides being an applied linguist, postcolonial literary critic and educationist, Balfour is an exhibited painter.


Susan Coetzee-Van Rooy is the deputy dean: research and innovation in the  faculty of humanities at the North-West University. She is also professor of English and a researcher in the research focus area Understanding and Processing Language in complex settings (UPSET). Susan holds a C1 rating from the NRF, and is currently also chairperson of a number of rating panels for the NRF. Her research considers why and when people choose to use particular languages, and how they combine their different languages to perform different functions in their private and public lives, and before that, how they come to learn particular languages, and how they perceive their proficiencies in their various languages.


Rosemary Wildsmith-Cromarty a PhD from the University of London. She has been a Visiting Scholar at SOAS, University of London, University of Guadalahara, Mexico, Wilfred Laurier University, Ontario, Canada and Dalian Maritime University, China. She currently holds the Research chair for Early Childhood Development and Education at North-West University. Her publications focus on multilingualism, language acquisition, language teaching and language policy. She is currently interested in language education and  cognitive development and how learners navigate their developmental path in linguistically complex learning environments.


Mbulungeni Madiba is an Associate Professor and Deputy Dean in the Centre of Higher Education Development (CHED) at the University of Cape Town. He is a Mandela Fellow at Harvard University and an Oppenheimer Fellow at the University of London. He obtained his MA in African Languages and DLit et Phil in Linguistics at the University of South Africa. His main areas of research are language planning and policy, politics of language, language education, multilingual higher education and concept literacy. He has published widely on language planning and policy and multilingualism in South Africa.



Filed under: Conference