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Welcome to the third edition of 2021

The newsletter opens with a message from the IEASA President, Mr Wiseman Jack; a message from the Treasurer. It continues with Congratulations to IEASA Achievers, a summary of IEASA’s representation and engagements since our last newsletter. An end of year reflection is encouraged next. It then proceeds with some reflections on the IEASA conference; some news from the sector and finally, some news from the institutional members. This edition covers news from Rhodes University and the University of Kwa Zulu Natal.

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Mr Wiseman Jack
President (2021-2022)

As the 2021 academic year comes to a close, it is my pleasure as the President of the International Education Association of South Africa (IEASA) to thank all IEASA members for your active participation in our association in 2021.

Similar to 2020, when we first experienced the onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic, 2021 has been very challenging for the Higher Education sector in South Africa, for Internationalisation sector and at the personal level for many of us who has lost loved ones, succumbed to COVID and are facing may other types of related-challenges.

I would like to acknowledge the significant contributions of ExCo, Council, the Director's Forum, IEASA Staff, our Public Universities and individual members in championing International Higher Education even through these trying times.

Through all of your efforts, IEASA can reflect on yet another successful year in which through adaptability, resilience and mutual support we delivered on all our activities and were active at national and international level.

Please take every precaution to stay safe, as it appears the fourth wave of COVID is upon us, with Gauteng as the epicentre. Let me also take the opportunity to congratulate Prof De Oliveira from our member institution University of Kwa Zulu Natal for his identification of the Omicron variant.

Seasons greetings and I wish you all a very well-deserved rest at the end of the year.

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Treasurer 2022: Ms Orla Quinlan

Good Financial Management and Clean Audits
With a history of sound financial management, IEASA has managed to have a clean audit every year since its inception. Following the AGM on November 30th, ExCo and the IEASA manager met with PWC on December 2nd and the 2020 audit will now be finalised.

Membership Fees:
IEASA remains the most reasonably priced international education membership association. Fees for 2022 were approved at the AGM as follows: Membership Category

Regular R560
Student R170
Overseas US$175

Africa based Associated Organisations/ Student Associations /Corporate R13400
Overseas $1470

The Importance of Good Standing
Being in good standing has always been and remains a core requirement to participation in the nomination processes for Council. Paying membership fees and invoices in a timely manner, as you proceed throughout the year, ensures that you remain in good standing throughout the year.

Annual Membership Reminders
IEASA has instituted a practice similar to all the other international education association, to which many of us belong, which is a proactive invitation to renew your membership, on an annual basis. Once you pay membership at the start of the year, you are eligible for all membership benefits.

Thank you
IEASA has a very important role to play in the national and international education arenas. Let me take the opportunity to express Council’s gratitude to everyone who supports IEASA financially including our members, who pay membership fees; sponsors who provide donations, including SIMEKA health, Sanlam, CompCare, Flywire; project partners such as the British Council, who provided funding for mutually beneficial projects, and to all of you, who contribute financially or in-kind to IEASA’s income generation activities such as the Conference and Study SA.
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Congratulations to Dr Heleta and Mrs Bagus for being shortlisted by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) for the 2021 Sustainability Awards

Council member Savo Heleta from Durban University of Technology and IEASA staff member Tohiera Bagus teamed up to publish a paper in the prominent international journal Higher Education titled Sustainable development goals and higher education: leaving many behind (Higher Education, 2021, Vol. 1. No. 2.). In the paper, they focus on the lack of any plans or targets to support (re)building and strengthening of higher education in low-income countries through SDGs. The paper also explores and maps out a way forward for building and strengthening higher education systems and institutions in low-income countries, despite the neglect of higher education in the SDGs, through international collaboration and partnerships.

Link for the paper:

This paper has been shortlisted by the The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) for the 2021 Sustainability Awards, which 'provide global recognition to the individuals and organizations leading the higher education sustainability movement.' Link for the AASHE announcement:

Congratulations to Dr Lavern Samuels of Durban University of Technology who was shortlisted for the People in International Education (PIE) awards
Dr Lavern Samuels was shortlisted for the annual People in Education awards in 2021.

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Mr. Wiseman Jack
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Dr. Lavern Samuels
Deputy President
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Ms. Orla Quinlan
The President, Mr Wiseman Jack, was invited to represent IEASA at a special meeting for the international education community around climate change, the CANIE COP26 climate action week leaders form took place on the 9th of November 2021.

The Deputy President, Dr Lavern Samuels, spoke at the Australian conference and represented IEASA. Dr Samuels and colleagues from the Durban University of Technology presented at the International Virtual Exchange Conference, as well as gave a response to Keynote presentation on Fair Cooperation and Workshop Delivery on Fair Cooperation at the DAAD – SA Conference.

The immediate Past President, and current Treasurer, Ms Quinlan was an invited speaker to an International panel at the AIEA Town Hall, reflecting on the impact of COVID on Higher Education, August 27th.

Concerned that institutions might not fully appreciate the opportunity with the Policy Framework on internationalisation of Higher Education in South Africa to include any dimension prompting comprehensive internationalisation, relevant to their own institutions, Ms Quinlan emphasised the flexibility of the Policy Framework, as opposed to it being a prescriptive policy, in an article published in The Conversation in early October “South Africa’s universities are adopting an international lens: why it matters” Both IEASA and NIEA were referred to in the article. Ms Quinlan was then invited to discuss the article on the Late-Night Conversation, with Patrica Ntuli, on SA FM.

Ms Quinlan represented IEASA at an international panel at the Canadian Bureau of International Education Conference on Future possibilities in Higher Education on November 17th and was approached with a funded- opportunity for IEASA to participate in their World Pavilion with a South African Country delegation. The opportunity to participate was offered to all our member institutions, via the Director’s Forum. Of the ten universities, who indicated their interest, and who were offered free passes to the conference, the following five universities actually registered for the event: Durban University Technology, Rhodes University, Stellenbosch University, University of Joahnnesburg, Witwaterstrand University. Ms Quinlan prepared a country profile, which included the website links to USAf and the website of the 23 institutional members of IEASA.

Ms Quinlan also attended the World Council Global meet up on intercultural competency on November 16th.

Ms Quinlan and Ms Gita Patel, University of Witwaterstrand, were invited as guest speakers to the HR Directors forum, USAf to speak about the Internationalisation Policy Framework and what it means for international staff recruitment.

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In August, Dr Savo Heleta published a short critical analysis of the Policy Framework for Internationalisation of Higher Education in South Africa, calling the document a missed opportunity to rethink internationalisation and align it with the much needed transformation and decolonisation imperatives in higher education.
Link for the article:

IEASA Staff Engagements

Dr Samia Chasi participated in the following international fora
  • a guest lecture on “What skills do you need for the future of work?” at the “Leadership in the Future of Work” international summer school of the University of Zurich, 14 July 2021
  • a panel discussion on “Education” at Africa Innovate, 22 July 2021 (flyer attached). The recording of the session is available at:
  • a webinar on “Learning, between policy making and implementation” hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, 27 September 2021 (photo attached, credit: Samia Chasi, IEASA)
  • The EAIE Community Exchange sessions, 28 September – 1 October 2021
    • “Europe-Africa collaboration: changing the narrative and tackling global challenges together” (on-demand session)
    • “Spotlight on: National, regional and global perspectives” (live panel discussion)
  • a panel discussion on “Exploring Difference: Decolonising Higher Education” at the International Dialogue on Education Berlin: available at:
Dr Chasi also published and article on “South Africa’s Policy Framework for Higher Education Internationalisation A Decolonial Perspective”, The Thinker, Vol. 89 No. 4 (2021); Article is available at:

End of the year Reflection

It’s been an unpredictable year full of rapid change, and as 2022 draws to a close, taking a few moments to reflect on the year can provide energy and intention for what the new year will bring. Find a quiet space, take a pen and a notebook, and consider the following questions:
  • What would you like to thank yourself for having done this year?
  • Where did you spend most of your energy in 2021?
  • What gave you all that energy? Reflect on any special relationships, people who supported you, new hobbies or habits you took up…
  • What are 3 things you would like to do more of in 2022?
  • What are 3 things you would like to let go / stop doing / do less of in 2022?
  • This time next year, what would you like to thank yourself for doing in 2022?
I hope this reflection brings you the benefit of your own wisdom, and sharpens your focus and joy for taking next steps in 2022.

By Lara Dunwell, CIEE

IEASA conference
In 2021 the 23rd annual conference was held online from 25 to 27 August 2021, under the theme: Internationalisation, Inclusion and Social Justice – Towards a Fairer World.
The 23rd annual IEASA conference brought together leaders, experts, researchers, educators, academics, practitioners, students and innovators interested in international higher education who shared thoughts, research findings, lived experiences and best practice examples. Sessions and poster presentations at the conference offered a wide variety of engagements and discussions, such as:
  • Reimagining, reframing and redefining higher education internationalisation and international collaborations and partnerships that genuinely promote social justice and inclusion for all;
  • Critical engagement about the need to decolonise internationalisation in South Africa;
  • New approaches to internationalisation in South Africa that would see more engagement and collaboration between country’s higher education institutions;
    Engagement on whether virtual mobility can lead to more inclusion in internationalisation;
    Funding opportunities for internationalisation and international collaboration;
  • Student perspectives on internationalisation, inclusion and social justice in South Africa and beyond.
The link to the conference programme may be found here:


newsfrm the HEIS

SASUF 2030

SASUF 2030 is a transformative project uniting 38 universities from across Sweden and South Africa. Bringing together leading researchers, teachers, students, university leaders and other stakeholders, the project will develop joint solutions to the challenges posed by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2030.
“SASUF ran as a joint collaboration project from 2018 to 2020. We are very pleased that the project has been granted further funding by STINT until 2024


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News from Rhodes University


Building the Africa we want through collaboration and cooperation

On Wednesday, 20 October 2021, Rhodes University launched the African Water Resources Mobility Network (AWaRMN), a five-year multi-partner project funded by the Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme of the European Union (Agreement N° 2019-1973/4 - Project N° 614587). The network is set to address the pressing water-related challenges faced by the African continent, through cooperation in higher education.


Rhodes University researchers contribute to significant data release intended to change the future of space exploration

An international team, led by Rhodes University Research Fellow, Dr Kenda Knowles, has just announced a comprehensive overview paper for the MeerKAT Galaxy Cluster Legacy Survey (MGCLS), accompanied by the public release of a vast trove of curated data that astronomers worldwide can use to address a variety of challenging questions relating to the formation and evolution of galaxies throughout the universe.


Rhodes University wins national #3MT competition for second year in a row

The competition, hosted by the University of Free State, provides a platform for PhD students to share their cutting-edge findings to an audience with no background in their research area in three minutes or less.


Rhodes University exclusive graduation ceremony for Masters and Doctoral graduates

For the second time in over 100 years of its existence, Rhodes University hosted an exclusive graduation ceremony for Masters and Doctoral graduates. The virtual graduation was the fourth since lockdown measures were implemented, of the 216 degrees conferred, slightly over half (52%) were female graduates, and a quarter (25%) were international students.


News from University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN)

Ms Amende

Alumnus Appointed Group Head of Data Privacy for Top Bank

UKZN Law graduate Ms Amenda Makhetha is the new Group Head of Data Privacy at ABSA. She will lead the bank’s data privacy department, which ensures that the organisation processes personal data belonging to customers, employees and other stakeholders within the ambit of relevant privacy, data protection and other laws, amongst other things.

The attorney who graduated with her LLB in 2009, is well experienced in the field of data privacy as she was previously responsible for group data privacy compliance at MTN Group Ltd and prior to that headed the data privacy and compliance function at MiX Telematics Ltd. Makhetha said that her decision to pursue a career in law was motivated by her desire to serve as a voice for the voiceless.

Dr Thembe

Humanities Academics Receive Social Work Awards

Social Work lecturers Dr Thembelihle Makhanya and Dr Maud Mthembu have received awards from the Association of South African Social Work Education Institutions (ASASWEI). Makhanya won the runner-up award for the best emerging social work educator and Mthembu the award for the best researcher in 2021. The prize-giving ceremony was held at the Premier Hotel in Richards Bay as part of the ASASWEI 2021 conference.
‘To be chosen by ASASWEI as the runner-up for its Emerging Social Work Educator of the Year for 2021 award, suggests a positive direction to my career development. This is encouraging not only for me but for our students and emerging academics,’ said Makhanya.


Medical Student Shortlisted for International Rising Star Award

Fifth-year Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery student Ms Tivana Chellan (22) was shortlisted out of 200 nominees for the International Rising Star Award at the 2021 Safety and Health Excellence Awards interactive digital conference. The Awards celebrate innovation and achievements in the health and safety sector with emphasis on the high standards of excellence and dedication.


UKZN Academic Appointed Editor-in-Chief of World Journal of Diabetes

Professor Shahidul Islam of the School of Life Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science has been appointed as an Editor-in-Chief of the World Journal of Diabetes (WJD), which is published by the Baishideng Group in the United States. The WJD is a high-quality, online, open-access, single-blind peer-reviewed journal with its articles showcasing some of the most influential research carried out by world-renowned academic authors as well as international researchers.

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