Keynote Presenters

Prof Hasina Ebrahim (UNISA) :  College of Education, School of Education, Early Childhood Education –

Hasina Banu Ebrahim is a full professor at the University of South Africa and the UNESCO Co-chair in Early Education Care and Development. Her research interests cohere around the theme Early Childhood at the Margins. This theme is developed in policy, practice and teacher education in the early years. She is the Institutional Lead for a European Union Funded Project entitled Project for Inclusive Early Childhood Care and Education (PIECCE). She won the UNISA 2017 Women in Research Award in the category of Leadership. Her latest book (in press) is a co-edited volume entitled Early Childhood At the Margins: African Perspectives on Birth to Three.  In 2007 Prof Ebrahim completed her PhD on the Constructions of Early Childhood. Her research has largely been directed at addressing marginalised issues in early childhood policy, practice and teacher development. She was involved in research projects both internationally and nationally. The Knowledge Transfer Project was developed through a partnership with the University of East London and University of Warwick. She was involved in the Barriers to Learning Project funded by the National Research Association in South Africa.  She received merit awards for both her leadership in research and capacity building of emerging researchers in early childhood education. She served as the Deputy President and the President for the South African Research Association for Early Childhood Education (2011-2016). She also serves on editorial boards of international journals such as the European Early Childhood Education Research Association Journal and Early Years.

Distinguished Prof Lesley le Grange (US) :  Professor of Curriculum Studies (Environmental & Science Education) – 

Lesley Le Grange is a Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Education at Stellenbosch University. He has 249 publications to his credit, is recipient of multiple academic awards (including the SAERA honours award) and serves on editorial boards of 12 peer reviewed journals. He has delivered more than 180 academic presentations (80+ as invited speaker) and has presented many professional development courses/workshops for university academics. In 2015 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (UK) and in 2019 elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). In 2018 he was appointed a member of the Council on Higher Education (CHE) by the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology and reappointed to a second term in 2023. He has also been appointed by the Minister of Basic Education as a South African Council for Educators (SACE) Councillor in 2021. After serving two terms as Vice-President, he was elected President of the International Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies (IAACS) in 2020. In 2022 he was appointed to the Council of Stellenbosch University. Lesley Le Grange is rated as an internationally acclaimed researcher by the NRF and has also been appointed chairperson of the NRF rating and evaluation panels. This year he has been invited to the membership of the Professors of Curriculum of the American Education Research Association (AERA). 

SAERA Mandela Lecture 2023:

Prof Saleem Badat (UKZN) :, 

Saleem Badat is Research Professor in the History Department at the University of the Free State. He began his academic career in 1989 at the University of the Western Cape, eventually becoming the Director of its Education Policy Unit. In 1999, he was appointed the first CEO of the Council on Higher Education, the advisory body to the Minister of Higher Education & Training. Following that, he served as vice-chancellor of Rhodes University from 2006 to 2014. Between 2014 and 2019, he was the first Program Director of International Higher Education & Strategic Projects at the Mellon Foundation in New York, directing grantmaking in the humanities to African and Middle East universities and institutions. Saleem holds qualifications from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Boston University, and a PhD in Sociology from the University of York. Combining critical theory and practice, scholarship and activism, his concerns are structure and agency, reproduction and transformation, equity, redress, and social justice in and through universities, and the decolonization and transformation of universities.  His books include Tennis, Apartheid and Social Justice (2023), The Forgotten People: Political Banishment under Apartheid (2012), Black Man, You are on Your Own (2009), and Black Student Politics, Higher Education and Apartheid (2000). He is the author of some 60 book chapters, journal articles and research reports, and over 40 magazine and media opinion pieces. Currently he is researching books on a history of universities in South Africa and on his tenure as Rhodes University’s first black vice-chancellor. Also in progress, are edited collections on the University of Durban-Westville and on Research and Activism. Awards include honorary doctorates from the universities of the Free State, York and Rhodes, the Inyathelo Exceptional Philanthropy Award and the HSRC-USAF award for research excellence in social justice scholarship. He is a board member of the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs and of Our Compelling Interest, a trustee of the Harold Wolpe Memorial Trust, and a former chair of Universities South Africa and of the Association of African Universities Scientific Committee on Higher Education.

Panel Presenters

Opening Panel:  

Panel 1:  Educational Foundations 

Panel 2:  Educational Futures 

  • Dr Presha Ramsarup (Wits):  TVET, sustainability and skills for Just transitions :
  • Dr Injairu Kulundu-Bolus (RU):  Youth, Transgressive learning and Regenerative African Futures :
  • Prof Nuraan Davids (US):  Global citizenship education :
  • Associate Prof Mpho-Entle Modise (UNISA): ICT’s and Education :