Second call for the 2nd NQF Research Conference: Building articulation and integration
Johannesburg, 4th - 6th March 2013
Extension of deadlines
This second call for the 2nd National Qualifications Framework (NQF) research conference Building articulation and integration in the system for education, training, development and work in South Africa extends initial deadlines to enable wide participation across Higher Education Institutions and research institutions across the field. The conference builds on the outcomes of the 1st NQF research conference Towards a map of NQF-related research (Kopanong, Johannesburg, 2010) which focused on understanding the NQF in the context of the NQF Act 67 of 2008 NQF and building communities of associated research practice.
SAQA's first five long-term research partnerships set up in 2008/9 have been completed or are in the process of drawing successfully to a close; findings are being disseminated in various ways. Considerable effort is being taken to ensure that the insights and outputs emanating from the projects are effectively fed into policy and practice. Two second-round partnerships - those to address learning pathways for skills relating to sustainable development, and integration of academic and vocational knowledge for innovation - have been set up. In addition to the post-graduate theses; peer-reviewed papers; workshops and seminars required from the first round of partnerships; second-round partners have to provide some translation of findings, and policy advice based directly on the research.
SAQA's long-term partnership research has been at the forefront of national developments: the SAQA-UKZN project FET College lecturers: biography, knowledge, pedagogy has informed the national process for the development of new FET-related qualifications, and continues to inform FET College reform and FET College lecturer development. SAQA-UWC alternative access research A comparative study of Recognition-of-Prior-Learning practices across the NQF landscape continues to be of critical importance for national RPL developments. SAQA-Rhodes work on Change-oriented learning for sustainable development has informed the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS) III. Findings from the SAQA-WITS integration research are in the process of being published for wide dissemination. Findings from preliminary SAQA-Joint Education Trust 'NQF Impact Study' research have informed current 'NQF Effectiveness Study' work.
As SAQA takes up new research in its attempts to understand the effectiveness of the NQF and how to enhance systemic integration and articulation, it is seeking to expand its research model to include a wider range of Higher Education Institutions and a greater number of post-graduate researchers. While each of the early partnerships comprised SAQA research staff and one specialist from a public Higher Education Institution with a small group of post-graduate students, SAQA now seeks more widely collaborative partnerships which may involve several Higher Education Institutions and other research organisations, together with SAQA research staff and a specialised leader based in a public Higher Education Institution. The 2nd NQF Research Conference is one of a range of mechanisms to assist this expansion.
Purpose of the conference
The purposes of the conference are to:
- Expand communities of NQF-research practice
- Share NQF-related research and build shared understanding of the NQF as a relational device
- Provide dedicated opportunities to expand NQF research partnerships and other collaborations
The conference provides the space for show-casing both existing long-term SAQA research, and NQF-relevant research in HEI, and creates a space for encouraging the involvement of a wider range of NQF organisations in SAQA's research partnerships.
The themes of the conference are organised into four streams as follows:
Articulation - What are current conceptualizations of articulation; current instances of successful articulation; articulation possibilities BET-FET; FET-HET; FET-VET; VET-HET (in each case in both directions)? One important line of investigation is: what are some of the effects of the current basket of NQF legislation; what are its enablers and barriers ? What has the legislation made easier? What has it prevented? What are the challenges and how can they be addressed? Monitoring and evaluating progress regarding articulation is also of central importance.
The role of Career Advice Services in enhancing articulation - What do maximally inclusive and appropriately differentiated practical models for learning and careers counselling (including those already developed) look like in (a) FET colleges; (b) HEI; (c) schools; (d) other institutions of learning? What are the effects of SAQA's current career development initiatives? How can and is career advice enhancing systemic articulation?
Inclusivity and articulation - Physical and epistemological access, alternative access, redress, Credit Accumulation Transfer arrangements, learner support - how are associated initiatives assisting articulation? A critical area of investigation here is: how to include those outside the system, who need or desire to be within it? How do we bring marginalised groups into the centre? Monitoring and evaluating progress regarding inclusivity is key.
Educational quality - what is the quality and the role of quality South African qualifications and learning pathways in a fully articulated system? To what extent are learners in the country educated and equipped for the world of work, participation in society, and decent lives? Monitoring and evaluating progress in this regard is important.
Delegates are also invited to request additional themes or sub-themes for research areas that fall outside these selected topics but are relevant nevertheless for systemic articulation and integration. If possible we will attempt to integrate these additions.
When presenting, delegates will be requested to speak to their own work as well as to point to areas for collaboration. A session towards collaboration-building forms part of the last day of the conference. The event is thus a 'conference-workshop': it has elements of both academic conference and workshop with outcomes.
Call for abstracts and papers
Delegates interested in presenting at the conference are invited to submit abstracts of 500-700 words by 19th October 2012. Presenters will be selected on the basis of these abstracts. Delegates are also invited to submit full papers (5000-6000 words) by 30 May 2013 for a peer-reviewed publication. Articles should respond to the identified conference streams.
Please indicate on the paper: the paper title, author(s), author institution(s), contact details (e-mail address, landline, and cell-phone number per author), the conference theme, and four key words. Articles should be submitted to: Ms Mercy Sondlo (email@example.com); Telephone: (012) 431 - 5138
Abstracts will be reviewed by members of the Conference Organising Committee and will be considered based on the following criteria: (1) Relevance for the development and implementation of the NQF, and for assessing the impact of the NQF; (2) Relevance to the conference theme; (3) Clarity of content and presentation. Delegates will be notified of the acceptance / non-acceptance of abstracts for inclusion in the conference Book of Abstracts by 30th October 2012.
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