The Covid pandemic has amplified the context in which student learning and development take place. More precisely, learning and development are built upon the social, cultural, familial, discursive, micro and macro contexts into which the student is rooted.
Much has been done by the leaders, academics, researchers and practitioners in higher education to investigate, better comprehend and advance approaches to student success, which are more holistic in their focus on the individual and their psychosocial needs in their unique contexts.
ENGAGE #3 drew on notions of contextualised learning and development, and provided a platform for in-depth discussion on the following key questions in relation to student success:
- How should we re-conceptualise student success in an increasingly complex and uncertain world?
- What are the new notions and approaches to student success, nationally and globally, that address contextual influences that impinge on (or advance) student success?
- Student success is mission-critical for the entire institution, the nation and continent – how should it be supported by appropriate resourcing and organisational structures, within and beyond the higher education sector?
Our guest speakers for this event featured:
- Prof Sioux McKenna (Director: Centre for Postgraduate Studies, Rhodes University) contested dominant notions of students as de-contextualised learners and advanced our understanding of Teaching, Learning and Support by looking beyond the classroom.
- Dr Ramneek Ahluwalia (CEO: Higher Health) focused on student health and well-being including gender based violence as an ongoing impediment to success.
- Prof Mary Howard-Hamilton (Coffman Distinguished Research Professor and Chair, Department of Educational Leadership, Indiana State University) addressed the importance of a diverse context for student success and an integrated response.