From 10 to 15 March, four delegates from the University of Pretoria attended a spring school at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen in Tübingen, Germany. The sessions and deliberations were led by Prof Karin Amos, Vice-Rector for Students, Studies and Teaching at the University of Tübingen. Among the delegates were Oscar Eybers and Michal-Maré Linden of the Unit for Academic Literacy.
The spring college focussed on Educational Governance in the Global South and had academics and students in attendance from Germany, the USA, Kenya, China, Mexico, South Africa, and South Korea. Over four days, a variety of topics were debated such as ‘What do we mean by the term educational governance?’, ‘What is the role of big data in education policy making?’ as well as education expansion and trends in Africa.
UAL colleagues contributed to the reasoning by drawing on their field of Academic Literacy. Eybers and Linden highlighted how Discourses, including the identities of literacy practitioners and the application of literacy practices, may be incorporated in learning experiences which aim to instil in students a sense of global citizenship and belonging. UAL colleagues also argued that Discourses in specific disciplinary domains may increase student awareness of global trends and practices which are relevant to their future and professional careers.
Presentations were also made by the Education Faculty of Tübingen University and the Global South Project. Prof West-Pavlov led discussions on inter-relationships between nation states and institutions of higher learning. From these presentations, the need for increased communication and collaboration between global institutions of higher learning were highlighted as effective mechanisms to enable a socially just world.
The school proved fruitful in making international connections, sharing ideas across geographical and cultural boundaries, emphasising the importance of context as well as Africa as a source of knowledge, and establishing the importance of a ‘global citizen’ mind-set.