EDiTE Open Lecture: Prof. Irma Eloff on the Contrasts and Contradictions of the South African Educational System

On 29.05.2018, EDiTE UIBK organised an Open Lecture with Prof. Irma Eloff from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, who is currently a visiting researcher at the University of Innsbruck. Prof. Irma Eloff’s speech titled „Learning from contrasts and contradictions: South African educational challenges within the global context” engaged the audience in reflecting on the tensions and opportunities of education in an emerging democracy. She showed the key features of the current South African system by investigating contrasts such as apartheid and hope, inspirational leaders and corruption and dysfunctional and high quality schools. She also presented a few South African educational research projects centring around social innovation in such a contradictory context and the current debates that take place in South African education, for example, the importance of decolonising the curriculum, wellbeing throughout the lifespan, multilingualism, free higher education and fighting poverty and inequality. The professor also connected these local trends to the global by drawing parallels between her local South African and global UNESCO activities. Prof. Irma Eloff was inspired by the idea of EDiTE – the establishment of a joint doctoral programme focusing on teacher education in Europe – and embarked on a mission to set up something similar in Africa. She is now involved in conceptualising a doctoral network between five universities across Africa. EDiTE is grateful for Prof. Irma Eloff for such an inspiring lecture and is curious to follow the progress of the future doctoral network!


Prof. Irma Eloff presenting the South African educational system


Prof. Irma Eloff’s  open lecture hosted by EDiTE UIBK


Maiko Stürz (left), EDiTE Project Coordinator; Prof. Irma Eloff (middle); and Eveline Christof (right); Head of the Department of Teacher Education and School Research at UIBK, happy about the EDiTE Lecture