Journal of Student Affairs in Africa https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa <p>The&nbsp;<em>Journal of Student Affairs in Africa</em>&nbsp;(JSAA)&nbsp;<strong>is an independent, peer-reviewed, multi-disciplinary, open-access academic journal&nbsp;</strong>that publishes scholarly research and reflective discussions about the theory and practice of student affairs in Africa.</p> <p>JSAA aims to&nbsp;<strong>contribute to the professionalization of student affairs in African higher education</strong>. It strives to be the foremost academic journal dealing with the theory and practice of the student affairs domain in universities on the African continent, and an indispensable resource for the executive leadership of universities and colleges dealing with student affairs, deans of students and other senior student affairs professionals, as well as institutional researchers and academics and students focused on the field of higher education studies and student affairs.</p> <p><em>JSAA is&nbsp;</em><strong>published twice a year</strong><em>&nbsp;by&nbsp;the JSAA Editors in collaboration with&nbsp;University of Pretoria.</em><em>&nbsp;The editorial and peer review policy adheres to the</em><em>&nbsp;<strong>Code of Best Practice in Editorial Discretion and Peer Review for South African Scholarly Journals</strong>&nbsp;</em><em>(Academy of Sciences of SA Council, 2008).&nbsp;</em>JSAA is published online and in print.&nbsp;<strong>Authors publish free of charge</strong>; there are no processing or page fees.&nbsp;</p> <div>Since 2017, JSAA is&nbsp;DHET-accredited in South Africa&nbsp;by the national Department of Higher Education and Training as a subsidy earning scholarly journal on the SA-list of accredited journals. JSAA is indexed and co-hosted by&nbsp;AJOL, DOAJ, and indexed by&nbsp;ERIC, BASE, WorldCat Libraries and Google Scholar. Scopus, Sherpa/Romeo, Infobase and other indexing service subscriptions are currently being pursued.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Please register for alerts about new issues and opportunities&nbsp;at&nbsp;<a href="https://upjournals.up.ac.za/index.php/jsaa" target="_blank" rel="noopener">https://upjournals.up.ac.za/<wbr>index.php/jsaa</a>.<br>Other websites associated with this journal:&nbsp;<a title="www.jsaa.ac.za" href="http://www.jsaa.ac.za/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">www.jsaa.ac.za</a></div> en-US <p>Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:</p><ol><li>Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/" target="_blank">Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike 4.0 International License</a> that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.<br /> </li><li>Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.<br /> </li><li>Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See <a href="http://opcit.eprints.org/oacitation-biblio.html" target="_new">The Effect of Open Access</a>).</li></ol> mjoyce@sun.ac.za (Ms Maretha Joyce) scholar@sun.ac.za (Digital Scholarship Department – SU Library) Wed, 10 Nov 2021 13:22:42 +0000 OJS 3.1.2.4 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss 60 The Impact of Covid‑19 on Student Affairs and Higher Education in Africa https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217174 <p>No Abstract.</p> Thierry M. Luescher, Birgit Schreiber, Teboho Moja, Martin Mandew, W.P. Wahl, Bekele Ayele Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217174 Wed, 10 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Student Affairs and Services during Covid‑19 in Africa: Mitigating the Pandemic’s Impact on Student Success https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217175 <p>The Covid‑19 pandemic has highlighted the challenges that present obstacles to equitable learning and development in higher education in various parts of the world. African higher education and Student Affairs and Services (SAS) are faced with a set of challenges that are in part related to the resources within the institutions and in part due the sociocultural context into which the institutions are embedded. It is with this background that this study explores the impact of Covid‑19 on SAS in Africa, as part of a wider lens on SAS across the globe.</p> <p><br>The study was conducted with an online survey which generated 781 responses of Student Affairs practitioners from across the globe, of which 118 were from the African continent. The data show SAS’s critical role in mediating the various domains within and beyond the higher education institution that impact on student success. The domains that impact on student success include the students’ personal experiences, the public domain, the sociocultural community and familial milieu, and the institutional/SAS domain. Thus, this article discusses SAS’s critical role in mediating the impact of these four domains on the student living and learning experience.</p> <p>The purpose of this article is to discuss the data and to use the data to gain insights into the way SAS has played a role in mitigating the impacts of Covid‑19 in four domains relevant for student success.&nbsp; Based on our findings, a systemic-contextual model is proposed that illustrates the relevance of four domains that need to synergise for students to be successful. Our data suggests that while SAS and universities do a great deal to support students in their learning, factors in the public domain, factors in the sociocultural community and familial milieu need to be conducive to learning to enable more student success in Africa.</p> Birgit Schreiber, Thierry M. Luescher, Brett Perozzii, Lisa Bardill Moscaritolo Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217175 Wed, 10 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Challenges and Interventions of eLearning for Underresourced Students amid Covid-19 Lockdown: A Case of a Zambian Public University https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217176 <p>This article reports the challenges of eLearning faced by under-resourced students in a Zambian public university during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown. The article further examines the interventions made by the university to mitigate the challenges of eLearning faced by under-resourced students. The article is based on empirical data derived from an online closed- and open-ended questionnaire completed by 73 under-resourced students, and an interview with two university staff. The quantitative and qualitative data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis respectively. The article provides evidence that under-resourced students encountered various challenges related to eLearning categorised under the following interlinked themes: technical, environmental, psychological, sociocultural, financial, and material. Lack of ICT facilities/devices (laptops, smartphones, tablets and desktops), internet, electricity, and support systems were the most critical barriers to eLearning. Findings further showed that the sampled university made efforts to mitigate the challenges faced by students&nbsp; during eLearning amid the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown. However, there were no focused interventions&nbsp; to specifically address the actual challenges under-resourced students encountered. Regrettably, this&nbsp; suggests that the needs of under-resourced students were overlooked. Thus, the authors suggest strategies universities should put in place to uphold the participation of all students during eLearning regardless&nbsp; of the circumstances.</p> Charity L.M. Kombe, Dingase E. Mtonga Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217176 Wed, 10 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Mitigating the Implications of Covid‑19 on the Academic Project at Walter Sisulu University in South Africa: A Proposed Framework for Emergency Remote Teaching and Learning https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217177 <p>Walter Sisulu University (WSU) in South Africa, like other universities worldwide, is faced with the challenges associated with the outbreak of the Covid‑19 pandemic. The challenge has changed our day-to-day lives, including the way we interact and conduct business. In the midst of this, WSU has had to change the way learning and teaching occurs. Traditional face-to-face tuition had to be adapted by moving to the online mode of teaching and learning to both minimise the time lost in the academic project and protect staff and students from the devastating effects of the virus. This article reflects the actions taken by the University and describes its pilot-project approach to online learning and those processes it has put in place to ensure its effective implementation. While it is accepted that switching to an online mode of teaching and learning can facilitate <br>flexibility in space and time, the reality is that the majority of students at WSU – mainly due to their geographical and socio-economic environments – experience daily challenges ranging from poor network coverage, lack of internet connectivity, lack of electricity and other socio-economic impediments that make online learning stressful or beyond their reach. In this article, we present a model that could be used by higher education institutions (HEIs) to respond to Covid‑19 in the short term. The proposed model is underpinned by a framework that caters for students who are readily able to access online learning, students with intermittent access to online facilities and finally, students who cannot access online education. First, we provide a brief description of online learning, highlighting the challenges presented to teaching and learning by this approach. We argue that our context and education policies present additional problems that militate against the adoption of online strategies by most HEIs. In the final instance, we present a framework that is better suited to our context and can be used during and after the lockdown. Data were collected using online questionnaires with both structured and openended questions from both lecturers and students to determine their experiences with the testing project. Lastly, we draw conclusions based on the findings of the study.</p> Rushiella N. Songca, Clever Ndebele, Munienge Mbodila Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217177 Wed, 10 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Rapid Orientation of Students for Emergency Remote Learning during the Covid‑19 Lockdown https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217178 <p>In response to the spread of the Covid‑19 pandemic, the President of South Africa declared a national lockdown that commenced on 27 March 2020. This posed numerous challenges to the higher education sector, one of which was the preparation of students forced to stay at home to be able to study remotely under unique and often unfavourable circumstances. This article outlines and reflects on the conceptualisation, development, and implementation of an online orientation programme aimed at preparing students to rapidly move to emergency remote learning as a result of a nationwide lockdown. Teaching and Learning Centre staff in the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management at a South African university rapidly created a short online orientation programme in the institutional Learning Management System, using Salmon’s five-stage model as a conceptual framework. The objective was to enable students to acquire the skills and knowledge required for continuing with the university academic programme from 20 April 2020 via emergency remote learning. The orientation programme covered the priority areas of how to get started in emergency remote learning, broad study skills, how to use the required technologies for learning, and managing personal well‑being during social isolation and emergency remote learning. In this article, the conceptualisation and development of the orientation programme is analysed, before reflecting on its implementation, challenges, mitigating measures, and lessons learned. Feedback from students indicates that the majority of students felt more prepared for continuing the academic programme, although they still reported feeling anxious about the many uncertainties. The intervention emerges as a useful strategy for helping students transition during a crisis and contributes to the understanding of how to prepare students for rapid transition to Emergency Remote Learning.</p> Danie de Klerk, Greig Krull, Tshepiso Maleswena Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217178 Wed, 10 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000 The ‘Double Transition’ for First-Year Students: Understanding the Impact of Covid-19 on South Africa’s First-Year University Students https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217179 <p>While all students are affected by the advent of the Covid‑19 pandemic, the first-year student population remains a special category of vulnerability for higher education. This is on account of the way the Covid‑19 pandemic has disrupted their transition into university and complicated the nature of their entry into and through the formal academic cycle. This article uses the notion of a ‘double transition’ as a framework for positioning and locating the first-year student transition within the context of the prevailing Covid‑19 pandemic. ‘Double transition’ refers to an additional transition coupled with that of the first-year transition, with regard to the extraordinary situation of students navigating their entry into the unfamiliar terrain of academia while simultaneously navigating the Covid‑19 pandemic. The article provides a circumscribed summary of the effects of Covid‑19 on university students and looks to describe and explain the nature and shape of first-year transitions in relation to the transition necessitated by the Covid‑19 pandemic. It concludes with four key strategies for supporting first-year students as the pandemic continues.</p> Annsilla Nyar Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217179 Wed, 10 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000 The Effect of the Covid‑19 Pandemic on Students and the Living and Learning Spaces at a South African University https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217180 <p>In March 2020, the South African President Mr Cyril Ramaphosa announced a national lockdown due to the rising cases of the Covid‑19 pandemic. As a result, some of the higher education institutions closed under lockdown level 5 and strategies had to be developed to adapt to the “new norm”.&nbsp; Consequently, students and the living and learning spaces in South Africa were affected, necessitating therefore that transformation in all spheres takes place. This study, through a qualitative research design, investigated the effect of Covid‑19 on students and the living and learning spaces at a selected university in South Africa. Fifteen students and ten Residence Advisors (RAs) were telephonically interviewed. The results revealed that the living and learning spaces had been significantly transformed by the Covid‑19 pandemic. The operations of these spaces had been compelled to change in order to comply with the Covid‑19 regulations, such that student learning was shifted from face-to-face to online learning. This meant more time spent indoors, stricter measures now in place and the RA roles having been broadened to ensure that they also monitor compliance. The study also noted that even after the pandemic, things will still take time to get back to normal. This article concludes that Covid‑19 has had a huge effect on the living and learning spaces as well as students at the selected university and that both students and staff should play their roles effectively to ensure that everyone remains safe.</p> Blessing Kanyumba, Nondumiso Shabangu Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217180 Wed, 10 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Disguised Blessings amid Covid‑19: Opportunities and Challenges for South African University Students with Learning Disabilities https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217181 <p>The Covid‑19 pandemic has led to changes from traditional face-to-face teaching and learning to&nbsp; online systems. These changes have resulted in a concerted focus by local and international scholars&nbsp; on how some students are disadvantaged from accessing pedagogy due to a lack of resources and&nbsp; supportive living conditions that enable meaningful off‑campus learning. Simultaneously, disabilities&nbsp; in higher education is getting&nbsp; international attention, too, highlighting how students with disabilities&nbsp; are vulnerable to further exclusions and mental health problems. This&nbsp; rticle&nbsp; focuses on the pedagogical arrangements during the Covid‑19 pandemic and the challenges and opportunities associated with online and remote learning for university students with learning disabilities. The article draws on the narratives of fifteen students with learning disabilities from a university in South Africa. An analysis of students’ narratives within the Capability Approach’s concept of conversion factors revealed how circumstances could enable or constrain students’ abilities to achieve what they value in higher education. Students’ narratives show that they engage better with online and remote learning despite some notable challenges. In conclusion, the pedagogical arrangements aimed at alleviating the disruptions caused by the Covid‑19 pandemic can address the unmet educational needs of students with learning disabilities even though they have to overcome specific barriers.</p> Ndakaitei Manase Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217181 Wed, 10 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Online Work Readiness Programme: Ready, Set, Go! https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217182 <p>There has always been pressure on higher education institutions to enhance the employability of graduates and to instil knowledge, skills, and attributes that will be beneficial to future employers. The impact of Covid‑19 on a global, national, and local level is placing even more pressure on the topic of employability. Graduates are uncertain about job availability and there is a need for career guidance. After a national and local shutdown of university campuses in 2015 and 2016 due to #FeesMustFall, Career Services staff at the University of the Free State designed and created online work readiness programmes in order for students to continue with work preparations, no matter what the circumstances. In 2018, the first topics on CV‑writing and job interview skills were rolled out online and made available to all registered students; each semester, two additional topics were added. By the time Covid‑19 led to a national lockdown in South Africa in March 2020, the transition to online work readiness programmes was fairly easy. The purpose of this study is to determine the impact of the online work readiness programmes offered on the Blackboard platform from April to June 2020 during the Covid‑19 pandemic and national lockdown. This article will provide an analysis of a questionnaire conducted with willing participants who have engaged and worked through the online work readiness programmes from April to June 2020, to investigate the impact on graduates’ readiness for the world of work. Through the survey, students shared their learning experiences and the influence it has had on their career planning. It is believed that the findings of this research study will create a deeper understanding of how career services, as a particular functional area in student affairs, can reposition itself during uncertain times to remain responsive to the needs of students.</p> Belinda Janeke Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217182 Wed, 10 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Reflections on the South African Higher Education Leadership and Management (HELM) First Virtual Summit, 9‑11 December 2020: Leadership for a Sustainable and Resilient Higher Education System in an Age of Complexity and Change https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217198 <p>No Abstract.</p> Bernadette J. Johnson Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217198 Wed, 10 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Responding to Covid‑19: Experiences of Ashesi University’s Student Affairs Team https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217183 <p>The Covid‑19 pandemic has revealed the abilities or lack thereof of many higher education institutions to adequately support the academic and co‑curricular needs of students in times of crisis. In this reflective practitioner account, Schlossberg’s Transition Theory is used to analyse the transitional experiences of students amid the Covid‑19 pandemic and how the Office of Student and Community Affairs (OSCA) team at Ashesi University successfully supported students as they navigated the academic semester. One-to-one interviews with department heads of the five OSCA units were conducted alongside focus group discussions with a cross-section of 17 students. The findings suggest that (i) advising, (ii) engagement, and (iii) timely online support interventions contributed immensely to students’ success in transitioning from in‑person to remote learning.</p> Millicent Adjei, Nina N.A. Pels, Vanessa N.D. Amoako Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217183 Wed, 10 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Adaptation of Student Support Services Considering Covid‑19: Adjustments, Impact, and Future Implications https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217184 <p>The global pandemic caused by Covid‑19 has impacted every facet of our lives and challenged&nbsp; service delivery to students within Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The Centre for Student Counselling and Development (CSCD) at Stellenbosch University (SU), South Africa, is situated within the Division of Student Affairs (DSAf) and the centre’s reflective practitioners had to respond to the challenge of altering services to ensure continuous support to the SU community. The CSCD aims to provide the SU community with psychological, developmental and support services, with the focus on critical engagement, advocacy, personal growth, and optimising graduate potential. The CSCD has been functioning virtually since mid-March 2020. Each of the Centre’s five units had to respond to both the challenges and opportunities to adhere to social distancing and to accommodate students who did not have access to online devices. All support sessions – whether it be academic, social justice, career, social work, psychotherapy, crisis management, with individuals or with groups – had to be done virtually or via telephone. This depended on a student’s choice and practical reality in terms of space, privacy, and connectivity. This article aims to firstly share the risks and opportunities of rapidly shifting to an online supportive environment, as well as how each unit within the centre had to adjust its functioning to ensure minimum impact on student relationships and interactions. It secondly aims to portray the implications the rapid shift had on the centre’s practitioners and the lessons learned during the process. Sharing these lessons might empower other HEIs in Africa too. Lastly, considering the imperative shift to online functioning caused by the Covid‑19 pandemic, this article concludes with a discussion on the implications for the future functioning of the CSCD.</p> Munita Dunn-Coetzee, Elmien Sinclair, Marcia Lyner-Cleophas, Jaco Brink, Marquard Timmey, Charl Davids Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217184 Wed, 10 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Leveraging Ed-tech in the Co-curricular Space: Reflections on Design and Development Aspects of the Class Representative Induction Programme at the University of Cape Town https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217186 <p>Every year, class representatives are elected at the University of Cape Town to represent students on academic matters in relation to a specific academic course. A vital element of this representative role is to advocate for an enabling learning environment that promotes learning excellence. In preparing class representatives for their leadership roles, the Department of Student Affairs, in partnership with the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) and the Faculty Councils, host and facilitate a class representative induction programme. The induction typically utilised face-to-face synchronous teaching methods. However, since the advent of Covid-19, adaptions to the induction programme had to be made in order to reflect the new normal imposed by the pandemic.Against this backdrop, this article addresses various design-related choices encountered from an online education technology perspective. Key areas of reflection include working with the SRC Undergraduate Academic Co-ordinator and Faculty Councils as a design team in transitioning a, hitherto, synchronous programme catering for approximately 420 class representatives, from a face-to-face mode of delivery to an online mode of delivery. Particular attention is paid to the social constructivist design elements of the programme development process and how these elements were managed with regards to the enablements and constraints encountered in the virtual space by exploring the technological affordances of various ed-tech options available to student affairs practitioners.This article contributes to the practitioner literature by demonstrating how ed-tech can be leveraged to aid in the preservation of existing practices as blended learning approaches continue to shape and augment the future of co-curricular programme delivery in higher education.</p> Christine Immenga Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217186 Wed, 10 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000 The Impact of the Covid‑19 Pandemic on Student Affairs Practitioners: A Reflective Case Study from Bindura University of Science Education in Zimbabwe https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217188 <p>The Covid‑19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on faculty and student affairs practitioners&nbsp; which has changed the future of higher education worldwide. This reflective practitioner account looks into its impact on practitioners working in student affairs, some of which is not immediately visible, but unfortunately very significant and will surface in the medium and long term. There has been tremendous uncertainty for Student Affairs practitioners as a result of disruption from familiar routines and unexpected disengagement with their clients, the students. The change management perspective and scholarship of practice were adopted as methods of observing how a department in a university deals with unplanned change. The study concluded that the Covid‑19 pandemic impacted practitioners negatively at the case university as new skills were required, practitioners were required to adjust to new work arrangements, lost income, suffered mental health problems and faced resource constrains. Training and development, social media, employee support systems and employee incentives were catalysts in the early adoption of change.</p> Sebastian Mutambisi, Dora Dorothy Murasi, Crispen Mazodze Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217188 Wed, 10 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000 From Didactics to Datafication: A Critical Reflection on Virtual Learning Environments and the Production of Space https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217189 <p>When writing about transformation in higher education (HE) in South Africa, it is quite popular to mention the fall of apartheid, and perhaps also 1994, as a starting point for significant change. I, myself, have made this mistake (see Bernard, 2015). However, the recent #FeesMustFall protests highlighted that many approaches to transformation have been superficial at best, and extremely problematic at worst (Luckett &amp; Naicker, 2019; Luckett, 2019). This is because they have done little to acknowledge the legacies that colonial modes of thinking have had, and continue to have, on the everyday lived experiences of students in spaces that still feel alienating to them. In April 2020, when the doors of South African universities closed to all, and during a swift and mass migration away from university campuses to Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs), I was presented with the opportunity to critically reflect on the impact that increased use of VLEs can have on the transformation agenda in the HE sector. My approach takes up Tumubweinee and Luescher’s (2019, p. 2) argument that many initiatives aimed at transformation in HE have failed, because they do not pay sufficient attention to the where of transformation. Thus, like Tumubweinee and Luescher, I locate my reflection on VLEs in the postmodern, sociopolitical understandings of ‘space’ evident in the work of Lefebvre (1991), but more specifically his notions of conceived and abstract space. In doing so, issues of identity and coloniality are brought to the fore. My approach is critical in that it “implies possibilities, and possibilities as yet unfulfilled” (Lefebvre, 2002, pp.18‑19).</p> Taryn Bernard Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217189 Wed, 10 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Inclusion in Times of Covid‑19: The Case of International Students in South Africa https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217190 <p>The Covid‑19 pandemic has caused major disruptions to the teaching, learning and research functions of universities around the globe. It has also impacted their internationalisation efforts in significant ways. From the perspective of South Africa’s public higher education sector, this article reflects on how international students at the country’s universities have been affected by national and institutional responses to Covid‑19. It highlights the specific challenges and constraints international students faced in light of Covid‑19 related restrictions such as travel bans, university closures and the national lockdown. In doing so, several aspects of the international student experience are explored, specifically regarding travelling home, communication, accommodation and immigration. The article also addresses the issue of remote learning and academic continuity, arguing that international students, especially those who were outside the borders of South Africa, are at risk of being left behind. It advocates for the inclusion of international students in national and institutional considerations and plans for the successful completion of the 2020 academic year. The article recognises that, in the absence of coordinated national responses, institutional approaches to the treatment of international students have differed from one university to another. Such differences can be linked to the differentiated nature of the South African higher education sector, where the capacity of institutions to deal with Covid‑19 related challenges and to respond comprehensively to the needs of different groups of international students varies in accordance with the availability of relevant structures, systems, digital platforms and other resources. As a reflective practitioner account, the article draws on the experience of the authors in higher education internationalisation as well as on the collective experience of a community of practice of the International Education Association of South Africa, which represents the majority of public universities in the country.</p> Samia Chasi, Orla Quinlan Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217190 Wed, 10 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Disability Unit Practitioners at Stellenbosch University: Covid‑19 Pandemic Reflections https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217193 <p>As reflective practitioners working in disability inclusion, we constantly work with shifting realities&nbsp; concerning our students, who are not a homogenous group. The coronavirus pandemic (Covid‑19) was a reality least expected in 2020, yet we used our flexible approach to make the transition as smooth as we possibly could. The Disability Unit (DU) is one of five units located within the Centre for Student Counselling and Development at Stellenbosch University (SU) and falls within the responsibility centre of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning. The DU was founded in 2007 and is 15 years old in 2021. We aim to foster disability inclusion within a transformative framework at SU, with our main focus on students with disabilities. Our wider aim is universal access, which includes working towards the removal of cultural, social, language and disability barriers in the higher education context. We are guided by the Disability Access Policy (2018) of SU. Since the latter part of March 2020, we had to shift to online teaching and learning. This came at a time when we were preparing for the end of the term and student support was being put in place. The onset of Covid‑19 occasioned unanticipated reflections and challenges, which we share in this article. We also reflect on what we have learnt and how we can move forward in a changed academic environment catapulted into a digital world. We do this reflection by following the Gibbs’ reflective cycle (Gibbs, 1988) which offers a way to reflect and learn from experience. The cycle is weaved into the reflections as it follows a process of describing the context of the DU, expressing how the Covid‑19 pandemic was felt by staff and students, evaluating and learning from what was experienced. According to Lyner-Cleophas (2020), online learning has benefits and challenges, especially considering students with disabilities.</p> Marcia Lyner-Cleophas, Lizelle Apollis, Ilse Erasmus, Melanie Willems, Latashe Poole, Meagan Minnaar, Pippa Louw Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217193 Wed, 10 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Learning Online: The Student Experience by George Veletsianos (2020). Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217200 <p>No Abstract.</p> Tadd Kruse Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217200 Wed, 10 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Transforming Higher Education in Africa and Asia: Strategic Planning and Policy by Fred M. Hayward (2020). Albany, New York: SUNY Press https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217201 <p>No Abstract.</p> Patrick Swanzy Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jssa/article/view/217201 Wed, 10 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000