Welcome

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Background

The Centre for Higher and Adult Education (CHAE) held its first international conference on postgraduate supervision in April 2007 with the theme ‘Postgraduate Supervision: State of the art and the artists’. Since then four more conferences were held, in 2009 on ‘Postgraduate Supervision Research and Practice’, in 2011 on ‘Promoting a culture of postgraduate scholarship’, in 2013 on ‘Candidates, supervisors and institutions: pushing postgraduate boundaries’ and most recently, in March 2015, the conference theme was ‘Looking ahead: the future of postgraduate supervision in the knowledge society’.

Building on this experience, we are delighted to invite our wide network of international and national conference participants to the sixth Postgraduate Supervision Conference in 2017.

The sixth conference will once again be hosted at the beautiful Spier Wine Estate and Conference Centre just outside the university town of Stellenbosch. For this conference we shall focus our discussions on the spaces, journeys and ultimate destinations of postgraduate studies and supervision, particularly in the context of increases in international and cross-border postgraduate study opportunities, the role knowledge and innovation in economies across the world, the important role supervisors collectively play in the quality of postgraduate work as well as the different countries and institutions where postgraduate work and future researchers are produced. The chosen theme this time round is: ‘Postgraduate supervision: Spaces, journeys and new horizons’.

The idea of ‘spaces’ refers to the variety of spaces where supervision and postgraduate work take place: Personal, individual, disciplinary, collective, institutional, material, physical, virtual, and other spaces. The ‘journey’ concept in supervision and postgraduate work has been debated as useful but probably insufficient to capture all its complexities and intricacies. We use the term ‘journey’ anyhow to indicate beginnings, movements, challenges, obstacles, assistance, support and other dynamic features of the supervision-study interface. Finally, the term ‘horizon’ is associated with terms such as transitions, changes, range of experience, outlook, perspective, vista and others. The theme is thus sufficiently broad to theorise, report, discuss and debate research on postgraduate supervision in all its variety and complexity. The main theme will be covered by three ‘tracks’ representing (a) Supervisory spaces, (b) Supervisory journeys and (c) Supervisory horizons; topics will be focussed in terms of the inevitability of everyday realities and future opportunities faced by supervisors, students, graduate schools and institutions.

The conference will open on Tuesday, 28 March and closes at lunchtime on Friday 31 March 2017. On Tuesday, 28 March there will be a meeting of Deans of Postgraduate Studies (or their equivalent) to discuss issues of mutual concern related to international and national trends and challenges for postgraduate schools and offices. On the same day a number of half-day workshops will be facilitated for which conference participants can register separately. The conference itself will commence on Wednesday, 29 March and end at lunchtime, Friday, 31 March.