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Dr Melanie Skead


I have worked in higher education since 1988, first lecturing English and then migrating into academic development in 2003. I have a keen interest in student learning and see teaching development as a way to humanise higher education culture and pedagogy. I aim to create homely spaces for staff and students to thrive through equity of opportunity and resources.  

Over time, I have been privileged to take on lecturing, academic and managerial roles at a range of higher education institutions: Vista University, Fort Hare and Nelson Mandela University. Designing a credit –bearing certificate in the facilitation of learning for peer facilitators and a teaching and learning scholarship certificate for lecturers have been specific highlights. An institutional teaching and learning excellence team award in 2013 was the culmination of close collaboration with my colleagues at Nelson Mandela University.  

Completing the Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education for academic developers at Rhodes University (2011-2012) was life-changing. I have subsequently presented multiple papers at national and international conferences on this qualification and recently published a paper in the Higher Education Research and Development Journal  in which I explore experiences of participants in the course. I am interested in how academic developers work, how they feel about being academic developers and how they experience ways in which they are constructed in the institutions in which they work. My current research interests are academic agency in curriculum-making and equity literacy in higher education. 

I work collaboratively with lecturers in the evaluation of teaching and courses, teaching portfolio and curriculum development. Current national imperatives to decolonise and transform our curricula align closely with my values of equality, equity and a humanizing higher education culture. 


Papers and publications

Makura, A., Skead, M. & Nhundu. K. (2011) Academic development practices at Fort Hare University: an epitome of university access. Research in Higher Education Journal (12): 13-26.

Skead, M., Webb, A.C.M. & Ndebele, C. (2012) Becoming Academic Developers: engaging in the Scholarship of Higher Education Studies. HELTASA conference, Stellenbosch, 30 November.

Skead, M. & Twalo, T. (2011) The Fort Hare Writing Centre: an integrated model for writing and language development, In A. Archer and R. Richards (eds) Changing Spaces. Writing Centres and Access to Higher Education. Stellenbosch. SUN MeDIA. 

Skead, M. & Johannes, H. (2011) An evaluation of a heuristic blended learning framework for teaching development at NMMU. HELTASA conference, NMMU, Port Elizabeth.

Skead, M. (2006) The supple in supplemental: making SI work in a developmental context. The 4th International SI conference, Malmo, Sweden, 24 May.

Skead, M. (2005) What good is teaching without learning? : integrating student and teaching development. SAADA conference, Durban University of Technology.

Skead, M. (2003) `Where leaders learn’: developing leaders through Supplemental Instruction. SAADA conference, Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

Skead, M. (2001) `At the right time’: adult education in the environment. International World Education Fellowship Conference, Sun City, November.

Skead, M. (1997) ‘Reclaiming unseen worlds’: the visionary in Africa (Credo Mutwa). AUETSA conference, University of the North.

Skead, M. (1996) The Language in Education Policy with special reference to the tertiary sector. Paper presented at North-West University.

Skead, M. (1992) Psychic landscapes as matrix for self in Sylvia Plath’s Journals. AUETSA conference, University of Zululand.


Last Modified: Mon, 06 Nov 2017 12:54:25 SAST