Phakamisa: DHET funded project based at University of Zululand

This DHET funded project is part of a national drive to ensure that 75% of academics have doctorates by 2030, as per the National Development Plan. Phakamisa brings together academics from University of Zululand, Durban University of Technology and Rhodes University with Penn State University in the United States of America. 

The project brings together individuals looking at a wide range of topics using various theoretical lenses. Take a look below to see who we are!


Anthea Adams:  Lecturer - CHERTL, Rhodes University

I use Roy Bhaskar’s Critical Realism and Margaret Archer’s Social Realism to examine the interplay between the cultural, structural and agential mechanisms within a professional development course that enables or constrains the emergence of academics’ professional identity, and ultimately, their capacity to teach in a higher education context. I qualified as a Social Linguist at the University of the Western Cape. I worked as a primary school teacher in the Western Cape before joining academia in 2007. My research interests are academic identity, academic writing at postgraduate level and enhancing teaching and learning through academic staff development. I currently work at the Centre for Higher Education Research, Teaching and Learning (CHERTL) at Rhodes University where I coordinate the Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education (PGDip HE) course.





Taurayi Willard Chinaka: Lecturer - MSTE, University of Zululand

My PhD study focuses on the use of analogies in teaching introductory physical chemistry at tertiary level. Analogies play an important role in alleviating alternative conception and they improve retention of chemistry concepts. My research interest besides analogies in science education is on graphical interpretations in chemistry. I am an outdoor person who enjoys mountain climbing and chess.





David Guthrie: Associate Professor - Higher Education; Penn State University

 I have over 20 years of full-time teaching experience at undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels, and have served as a dean in both student affairs and academic affairs.  I also directed a multi-million-dollar grant focused on the theological exploration of vocation.  My intellectual interests revolve around the intersection of religion, society, and higher education, with a particular emphasis on religiously-affiliated colleges and universities.  Most recently, I am working on: developing an assessment plan for Penn State’s honors college; a research project on general education and innovative pedagogy at Penn State; two book reviews; a campus climate research project with a nearby, regional faith-based college; and, a partnership with three South African universities to prepare future university leaders.



 Esther Joubert: Mangosuthu University of Technology

Who am I?  I am an educator. Various roles of higher education institutions are explored in the literature. Within our own context in South Africa, transformative education includes improving quality and increasing diversity. I have a passion for higher education and it is my philosophy that student success is a responsibility of all higher education practitioners. I wish to improve the lives of others in a transformative and democratic society through higher education.  I have a Master of Science degree and a Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education.  I am currently registered for a Doctorate in Education at the Durban University of Technology. My research focusses on technology-mediated learning and teaching at a previously disadvantaged university in South Africa.  The potential output of the research will be the theorised implementation of e-learning at the institution to transform learning and thereby enhance student success. 


Kevin Kinser:  Department Head, Education Policy Studies and Professor of Education (Higher Education)

I am Professor and Head of the Department of Education Policy Studies, and Senior Scientist in the Center for the Study of Higher Education at Pennsylvania State University. I study non-traditional and alternative higher education, particularly the public policies and organizational structures related to private for-profit institutions and international cross-border higher education. I am co-founder of the Cross-Border Education Research Team (C-BERT) which investigates the scope and impact of international branch campuses worldwide, and am regularly sought out by national and international media outlets for commentary on for-profit and international higher education. My most recent book is Accreditation on the edge:  Challenging Quality Assurance in Higher Education (2018, Johns Hopkins Press).



Azwidohwi Philip Kutame: Professor of Education, University of Zululand

I am a professional teacher and educational domain researcher focussing on teacher assessment and evaluation for professional development. I spent forty-two years teaching. In my D.Phil degree, I investigated the methodologies of conducting sensitive research in education. My research area is broadly on assessment of teacher mental health and its effects on the promotion of quality of teaching and learning; and evaluation of the role of community engagement in promoting the quality of life of teachers in rural areas. My focus area is mainly Community Engagement research based on research projects investigating overall school performance in rural schools. Through assessment and evaluation of teachers, challenges being experienced in these rural schools are established. I have received three prestigious Vice Chancellor’s Excellence Awards: Research, Teaching and Community Engagement Excellence Awards.


Lynn Quinn: Associate Professor, CHERTL, Rhodes University, South Africa.  

I am an associate professor in the Centre for Higher Education Research, Teaching and Learning (CHERTL) at Rhodes University in South Africa. I have been involved in the field of Academic Development since 1995. Working with CHERTL colleagues, I drove the development of a Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education for lecturers which has been offered since 2000. In 2012, I edited a book containing chapters written by CHERTL colleagues entitled, Re-imagining academic staff development: spaces for disruption. From 2011, with Jo-Anne Vorster, I worked collaboratively to design and offer a Postgraduate Diploma specifically for academic developers, the first course of its kind globally. My research interests include academic staff development and academic developers, teaching and learning, curriculum, assessment and quality. I supervise higher education studies doctoral and masters’ students.


Mncedisi Maphalala: Dean - Faculty of Education (University of Zululand)

I am a Professor and the Dean in the Faculty of Education at the University of Zululand. I previously worked at the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of South Africa. I was a Visiting Scholar at the College of Education at the University of North Dakota in the United States of America in the 2015. I have edited two books and two journal special issues, published 17 book chapters and 21 research articles in accredited journals.  I have presented research papers in both local and international conferences like Hawaii, Austria, Hong Kong, India, Namibia, Kenya and Botswana. My research interests are curriculum studies, assessment of learning, teaching practice and Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. I currently serve as the Deputy President of the Southern African Society for Education (SASE) which has organized an annual conference since 1971 in various SADC countries. I recently served in the Umalusi Research Forum, a sub-committee of Umalusi Council.


Sioux McKenna: Professor, Centre for Postgraduate Studies, Rhodes University

Sioux McKenna is Director of the Centre for Postgraduate Studies at Rhodes University, which offers writing retreats, seminars and research design courses for honors, master’s and doctoral students across all faculties. Sioux also runs a large PhD programme in higher education studies, focused on teaching & learning, curriculum, and institutional governance and funding. Sioux’s main research concern is with how the norms and values of institutions emerge as disciplinary literacy practices, which enable or constrain student success. Sioux is the project manager for three international collaborations focused on postgraduate education and funded by the EU, NUFFIC and DHET, all of which develop open access materials and courses 



Siphelele Sanele Makhubu:  Educational Psychology, University of Zululand

My current area of research interest is in Positive Psychology as I believe that individuals have the capacity and strength within them to thrive. My PhD study focuses on Social and Emotional Learning in prevention and management of bullying behaviour in schools .Emotional Intelligence plays an important role in decision making. Individuals with high Emotional intelligence are able to understand their emotions and the emotions of others and they are able to react effectively in confronting situations. I am an extroverted person who enjoys engaging with others.  In my spare time I enjoy reading and watching sports.  




Gita Mistri: Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Durban University of Technology

I work as an academic developer cum educational technologist. I recently completed my PhD in higher education at Rhodes University. The study comprised a critical examination of cultural, structural and agential conditions that enable and constrain participation in academic professional development (APD) for the integration of digital technologies in teaching–learning interactions in higher education. My research interests include staff development and postgraduate education, and more recently exploring the implications, for Universities of Technology in South Africa, of unbundling and rebundling of higher education programmes via the provisioning of distance learning opportunities including partnerships with external actors.



Sello Mokoena: School of Management, University of Zululand

I am an emerging scholar who is motivated, project-driven, ambitious and result-orientated, currently registered for PhD in Social Sciences Education at the University of Zululand. With my previous studies, I have developed deepened interest in understanding Social Science research which I am excited to continue to explore and experience. Moreover, to discover new knowledge and contribute to the Social Sciences research body of knowledge through my PhD study.  My PhD is titled “Utilization of smartphones as mobile-learning tools in secondary schools at King Cetshwayo district: perspectives of school management teams”. Smartphones are increasingly becoming a challenge in schools where every learner seems to have one. The current study examines the availability, attitudes and challenges faced by rural schools’ management on the use of smartphones in King Cetshwayo District.


 Puleng Motshoane:  Instructional Designer at the University of Johannesburg 

I am interest in how higher education  meets the needs of a transformed South Africa. I am especially interested in the postgraduate sector, and the extent to which we are building the next generation of researchers to ensure a stable economy. My doctoral study seeks to look more broadly at how different institutions develop supervisors in such a way as to contribute meaningfully to increasing both the number and quality of doctoral graduates. I have written two book reviews on doctoral education and co-authored a book chapter with Prof Sioux McKenna. In this chapter, we argued that the higher education system fails to suitably support supervision development in a nuanced theorized way because it is seen to be obvious and common-sense. I have also co-edited a book, Postgraduate Studies in South Africa: Surviving and Succeeding. I am a member of the International Doctoral Education Research Network and first recipient of the Liz Harrison scholarship.


Zanele Priscilla Msweli: Lecturer - Arts and Languages Education University of Zululand

My PhD title is: “A critical analysis of IsiZulu Language usage and structure in television drama”. The purpose of the study is to compare and contrast the language used in isiZulu television drama with the standard isiZulu language used in society in KZN. My research interest besides media studies lies in experiential learning and assessment in education. My hobbies are reading and travelling.

Last Modified: Thu, 18 Apr 2019 10:26:49 SAST