I just got home from the HELTASA conference (my first) at the University of Johannesburg. I’ve enjoyed the last 4 days, and think the conference organisers did a great job of making the programme interesting and engaging. The keynote speakers were all very different, and each brought an interesting dimension to the event.
Here’s a few thoughts from the past few days:
- Everyone I met was incredibly friendly and really went out of their way to make us feel very welcome
- The organisers tried hard to make the conference memorable by doing things differently
- The presentations were generally diverse, although a little too focused on academic development and foundation programmes (for me anyway)
- The cultural events were great
- It was the first time that I was able to spend a few days in Johannesburg, and it’s really changed my perceptions of the people and the place…for the better
- The campus was beautiful
- No wireless access at either the conference venue or the residences
- There’s still no-one recording video and audio of all the presenters and making it available for download
- No printing facilities for presenters (like me) who needed to make last minute adjustments to their work
- The cost for the residence accommodation was a bit high (although it did include breakfast)
- Attempts to “enforce” socialising didn’t always go down well
All in all, it was a good experience, I got some good feedback from my presentation, and came away with a lot of ideas for changing my practice. Here are my notes from the speaker presentations, my abstract, and my presentation.