SAAIR Newsletter 26 January 2024

Dear SAAIR Members,

Welcome to 2024, a special leap year where we are gifted with an extra day to innovate, collaborate, and drive change in institutional research. That's right, an entire 24 hours more for us to be productive—or to procrastinate, but who's counting?

As we leap into this year, let us channel our extra time into making significant strides in supporting decision making in our respective institutions. The opportunities are boundless, and our collective expertise is the key to unlocking them.

Let us make the most of this extended 2024. Here is to a year of impactful research, fruitful collaborations, and, of course, a little extra time to enjoy the journey.

Looking forward to leaping forward together.

Liile Lerato Lekena (SAAIR President 2023-2024)


We extend our sincere gratitude to the Stellenbosch University team for the great work in organising the 30th SAAIR Conference in Somerset West.

We are grateful to all our keynote speakers who presented insight and thought-provoking talks! Pictured below, Prof. Karen Webber, Dr. Nicolene Murdoch and Dr Iman Megahed.

Thank you to all the delegates who attended the 30th Conference!

To access all the conference photos, click here.

Congratulations to our 2023 scholarship recipients!

The SAAIR Scholarships provide an opportunity for a number of young IR professionals to attend the annual SAAIR Conference with the aim of contributing to the development of the next generation of IR practitioners. 

In 2023, SAAIR funded four scholars to attend the conference, Katlego Sebsho (SMU), Emetia Swart (Regenysys), Valentine Maroga (TUT) and Sandla Nomvete (NMU).

SAAIR past presidents at the 30th Celebration Gala Dinner.

SAAIR 30th Anniversary Reflection Video


For those who could not make it to the 30th SAAIR Conference and would like to purchase a SAAIR t-shirt, we will take orders for t-shirts until the end of February 2024.

To place your order, please email [email protected]


We are thrilled to announce the forthcoming Special Interest Group (SIG) by the Southern African Association for Institutional Research (SAAIR), focusing on enrolment and strategic planning. This is a fantastic opportunity for professionals, educators, and strategists to come together, share insights, and learn from each other.

Interested in hosting a webinar? Please contact Liile Lerato Lekena-Bayaga (PhD) at [email protected] with your proposal. We're looking for dynamic, informative sessions that will inspire and inform our members.

Join us in this exciting journey of knowledge exchange and professional development. Let's shape the future of strategic and enrolment planning together!


We are excited to share the hosts of some of our 2024 events.  We will confirm all the hosts and event dates within the next few weeks.


Congratulations Dr. Emily Mabote: A Beacon of Excellence in Higher Education Quality Assurance

We are excited to share the remarkable achievement of Dr. Emily Mabote, a distinguished member of the Southern African Association for Institutional Research (SAAIR), who recently graduated with a Doctoral degree from Rhodes University. Dr. Mabote’s exceptional journey in the field of higher education quality assurance is a story of dedication, perseverance, and unwavering commitment. 

Dr. Mabote currently serves as the Director in the Directorate of Quality Promotion at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). With a career spanning almost two decades, her expertise in quality assurance and management has been pivotal in shaping TUT’s approach to educational excellence.
Read more here.


Senior Researcher | SAQA | Closing 31 January 
Junior Statistician: Research  | Umalusi | Closing 9 February
Programme Review Coordinator | MANCOSA | Closing 15 February
Senior Research Associate | MANCOSA | Closing 22 February 
Siyaphumelela Network 3.0 Call for Concept Notes and Proposals | Closing 14 March
Collaborative Research Opportunity: Exploring Digital Frontiers - beyond STEM Enhancement | Nelson Mandela University

CHE Higher Education Conference| 28 February - 1 March | Johannesburg, South Africa
Association for Institutional Research | 28- 31 May | United States of America
European Association for Institutional Research Forum | 21-23 August | Ireland


We are deeply saddened by the passing of one of our members, Evan Clarence Witten, who passed away on the 20th of January 2024.  Evan was an employee of the University of the Free State and previously worked with IDSC.  We extend our condolences to Evan's colleagues, friends and family.

Pictured below, Evan, at the 30th SAAIR Conference in October 2023.


Members of SAAIR enjoy the following benefits

  • Reduced event registration fees for any SAAIR event (Institutes, Forum, Workshops, etc)

  • Networking opportunities through SAAIR events

  • Access to the SAAIR website downloads for Presentations etc.

  • Keeping you in touch with activities/trends in the sector

Members, share your news with us, we would like to hear from you!


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