TAU 4 Nominations now open until 19 November 2021. The TAU 4 program will run from July 2022 to December 2023

TAU would like to pay tribute to Dr Vanessa Merckel from the University of Johannesburg. She will be much missed within TAU. Our lives have been so much richer for those of us who worked with her, and there have been many. Vanessa was a respected colleague, a well-liked and dedicated educator who exemplified what it meant to accept and implement socially just pedagogies. We offer our very sincere condolences, on behalf of TAU, to her family and colleagues. May her soul rest in peace.

We wish to express our enormous gratitude to Moragh Paxton who recently communicated her wish to withdraw from all TAU responsibilities as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Moragh has been part of the TAU programme from its early days. Many fellows from TAU 1 and TAU 2 experienced the huge contribution she made as part of the Contact Session programmes and as an Enquiry Group Advisor. Most recently, Moragh took on the role in TAU 2020 to rethink the training and development of TAU Advisors. Under her guidance, several TAU Fellows were recruited to serve as Advisor in TAU 3 and 4, and an online Advisors Orientation and Development Programme was developed and delivered to support them and the remaining three experienced TAU advisors in these roles. This new cohort of TAU Advisors injects fresh and dynamic approaches to TAU, which is a tribute to how Moragh has worked with them.

We pray that the treatment Moragh is undergoing will provide her with relief and healing.

Ms Kibbie Naidoo (TAU convener)

Kibbie Naidoo (TAU Project Convener)

Welcome to TAU 2021

I hope that you have all had a gentle start to 2021. On behalf of the TAU OpsCom, I want to welcome you and wish you all a safe and happy year. We are pleased to announce the appointment of Emeritus Associate Professor Jeff Jawitz as the new manager for the TAU programme. He has been extensively involved in TAU as an advisor and member of the OpsCom since the programme began. He brings a wealth of experience to this position and TAU we are lucky to have him on board. He takes over the helm from Prof Elizabeth de Kadt. We also want to take this opportunity to thank Elizabeth for her sterling work as manager of the TAU programme.



Jeff Jawitz is an Emeritus Associate Professor in the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) at the University of Cape Town. The new TAU online platform is being developed in collaboration with CILT and will use UCTs VULA learning management system.

Jeff Jawitz is supported by a TAU operations committee (OpsCom) including; Mrs Hellen Agumba (Project coordinator, Prof Elizabeth de Kadt, Dr Rejoice Nsibande and Dr Amanda Hlengwa.

Kind Regards

Kibbie Naidoo

TAU 3 steams ahead

Since July 2021, the 52 TAU 3 participants from 24 of South Africa’s public universities have been working in 10 enquiry groups together with their TAU advisors to implement their institutional projects. The projects span across six areas, namely curriculum development, staff development, student support, online teaching and learning, data analytics and tutoring. In the current version of TAU the individual TAU institutional projects are collectively intended to strengthen the teaching and learning environment for students and staff by advancing social justice and challenging the legacies of inequality inherited from the past.

The first TAU 3 intensive session was held fully online in July 2021. We are now preparing for the second TAU 3 intensive session in January 2022. This will be a contact session at a hotel in Cape Town with adherence to all COVID 19 protocols. This second TAU 3 session will focus on critically reflecting on the progress with the institutional projects. The final session will take place in Kwazulu–Natal in June 2022. Once participants have completed the tasks required they will be conferred the title of TAU fellow and join the ranks of almost 100 TAU fellows spread across South African universities.

Preparing for TAU 4

The recent UCDP grant awarded to TAU requires that we deliver the TAU programme twice in the course of three years (2021-2023). We have therefore issued a call for nominations to all public universities for the fourth cycle of the programme (TAU 4) starting in 2022 with the first contact session in July 2022.

Institutions are asked to nominate their TAU participants and to link their nomination to one or more of their UCDP funded or strategic Teaching and Learning projects. In this way, we hope, TAU participants and their projects will become part of their institutional strategic planning around Teaching and Learning and contribute to their institutional goals.

Nominees should be employed at a South African public higher education institution (permanent and full time), with academic or professional status;

  • Nominees should preferably be Faculty-based middle or senior level academics, but may also be based in middle or senior level academic support or development positions;
  • Nominees should have 10 years or more experience of teaching in higher education;
  • They should preferably have been involved in the development and implementation of an educational project addressing shortcomings in teaching in some way;
  • They should be willing to share their experiences and engage in capacity building.

For more information about the origins of TAU , see the following publications:

DE KADT, Elizabeth; JAWITZ, Jeff. (2018) Exploring Discomfort and Care in the Experience of a National Academic Staff Development Programme. Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning (CriSTaL), 6(2), 21-39. ISSN 2310-7103. Available at: http://cristal.epubs.ac.za/index.php/cristal/article/view/152

DE KADT, Elizabeth. (2019) Promoting social justice in teaching and learning in higher education through professional development. Teaching in Higher Education. Available at: