Welcome to HERDSA 2021

On behalf of the HERDSA Executive and the Queensland Branch I invite you join us at HERDSA 2021, the 43rd annual conference of the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA) to be held in Brisbane Australia, 7 – 10 July 2021.

The year 2020 has been a difficult one for all of us who work in higher education and for our students. The HERDSA Executive and the planning committee took the decision early in the year to cancel the 2020 conference and carry over all the planning undertaken to date to HERDSA 2021. We are extremely grateful to our commercial partners including the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre and our Professional Conference Organisers Expert Events who worked closely with us to make the transition to 2021 as smooth and cost-effective as possible. We are also grateful to our sponsors who continue to support the conference.

While we proceed with the conference planning starting with what was already in place for HERDSA 2020, we are very aware of the continuing uncertainty we all face in our professional and personal lives. Where necessary and possible we will attempt to best accommodate the disruptions that may arise.

The conference will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre at South Bank. This outstanding venue is directly across the river from the central business district (and shopping) and right in the heart of the cultural and entertainment precinct with theatres, museums, fine and casual dining venues, weekend markets and even a lagoon and beach right in the city. A range of accommodation options are available close to the venue. South Bank is serviced by public transport including a direct train service from Brisbane airport. Brisbane in winter is a very appealing option.

HERDSA acknowledges the Turrbal and Yuggera people as the traditional owners of the land on which the conference is being held, pays respect to the Elders, past, present and emerging, and extends that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Higher education is operating in a challenging world. Research and development in higher education, in which we are all involved, contributes significantly to creating learning experiences which equip students to address these challenges and make the world a better place. HERDSA 2021 is the place to share your contributions with your colleagues.

HERDSA is a scholarly society for people committed to the advancement of higher education and promotes the development of higher education policy, practice and the study of teaching and learning. This year we have decided to focus more broadly on what the name of the Society does – Research and Development in Higher Education. The conference then becomes inclusive of the many aspects of higher education and the diversity of people and interests that make up our community.

The planning committee has endeavoured to capture a range of topics, issues, interests and scholarship representative of higher education, under six broad categories. Given the change brought about by the pandemic you may wish to address higher education’s response in times of crisis under one of these topics.

  • Governance and policy
  • Teaching, learning and the student experience
  • Pathways and partnerships
  • Innovation and research
  • Professional learning for academic practice
  • Values, justice and integrity

These categories are indicative and not to place restrictive boundaries on your scholarship. The topics listed under each category are suggestions and we welcome you to cross boundaries and present your scholarship as it best suits your context.

We welcome contributions that reflect the diversity in higher education including private and non-university higher education providers, the vocational education and training sector, educators, researchers and students, administrators and policy makers, government, community and industry partners, and our culturally diverse communities. We also welcome international delegates who can provide insights from other contexts and cultures.

If you are new to higher education, you will find that the HERDSA conference is a friendly and collegial space to share your experiences and scholarship and tap into the expertise of fellow delegates, various presentations and keynote speakers as well as join in the social activities.

We hope you can join us for HERDSA 2021, to network with colleagues, forge new collaborations and share and gain new insights into research and development in higher education, as well as to enjoy the many attractions that Brisbane and south-east Queensland have to offer.

Allan Goody, Conference Chair
On behalf of the HERDSA conference planning committee

Denise Chalmers
HERDSA President on behalf of the HERDSA Executive

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Important dates


Abstract notification to authors
Early registration deadline
Presenter registration deadline
Accommodation booking deadline
7—10 July HERDSA 2021

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