RE-IMAGINING HIGHER EDUCATION IN, AND FOR, THE CHAOSMOS: experimenting with regenerative, embodied approaches to learning at UCT’s Centre for Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies (CTDPS), drawing from the past, present and the future

Two people wearing eye masks facing each other

“It is difficult to imagine a future that is humane, decent and sustainable without marked changes in the substance and process of education at all levels, beginning with the University”
David Orr

We are living in a time of enormous change and uncertainty. Now more than ever, universities are compelled to re-envision their learning landscapes to be meaningful and relevant to these times.

Moments of disruption (the COVID pandemic, Fees Must Fall) can offer new opportunities for how universities engage with their potential learning landscapes of the future. By experimenting beyond the status quo, we can begin to build forms of learning that dismantle inequalities in education, in service of diverse knowledges and a more just world.

Futures literacy is emerging as critical for developing resilience to crises in education systems, institutions, curricula and for students themselves.

Our co-learning research journey within UCT aims to re-imagine and adapt approaches to learning in regenerative ways. We are doing this through a series of dialogues with UCT stakeholders, as well as by collectively adapting an existing curriculum on “Professional Practice” with 4th year students, the content of which students help to co-create, while participating in the course.

Through meaning-making sessions with faculty, leadership and students, we wish to co-create emerging insights around the kinds of conditions, or evolutionary practices that help nourish adaptive, regenerative HE learning landscapes for the future, within the reality of the present.

“We are the only vessels through which the future that we are longing for can be seeded within the present”
Injairu Kulundu-Bolus

Research Team

Bridget Steffen, Mwenya Kabwe and Michele Twomey

Research Fellow

Bridget Steffen

Bridget Steffen


South Africa