ReSEP hosts its third Quantitative Applications in Education Research Conference, 28 & 29 September 2017

ReSEP held its third annual “Quantitative Applications in Education Research” conference at STIAS in Stellenbosch from 28 – 29 September 2017.  A total of 110 participants from a range of backgrounds,  including education researchers, policy-makers and PhD students attended the conference.

During her video address, Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga, welcomed participants to the conference and expressed her support for the ongoing research conducted within the ReSEP group:

I want to acknowledge the invaluable role played by the Research on Socio-Economic Policy (ReSEP) team in producing such rigorous research and the important links they maintain with the Department of Basic Education (DBE). We hope that this partnership continues in years to come, and is also extended to previously disadvantaged universities in order to increase the production of high quality, policy relevant research within the sector”.

Professor Servaas van der Berg gave the first presentation of the conference titled “How we’ve progressed” where he emphasized the improvements in TIMSS between 2003 and 2015, and also the large increase in the numbers of black matriculants receiving high-level passes in mathematics and science.

Two international keynote speakers, namely David Evans from the World Bank and Yuri Belfali from the OECD, respectively presented on  “Getting the most out of our teachers: Lessons from recent quantitative research” and “International assessment for excellence and equity: Experiences from PISA for Development”.

Both presentations were well received by the audience eliciting a number of questions about the role of international assessments in education policy making and the politics of teacher reform in developing countries.

The first day of the conference ended with a panel discussion on “The practice of improvement:  Getting from here to there” which was chaired by ReSEP’s Dr Nic Spaull and included panellists Prof Jonathan Jansen (UFS), Prof Brahm Fleisch (WITS), Prof Peliwe Lolwana (WITS) and Dr Itumeleng Molale.

The second day of the conference also included two parallel sessions where PhD students were given the opportunity to present their PhD proposals and ongoing research and gain valuable feedback from the conference participants.

The full program with links to all presentations can be found below:

28 September (Day 1)

29 September (Day 2)

One of the keynote speakers at the conference, David Evans, wrote a blog post summarising the conference.  The original can be found here.

For any further information about the conference, please email