Student development and support

The purpose of this concept note is to propose the establishment of a Student Development and Support Special Interest Group (SIG) within the Southern African Association of Health Educationalists (SAAHE). It has been prepared for consideration and approval by the SAAHE Council.


Unlike other students at higher education institutions, students studying in health sciences education programmes have unique challenges. Therefore, they do not only require the generic support provided to any other university students but require specialised and context-specific development and support. For example, these students must manage high academic workload in which they are expected to integrate and apply pre and clinical knowledge This is very challenging for most students. Therefore, the establishment of a SAAHE SIG can enable colleagues/academics and experts who have a special interest in developing and supporting students. Such a structure will enable sharing of expertise on such an important field in higher and health professions education.


Our vision is to enhance student development and support, thus contribute towards the academic success of students in health sciences education programmes.


Our mission is to facilitate communication and sharing of expertise among colleagues ultimately enhance student learning and student retention.


  • The first action will be to recruit members from other institutions. Each member of the management team will be assigned a role of contacting stakeholders in the institutions.
  • Secondly, the management team will organise a virtual meeting to introduce and orientate recruited members of the SIG
  • Thirdly, the members will organise a virtual event in a form of seminar in which members discuss their institutional student development and support programmes/structures/strategies

Management Team

NameInstitutionPhone No.Email address
Dr Mpho JamaUniversity of the Free State051
Dr Jeannette Du PlessisCentral University of Technology051 507
Dr Pamela Pillay University of KwaZulu Natal031

Author(s) of proposal

Dr Mpho Jama (coordinator)

Dr Jeanette Du Plessis

Dr Pamela Pillay