Dr savo heleta
I am a researcher, internationalisation scholar and practitioner, educator, analyst and author with more than ten years' experience in higher education, academic research, curriculum development, teaching, research supervision and internationalisation. I also have more than eight years' experience in project planning, development and implementation, capacity building and leadership development, youth leadership development, peace-building and work in the NGO sector.
I am an internationalisation specialist in the International Education and Partnerships directorate at Durban University of Technology in South Africa. Prior to this role, I worked as a researcher, lecturer and internationalisation practitioner at Nelson Mandela University in South Africa (2013-2021). I have also worked on post-war capacity building and leadership development in South Sudan (2009-2013) and post-war peacebuilding and youth leadership development in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1998-2002).
My research interests range from decolonisation of knowledge; higher education internationalisation; international research collaboration; conflict analysis and conflict transformation; climate change and climate justice; post-war reconstruction and peace-building; higher education in post-war settings; to social justice advocacy and activism.
I have published peer-reviewed papers in the Journal of Studies in International Education, Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, Higher Education, Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies, African Security Review, Transformation in Higher Education, Africa Insight, Journal for Development and Leadership, Commonwealth Youth and Development, and a number of book chapters. See the academic research section of the website for my papers and chapters. Also, see my Google Scholar page.
I have presented my research and spoken at numerous international academic and professional conferences (click here for more info). I have developed and taught courses in conflict management, negotiation, mediation, transition from apartheid to democracy in South Africa, post-conflict reconstruction and global studies. I have also successfully supervised more than twenty Masters students since 2012.
I've written for The Conversation, Africa is a Country, Mail & Guardian, Bhekisisa, Sunday Times, The Cairo Review of Global Affairs, Business Day, Daily Maverick, University World News, Pambazuka News, Sudan Tribune and other publications. You can read my articles here. You can also read what others have written about me and my work here.
Survivor of the Bosnian war, I'm the author of Not My Turn to Die: Memoirs of a Broken Childhood in Bosnia (AMACOM Books, 2008). Find out more about the book here.
I am a member of the editorial board of the journal Transformation in Higher Education (2023-2026); member of the academic advisory board of the Climate Action Network for International Educators (CANIE) (2023-2025) and a member of the CANIE climate justice workgroup (2023); and a member of the council of the International Education Association of South Africa (IEASA) (2021-2023).
I hold a DPhil in Development Studies (2013) and MPhil in Conflict Transformation and Management (2009) from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and BA in History and Business Management (2006) from St. John's University, Minnesota, United States.
My portfolio of skills includes critical and analytical thinking; strategic, innovative and creative thinking; active learning; problem-solving; research, editing and writing; qualitative research; bibliometric analysis; policy review; interpersonal skills; communication skills; public speaking; intercultural competence.
Over the past two decades, I have lived and worked on four continents. I currently live in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.