The Future of Education

Edition 14


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Franci Cronje

Institution: The IIE Vega School

Country: South Africa

Francì Cronjé is a Cape Town-based educator, researcher and academic holding a doctorate in Media Studies, and two master’s degrees: one in Fine Art, and the other, in Teaching & Learning in Higher Education (Cum Laude). She has a passion for learning, research, and academic writing with a wide range of management experience, particularly in the field of the creative industries. Her experience and creative skills set combined with her educational studies in creativity, youth identity, research methodologies and critical studies effectively enable her to apply practical knowledge of the arts to teaching and learning management on a practical- as well as theoretical level.
Her practical media production experience began when she established herself as a photographer in 1980, and worked on a full-time basis for the SABC, Panorama Magazine and the Department of Teaching support at the Technikon Pretoria. At the latter, she was responsible for the production of visual teaching aids with photography and video, assisting with pedagogical induction of new lecturers into the field of teaching and learning. Over several years, she has also freelanced as photographer for several publications such as Sarie, Garden and Home and SA Interior design.
A new academic career started in 1997 when she enrolled for a BA Fine arts degree at the University of Pretoria and completed it in 2000. She obtained an MA(FA) at the University of the Witwatersrand with a dissertation investigating the problems that New Media Artworks create in the Fine Art Gallery context within South Africa. This Masters dissertation that was awarded the Innovative ETD (open format) Award at the International NDLTD Conference in 2005 ( showed her knack for initiating new ways to introduce knowledge and academic material.
Her multidisciplinary PhD studies started under the supervision of Prof Jonathan Jansen at the Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria, where she read in Education Pedagogy and Policy with a specific focus on Media and Video production in education. During this time, she worked on a scholarship at the Meraka Institute of the CSIR and defended the PhD proposal at the University of Pretoria. After relocating to Cape Town, she registered and graduated with her PhD in June 2011 from the Centre for Film and Media Studies under the supervision of Dr. Arlene Archer at the University of Cape Town (
Francì joined the lecturing team at Vega School of Brand Leadership in Cape Town in June 2009 and has led the academic team on this campus as Head of Academic affairs from February 2010 to September 2012 as well as serving as Head of the Critical Studies subject and Research Methodology for Honours students across all four Vega Campuses. Within this time, she led Teaching and Learning investigations into improving Student Attendance, Academic Literacy Skills, Anti-Plagiarism initiatives and curriculum development not only for the Critical Studies modules, but also new developments of Higher Certificates in Creative Brand Communications and Business Management. As Field Navigator of Critical Studies, she integrated the Acceleration programme into the CS1 and CS2 curricula. The redesign of all five modules for 2012 and beyond proved to synergise Critical Studies and the other subjects in the CBC- and BBM degrees even more proficiently. She took up the position of National Academic Manager: Teaching and Learning on March 1, 2013, and specialised into Blended Learning management when Vega started phasing in courses onto the Blackboard LMS.
Francì was also the initial coordinator and co-designer of Vega’s Master’s in Creative Brand Leadership programme and fulfilled this function for four years. While currently supervising three master’s students in various stages of completion, she also supervised the first three successful candidates of this course, including the first student who graduated cum laude in May 2015. Up till date, three of her candidates for this programme, graduated from their studies cum laude.
She completed a Mphil in Education cum laude in 2017 and was awarded the certificate for the top performer of this course for that year. with the mini dissertation titled Towards a professional learning framework for academics in a private higher education environment.

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