Prof. Dr. Irma Eloff Eloff_pic

Adjunct professor

Institut für LehrerInnenbildung und Schulforschung
Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck
Fürstenweg 176, A-6020 Innsbruck 



Irma Eloff is a adjunct professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Pretoria and a guest professor at the University of Innsbruck. She is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and a founding member of the South African Positive Psychology Association (SAPPA).  She is the immediate-past Chairperson of the Council of 'Die Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns' and was the second woman in the 110 years of its existence to fill this position.

In 2012 she was chosen amongst the top three Most Influential Women in Business and Government in South Africa in the Education category. She is a former dean of Education at the University of Pretoria. She was the seventh dean and the first woman to hold the position. She is the founder of the African Deans of Education Forum (ADEF) which is a focal point of the UNESCO International Teacher Task Force and currently the Chair of the Global Network of Deans of Education (GNDE), which works to support Sustainable Development Goal 4 on Quality education. Irma is an NRF-rated researcher and a registered psychologist.

She is editor of the books 'Understanding Educational Psychology', ‘Insigte uit Opvoedkundige Sielkunde’, 'Keys to Educational Psychology' and the 'Handbook of Quality of Life in African Societies' (Springer). She is the co-author of the book 'Life Skills & Assets'.

She has held visiting professorships at Yale University, Rhodes University, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, CPUT Wellington, Bathspa University UK and Fordham University in New York. In 2018 she was awarded a Förderkreis 1669 Wissenschafft Gesellschaft professorship at the Universität Innsbruck.

Irma is an alumnus of the Universities of Pretoria, Stellenbosch, Northwest and the GIBS Business School. 

Her research focuses primarily on Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 4 (Good health and wellbeing; and Quality education).


Selected publications:






  • Eloff, I., Cipriano Gonçalves, A., Chiromo, A., Ibrahim Abed Elgafar, A., Mariaye, H. & Tchombe, T.  2021.  Creating a Doctoral Network for Teacher Education in Africa.  In: Huber, T. & O’Meara, J.G.  Education Around the Globe - Creating Opportunities and Transforming Lives.  Charlotte: Information Age Publishing.


  • Eloff, I. & Reynolds, K.  2019.  Creating a Global Teaching Workforce: Reflections on the Status of Teachers and Sustainable Development Goal 4.  In:  O’Meara, J. & Huber, T (Eds.).  Teacher Education at the Edge - Expanding Access and Exploring Frontiers.  Charlotte: Information Age Publishing.


  • Eloff, I. 2019. Student well-being in Veterinary Sciences: Implications for student support and career agility. African Journal of Career Development, 1(1), 1-4.


  • Younie, S.,  Audain, J., Eloff, I., Leask, M., Procter, R., Shelton, C. 2018. Mobilising knowledge through global partnerships to support research-informed teaching: five models for translational research.  Journal of Education for Teaching, 44:5, 574-589, DOI: 10.1080/02607476.2018.1516348


Selected Keynote Addresses & Invited Lectures


  • Eloff, I.   Engaging Marginalised Learners during the COVID 19 Pandemic: recording effective actions of teachers and community volunteers.  Keynote address at MESH Global KM Summit (online), 12 May 2020.


  • Eloff, I.   Creating ecosystems of opportunity: How teacher education can support sustainable development.  Keynote address at the Association for Teacher Education in Europe (ATEE), Bath:  United Kingdom.


  • Eloff, I.   Creating inclusive societies from contrasts & contradictions: A South African perspective.  Keynote address at the Student Summer seminar, Kirchliche Pädagogische Hochschule – Edith Stein, Stams, Austria, 6 June 2018.


  • Eloff, I.   Sustainable development in Africa: Why bother with Global Goal #4.  Keynote address at ACU Summer School, Bath Spa University, Bath, UK, August 2017.


  • Eloff, I.   How to ensure progress in education.  Honourable Speaker Address at International Congress on Education for the 21st Century, Bangkok, Thailand, 3 May 2017.
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