Under the theme “Higher Education in the Era of the Fourth & Future Industrial Revolutions: Challenges and Opportunities” started today the 4th edition of the MENA Higher Education Leadership Forum organized from the 26th and 27th of February, at the Address- Dubai, Mall.
Higher education leaders and key representatives from government and industry from more than 45 countries have gathered yesterday for the first day of a summit to discuss the implications of the Fourth Industrial Age on the Higher Education sector and the need for universities to become more agile and responsive to the rapid pace of technological developments which are affecting today every facet of our lives.
Organized by the Center for Learning Innovations and Customized (CLICKS); the Forum has as an objective to provide ‘forward-looking’ thought leadership about the future of Higher Education in light of the 4th as well as future Industry Revolutions and discuss strategies and roadmaps that the Higher Education should consider to be able to proactively respond to the rapid technological advancements witnessed today (i.e. Artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, big data, blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoTs), etc.) . Developing employability skills of current and future students, fostering entrepreneurship, revisiting curricula, adopting more innovative teaching and learning practices, re-considering the research landscape and internationalization are among the various topics that will be discussed and debated during the Forum.
The fourth edition of the Higher Education Forum brought together a number of prominent experts to discuss the opportunities and challenges that the 4th IR has brought to the HE sector.
A rich program that involves pre-forum workshops, plenary sessions, 3 round tables, 2 interactive panel discussions, case studies’ presentations and an exhibition running in parallel to the forum has been put in place to address the topic.
Among this year’s speakers are: Prof. Amr. A. Adly, Former Deputy Minister, Higher Education and Scientific Research for Universities Affairs in Egypt; Prof. Mohamed Zairi, Senior Advisor to Prime Minister’s Office, Government in the UAE; Dr. Raffaele Trapasso, Project Leader, Centre for Entrepreneurship at OECD; Prof. Kurt Deketelaere, Secretary-General of the League of European Research Universities and Chairman Sustainability College Bruges in Belgium and Douglas Blackstock from the UK Quality Assurance Agency for Higher.
Another 24 experts from the USA, South Africa, KSA, Lebanon, Nigeria, Bahrain, Germany, and the UAE among others also contributed to the Forum program. In addition, HE Professor Amr Ezzat Salam, Secretary General of the Association of Arab Universities has attended the official opening of the Forum and delivered an opening address.
Commenting on the launch of the Forum Dr Narimane Hadj-Hamou, Founder and CEO of CLICKS and Chair of the 4th MENA Higher Education Leadership Forum said: “Higher education in the fourth industrial revolution is a complex issue that brings to the sector both exciting opportunities that have the potential to transform society for the better as well as a set of challenges that we should be ready to address in order to continue delivering relevant education to today’s and tomorrow’s students.. This particular industrial revolution is characterized by a rapid digital revolution which is moving at a much faster pace than earlier revolutions leading the higher education sector to an ‘unknown’ future. The very purpose of the “university” which predominantly focuses on teaching, research (including innovation) may need to be re-examined to ensure the sector will continue to be relevant”
The MENA Higher Education Leadership Forum running as a biennial event since 2013 is perceived today as one of the region’s premier higher education gatherings involving of leaders of higher education that include representatives from Ministries of Higher Education and regulatory body representatives, IGOs, NGOs, Rectors, Chancellors, Presidents, Vice Chancellors, Provosts, Pro-Vice Chancellors among others. Through its various editions, it aims at addressing emerging regional and global issues and trends in the field and promoting innovative thinking to address them. It aspires at becoming a regional ‘think tank’ for shaping higher education in the region and sparking reforms and innovation in the sector. In addition, the Forum promotes the exchange of good practices and encourages the establishments of cross-regional partnerships
Sponsors to the 2020 MENA Higher Education Leadership Forum included: Excellence Tertralogy as a Bronze Sponsor and Naseej and the Agency of French Speaking Universities as Bronze Sponsors.
More details of the event and a full list of keynote speakers and panelists can be found on the Forum’s official website at www.menahelf.com