Focussing on formulating and strengthening International academic collaborations in Higher education for innovative teaching methods and global sustainability of academic models, the two-day long Global Education Summit-2022 commenced at Chandigarh University Gharuan, in which vice-chancellors of over top 50 Universities in as many as 27 countries including the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, Russia, Italy, Ireland, Ukraine, South Africa, Philippines, Cambodia, Malaysia, Ethiopia, etc. are participating.
Based on the theme ‘International academic collaborations in Higher education for innovation and global sustainability’, the summit was inaugurated by Prof (Dr) Sibrandes Poppema, President, Sunway University, Malaysia; Prof (Dr) Osei-Wusu Achaw, Vice-Chancellor, Kumasi Technical University, Ghana; and Datin Paduka Prof. (Dr.) Dayang Hajah Zohrah Binti Haji Sulaiman, Vice-Chancellor, Brunei University of Technology, Brunei, the guests of honour, along with Dr R S Bawa, Pro-Chancellor, and Vice-Chancellor, Dr Anand Agarwal, Chandigarh University.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof (Dr) Sibrandes Poppema said, “Education is not only about finding and using your own talent for the greater good, but also enabling others to develop their talents and in this context, all the universities world over can learn from each other.”
“This Global Education Summit is a great opportunity for the participating universities to discuss the challenges they all have been facing. The education institutions world over have learnt the importance of collaborations, in recent times. Partnerships between universities will allow all of us to make a better offering to our students, as we can share ours and implement from other universities, the strong areas and resources,” he said and added that the need today is to share not only the skills, knowledge and competence but also the values and the mindset.
In his address, Prof (Dr) Osei-Wusu Achaw said that Blended Learning was in practice even before Covid-19, and must continue even after the pandemic ends.
“Many Universities world over practised Blended Learning even before the breakout of Covid-19. They had a lot of reasons to do so including the cost of education. Students’ numbers are increasing every year, and with limited education infrastructure, blended learning is a great way out. Besides, not every student has the luxury to afford the best place for his or her education. The blended learning must continue even after Covid-19 pandemic ends,” he said, and added that the Summit will enable discussions on finding ways to achieve sustainability for a selected blended learning model.
Datin Paduka Prof (Dr) Dayang Hajah Zohrah Binti Haji Sulaiman said that while Covid-19 has been a struggle for every education institute world over, it has also made the institutions more adaptable and more open to accommodate changes caused by the pandemic, as she hoped that the Summit will provide the Universities an opportunity to establish new networks and cooperation amongst themselves.
Dr R S Bawa, Pro-Chancellor, Chandigarh University said, “This summit is our attempt in furthering the vision of honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi as envisaged in India’s new education policy, which stresses on internationalisation of education by improving the Standards of Higher Education in Indian Universities and matching the global standards by encouraging Indian Institutions to reach out and establish partnership with the Best International Universities of the World. The summit will be a great stepping stone in boosting the internationalisation of education, in further strengthening collaborations with international institutions across the world.”
On this occasion, two Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) were also signed by Chandigarh University. Dr R S Bawa, Pro-Chancellor, Chandigarh University signed the MoUs with Prof (Dr) Nemia H Mabaquiao, Vice President for External Affairs, Iloilo Science & Technology University, Philippines, and Prof (Dr) Paul Katamba, Vice-Chancellor, Bugema University, Uganda, respectively.
Over the course of two days of the Summit, the education leaders from world over will hold elaborate discussions on different topics including ‘Using Innovation For Improving Quality of Life’, ‘Sustainable Models for Blended Learning in the Post Covid Era’, ‘Using Partnerships to Develop Models to Meet Future Aspirations of the Students’, ‘Defining Universal Skills for Employability Without Borders’, and ‘Creating Research Oriented Teaching Learning Model‘, Dr Bawa said.
In the first deliberation session chaired by Prof (Dr) Isaac Ipara Odeo, Vice-Chancellor, Kibabii University, Kenya, and based on topic ‘Using Innovation for Improving Quality of Life’, Prof (Dr) Zhyldyz Orozobek Kyzy, Head of International Relations Office, Naryn State University, Kyrgyzstan said, “In today’s world which is still reeling from the crisis and looking for new, stronger, more inclusive and sustainable ways forward, policies for fostering innovation are more relevant than ever. We need to create new as well as diffuse older into new processes and methods in the education world to create the possibilities of a better tomorrow, accelerated by educational accessibility.”
Citing the New World Economic Forum report, she also emphasised on embedding technological advancements into education, saying that nearly 133 million new jobs will be created by 2022, while 75 million jobs will be replaced by Artificial Intelligence, Automation and Robotics.
Prof (Dr) Luciano Saso, Vice-Rector, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy said that Digitalisation was one of the few positives to emerge out of Covid-19 pandemic and it was imperative that the universities from all over the world join hands in innovations, using the technological advancements, to solve the problems being faced by the world.
“We have to be ready to adopt, to change the curriculum basis the changing times, and regulate the courses. We need to try to add new things and also to remove the redundant things,” he added.