Dubai International Academic City, QS Education Trust conclude inaugural seminar on higher education
- United Arab Emirates: Sunday, September 23 - 2012 at 15:24
- PRESS RELEASE
The trend of international universities establishing branch campuses overseas is gaining momentum. When seeking accreditation from the local education authority it is important for parent universities to contextualize their curricula to the legal, regulatory, and economic environment of the host country.
Taylor's comments came during his presentation, titled 'Quality Assurance and the Globalization of Higher Education: Experiences of an Accreditation Agency' at the inaugural 'QS in conversation' conference.
Held on 18 September at Emirates Towers in Dubai, the event was organised by London-based QS Education Trust in collaboration with Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), the region's premier destination for higher education and a member of TECOM Investments' Education Cluster.
The conference, themed 'Developing strategies for regional and international universities', brought together regional and global experts in higher education to present best practices and offer strategic advice to universities seeking to internationalise and achieve global recognition.
In addition, speakers also shared vital information on rankings and allied forms of evaluation in the global context, with analysis as to their impact on institutions and students.
Addressing the special circumstances of the Middle East, the conference examined strategic development for university internationalisation. It also looked at approaches to building, achieving and sustaining quality in higher education, and examined key aspects of international marketing and branding with specific application to universities.
Dr. Ayoub Kazim, Managing Director, TECOM Investments' Education Cluster, underlined the success, challenges and future direction of educational hubs in his welcome address.
He said, "The internationalisation of higher education is not merely about international universities establishing a presence abroad; it also encompasses crossing margins, bridging cultural gaps and ensuring a consistent contribution to the economy."
"Newly established branch campuses must ensure they have the backing of solid market research and in-depth regional knowledge in order to put well-defined objectives in place. Coupled with support from the parent university, branch campuses must ideally start operations in an incubation setting, with a focus on specific areas of expertise such as the most reputable programmes. This will enable the institution to establish itself and ensure measured and consistent growth," he added.
The conference sessions included 'Quality Assurance and International Branch Campuses in Dubai' delivered by Dr. Warren Fox, Executive Director of Higher Education, Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Dubai; 'Challenges in Outcome Focused Internationalization of Business Education' by Dr. Janakiraman, Director, Institute of Management Technology, Dubai; 'A Framework for Internationalisation Education' by Dr. Venkatesh TR, Academic Head, Amity University, Dubai, and; 'Creating Effective University Industry Partnerships for Knowledge Innovation' by Prof. Khin-Yong Lam, Chief of Staff, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Stressing the importance of establishing a solid framework for the ranking and evaluation of universities, Dr. Kevin Downing, Director, Knowledge, Enterprise and Analysis, City University of Hong Kong, shared a presentation titled 'Creating a Sustainable Ranking Strategy'.
Dr Downing commented, "Academics continue to debate the nature of rankings for higher education institutions. Yet rankings already exert substantial influence on the long-term development of higher education across the world, with three ranking systems currently in positions of global dominance."
"The oldest system, starting in 2003, is the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) prepared by Shanghai Jiao Tong University. It was followed in 2004 by the World University Rankings of Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) with Times Higher Education as its media partner. In 2010, Times Higher Education (THE) published its own set of World University Rankings for the first time," he added.
Downing added that an analysis of this ranking system indicates that as we move progressively down the scale from the top 50 institutions, there is an increase in volatility provoking ambitious and often younger institutions to take on more prominent roles on the global higher education stage. Offering case studies in Asia, he cited the example of South Korea's aggressive investment in its higher education sector and active promotion of the benefits of internationalisation during the past four years. Consequently, Korea now has five universities featured in the QS-World University Rankings top 200, compared to two universities only five years ago.
The 2012/13 QS-World University Rankings features the home campuses of seven DIAC universities in the top 500 list including Manchester Business School, the University of Exeter, Saint Petersburg State University, University of Wollongong, Heriot-Watt University, Michigan State University and Murdoch University.
'QS in conversation' drew representatives from top-tier global universities as well as decision makers from the Ministries of Higher Education across the region. The initiative was also attended by rectors, vice-rectors and thought leaders involved in the globalisation process of home-grown universities.
Dubai International Academic City's collaboration with QS Education Trust comes as part of its endeavour to facilitate dialogue between industry representatives on issues of regional and global relevance. DIAC partnered with QS Education Trust in 2011 to bring the first ever QS MAPLE event hosted in Dubai at Dubai Knowledge Village.
QS Education Trust is a not-for-profit arm of QS Quacquarelli Symonds, the provider of the annual QS World University Rankings and other successful conferences including QS-MAPLE, QS-APPLE and QS WorldClass.
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