Complex Made Simple

Abu Dhabi Summit to point way for technology to shape future of higher education

MENA Higher Education Leadership Forum being held under patronage of H.E. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan

Higher education leaders and decision makers from 50 countries across the region and worldwide will assemble in Abu Dhabi for a summit which could have a major effect on the way universities use technology to help prepare students for the workplace in the future.

Taking place under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth, and Community, the second MENA Higher Education Leadership Forum opens tomorrow at the Dusit Thani Abu-Dhabi following a day of pre-event workshops.

Over the next two days, 25 influential speakers assembled in the UAE capital from across the world will lead debate on the future of higher education in the MENA region during an intensive programme of keynote addresses, interactive panel discussions, debates and presentations of best practices.

The forum, designed around the theme: “Towards Transformative Higher Education in the MENA Region: The Role of Innovation in the 21st Century Digital and Knowledge based Society”, will examine the latest innovation trends and how these are impacting higher education, while analysing the growing role of technology in universities.

The forum will discuss various innovations such as technology and will look at research and knowledge transfer, innovation through collaboration, new pedagogical frameworks and more. It will also discuss in detail the new role of universities and look at how to equip students with the necessary market skills. Frameworks and strategies for cultivating innovation and the role of leadership to build and sustain a culture of innovation will also be discussed in detail.

This event’s main focus is an appropriate one as it precedes the first Innovation Week to be held in Dubai from 22-28 November as part of the National Innovation Strategy launched last year by H.H.Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The forum is organised by the Dubai-based Center for Learning Innovations and Customized Knowledge Solutions (CLICKS) in partnership with the Association of Arab Universities, the International Council for Open and Distance Education, the Leadership Higher Education Foundation and Abu Dhabi Education Council as an Academic Partner. It is supported by Diamond Sponsor, ITS; Bronze Sponsors, Turning Technologies, Intaglio; and Supporter, C&K Management ltd.

An audience of HE leaders and decision makers will include Representatives from Ministries of Higher Education and regulatory body representatives, Rectors, Chancellors, Presidents, Vice Chancellors, Provosts, Pro-Vice Chancellors and Deans; who will be involved in giving their views, sharing their ideas and expertise and engage in various debates and discussion.

Keynote speakers and panelists include Prof. Mohamed Zairi, Chairman of the European Centre for Best Practice Management, Robert Morse, Chief Data Strategist for U.S. News & World Report, Prof. David Baker, former Deputy Chair of the UK-based Joint Information Systems Committee and Dr. Kathleen S. Ives CEO & Executive Director, Online Learning Consortium, among others.

Other expert speakers include Dr. Haifa Jamal Al Lail President, Effat University, Saudi Arabia; Prof. Barry Winn, Vice-Chancellor, Sohar University, Oman; Professor Tod Laursen, President, Khalifa University, UAE; and Prof. M Badr Aboul-Ela, Executive Director, Commission for Academic Accreditation, UAE & Vice-President, Arab Network for Quality Assurance in Higher Education.

“A principle objective of the forums is to stimulate debate on how higher education contributes to today’s knowledge based economy and how university-based innovation and entrepreneurship is nurtured in an era driven by creativity and innovation,” said Dr. Narimane Hadj-Hamou, CEO of CLICKS who launched the bi-annual forum two years ago.

“We have brought together a distinguished panel of experts to promote and develop a global mindset in leaders and institutions of higher education that embraces innovation and entrepreneurship at all levels, and across all functions of the institution.”