UNIVERSITIES MUST SHED ‘IVORY TOWER’ IMAGE TO ACHIEVE GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT – HIGHER EDUCATION EXPERT
MENA Higher Education Leadership Forum in Abu Dhabi will be told radical change through innovation is key to long-term sustainability
Dubai, UAE, 11 October, 2015: Higher education leaders and decision makers from around the world assembling in Abu Dhabi next month will be told that universities must shed their old image as “ivory towers” and become innovative enterprises to guarantee growth and development.
Prof. Mohamed Zairi, Chairman of the European Centre for Best Practice Management (ECBPM), will tell the second MENA Higher Education Leadership Forum that radical change through innovation will guide the long-term sustainability of HE institutions.
Addressing the shifting role and public perception of higher education as one of the expert speakers at the forum, Prof. Zairi believes universities and colleges need to become social institutions playing a pivotal role in the stability, development and economic prosperity of society.
“Previously, they have been seen as ‘Ivory Towers’, ‘Black Boxes’ and remote entities with little affinity and impact on society,” said the founder and chair of the Zairi Institute, which is designed to disseminate best management philosophy and techniques more widely
“Institutions of Higher Learning must now operate as ‘Open Systems’ with the right capabilities that make them more learner centric, market orientated and behaving more as social enterprises, if not even value-based enterprises.”
Taking place in Abu Dhabi from 9-11 November at the Dusit Thani Abu-Dhabi, the second MENA Higher Education Leadership Forum is being held under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth, and Community.
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 and the Leadership Higher Education Foundation.
The event is supported by Forum Partners, International Council for Open and Distance Education, Leadership Foundation for Higher Education; Diamond Sponsor, ITS; Bronze Sponsors, Turning Technologies, Intaglio; and Supporter, C&K Management ltd.
Prof. Zairi, among an international line up of 25 influential speakers addressing the forum. says: “Several approaches can be adopted to improve the acceptability and usage of innovation as a key driver for managing institutions of learning and their future growth and development.”
“In the first instance, there has to be a realisation that there is no substitute for innovation that can help transfer the way universities operate. Incrementalism is dead and this is perhaps the most important message for leaders attending the forum.
“The second aspect is to consider innovation through a lifecycle perspective and to stop the practice of bolting it on existing processes and approaches which are unpractical, redundant and completely obsolete.
“The third aspect is to build innovativeness capability that can transform institutions of higher learning. This is to be followed by a proactive strategy of introducing smart technologies that can help spur the desired transformation. Lastly is to measure the impact in the form of value provided and stakeholder expected outcomes.”
Higher education leaders and decision makers from 50 countries across the region and worldwide will gather in Abu Dhabi for the forum, which is organised under the theme: “Towards Transformative Higher Education in the MENA Region: The Role of Innovation in the 21st Century Digital and Knowledge based Society.”
The audience will include representatives of Ministries of Higher Education and regulatory bodies, 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.
Other keynote speakers include 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.
Also among the expert speakers are 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.
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
About the Center for Learning Innovations and Customized Knowledge Solutions
As a non-for profit organisation, the Center for Learning Innovations and Customized Knowledge Solutions (CLICKS) aims at supporting both existing and emerging Universities, Colleges and Vocational Training Institutions from across the MENA region in specific areas that are new, evolving and very much required to enable quality, innovation and academic excellence within HE.
It provides services including capacity building, knowledge transfer, consultancy in addition to both institutional and individual mentoring in areas related to leadership development, governance, quality assurance and accreditation, organizational excellence, innovative learning and teaching, strategy development, technology integration and research.
CLICKS works closely today with over 40 HEIs from across 11 countries and receive participants to its capacity building programmes from over 25 countries. CLICKS is privileged to be aligned with highly reputable international partners and experts and is guided by an international advisory board which provides sound leadership to the Center.
In line with its vision and mission, CLICKS also strives to support the establishment of networks and platforms to promote the dialogue between leaders and decisions makers from within higher education. Additional information can be found at www.cli-cks.org