Day 1,  Wednesday 2 May 2018

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Introducing the session Global connections, local impact: tertiary education shaping the future - Sarah Deverall, the British Council’s Country Director for Malaysia, said the country’s membership of the ASEAN was just one of the many reasons why the British Council had chosen Kuala Lumpur for Going Global 2018. Malaysia has taken a very long-term approach in its commitment to education over the years and is arguably one of the most dynamic education environments with a growing reputation as a higher education hub in the region, she said.
  • At a bustling welcome reception, Professor Jo Beall, the British Council’s Director Education and Society, told delegates she was proud of the mutual learning created at Going Global through the sharing of innovations, opportunities, and challenges, to help take new ideas forward. She added: “Relationships are not just transactions, relationship are connections, and that’s what Going Global is all about.” Delegates were also welcomed by Vicki Treadell, British High Commissioner to Malaysia, who revealed that this year’s Going Global is the biggest ever, with over 1,000 participants from more than 60 countries. “We are on the threshold of a brave new world, and you are all at the forefront of that,” she said.
  • New research was presented showing that the ASEAN region is becoming more open for international engagement, and that there is an ASEAN-centric approach to international higher education that is distinctive to the region despite the diversity of policies adopted by different countries.

KEY POINTS ARISING FROM SESSIONS:

Strategic Leadership in Turbulent Times

What leadership “superpowers” do you have? This was the question posed to delegates attending the masterclass Strategic Leadership in turbulent times. Responses included creative thinking, mentoring, planning, time-management, and motivation. 

Delegates in the masterclass Strategic Leadership in turbulent times were asked to consider what leadership means and its associated challenges: Thoughts included the three Cs: critical, creative and constructive working together; the role of the senior management team; collaborative decision making; and managing cultural difference and change.

How do levels of autonomy differ in institutions from country to country? Delegates in the masterclass Strategic Leadership in turbulent times were asked to take their place in a line representing the full spectrum, and discuss the leadership challenges they faced. These ranged from how to engage with and navigate a rigid regime through to managing a situation that can be like “herding cats” when having almost complete autonomy. 

Creating effective TNE partnerships hosted by the UK Quality Assurance Agency

The importance of quality assurance systems to the building of sustainable and effective transnational education (TNE) partnerships was explained to delegates at a Master Class led by Fiona Crozier, Head of International for the UK’s Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education.  The QAA saw its role as protecting the reputation for quality of UK higher education wherever and however it is being delivered, she said. Fear of reputational damage made it important for institutions to be confident of the quality assurance processes of prospective partners, she added.

The QAA saw its international role as key – more than 80% of UK higher education institutions are involved in some form of TNE and in all but around 15 countries across the world, said Ms Crozier.

Though most of the established and respected quality assurance systems for higher education across the world have similar features, understanding the requirements must be nation specific and is best achieved by face to face meetings between prospective TNE partners to “thrash out” the details, said Ms Crozier.  And, though the expectations of the QAA’s Quality Code might look “draconian”, the system has been drawn up in collaboration with institutions and they have the ultimate responsibility for academic standards and quality, she added. 

Institutions building TNE partners must be clear from the start about what they want to achieve and the mutual benefits, said Ms Crozier.  Building mutual understanding and trust was key to sustainable partnerships, she added. 

The role of English was raised by delegates. Lack of fluency in the language among staff was a challenge, both for teaching and research TNE partnerships, said one, though it could also be seen as an opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of learning the language increasingly being used in universities across the world, he added.  However, it is important for UK universities to accommodate different languages and not to behave in a “colonial” manner by insisting on the English language and quality assurance system, said another. 

Opening plenary (part 1)

In 2015 Malaysia launched a 10-year national blueprint for higher education that aims to nurture talent, reinforce global standards and develop graduates for 21st century life. Its redesigning education initiative is a key driver in efforts to meet the ambitions set out in the blueprint, with a goal of 250,000 international students by 2025. Already, Malaysia has attracted approximately 170,000 international students to its institutions, creating diverse student bodies and rich cultural educational environments, Sarah Deverall, the British Council’s Country Director for Malaysia, explained. 

Keynote speaker Professor Dame Janet Beer, a Trustee of the British Council and President of Universities UK, said that over the last couple of years the internationalisation of higher education has become increasingly dynamic with more and more universities assuming a global role, a process accelerated through transnational partnerships in teaching, research and innovation. Across the ASEAN region the SHARE programme supported by the British Council is working to strengthen co-operation and enable greater staff and student mobility, she said. This bridge building work is extremely important, she said, making a connection between global currents of thought and the needs of people at local, regional or national level. It tied in with the British Council’s central mission to build trust between people and nations.

His Excellency Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee, Deputy Secretary General for Socio-Cultural Community at ASEAN said the aim was to position south-east Asia as an outward-looking region within the global community. The world is changing and young people had to learn the essential skills for future success, such as critical thinking, problem solving, co-operation and collaboration. ASEAN’s strategy in higher education is three fold, he explained; to promote the internationalisation and harmonisation of ASEAN quality assurance mechanisms, to build and capacitate higher education institutions and to develop stronger links between universities, industry and communities within the region.

Opening plenary (part 2)

Professor Noor Azizi Bin Ismail, Deputy General of Higher Education, Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia told delegates that the country’s education blueprint aimed to position it as one of the key higher education hubs in the world because of the importance of education to social and economic development. The 2015-2025 education blue-print included key emphasis on entrepreneurship education including funding and support for women entrepreneurs and rural communities.

Nelson Mandela argued that one of the most effective mechanisms to change the world is through education. Across the world, universities have responded to the need to increase access to university education, said Professor Cheryl de la Ray, Vice-Chair of the Talloires Network and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Pretoria, South Africa. But many leaders and citizens across the world are now questioning the relevance of higher education, and what exacerbates that is universities focussing on a narrow definition of world class, she added.

In a video message, Sam Gyimah, the UK Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, apologised for not attending the conference in person and expressed his enthusiasm for the “vital forum” provided by the Going Global conference. “Higher education is a unique sector where perhaps more than any other, the flow and exchange of learning, people and ideas are essential for it to prosper and thrive. That is why I am supporting efforts to support UK students to study, work and volunteer abroad as part of their learning plan including the Universities UK’s action plan to double the percentage of students going oversees by 2020,” he said.  The UK government was particularly keen to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds benefit from international experiences which is why the Department for Education in the UK recently doubled the number of internships for disadvantaged young people through the British Council’s Generation UK programme, he said. 

How can HEIs develop entrepreneurship to meet diverse economic need?

Stellenbosch University has established a launch lab, campus based incubator to foster and support new businesses and innovation open to students and faculty and those at other Western Cape institutions, Professor Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Stellenbosch University, South Africa told the session on developing entrepreneurship. Those that made successful pitches to use the lab were given 18 months to two years to succeed. “If their plans don’t work, we kick them out. It is a bloody world out there,” he said. 

Universities did not need to rely on Government support for their entrepreneurial activities, said Professor Wim de Villiers. Seed funding had come from the private sector and the campus incubator had gone on to attract a considerable input of venture capital.  Whereas Johannesburg and the north of the country used to attract the most venture capital, now the Western Cape's share had gone up from 25% to over 70%.  “The university's launch lab has become very successful and now the Government is interested whereas it was not very helpful or useful at the start,” he said. 

Hot Topics: International Strategies

Internationalisation is changing from outward to inward looking, according to a Hot Topic forum at the British Council’s exhibition stand open to delegates during the coffee break.  Instead of sending students out across the world, the new internationalisation is bringing them back through joint ventures, franchises, articulation and accreditation agreements, said John Bramwell, the Interim Director for Education Policy at the British Council.

Increasingly national strategies are sitting alongside institutional objectives and international policies are focussing on specific subjects or education levels, most frequently post-graduate, said John Bramwell.

Internationalising technology - partners in the New Revolution

Delegates in the session Internationalising technology - partners in the New Revolution were invited to vote via Spot Me on whether universities and colleges were already well placed to develop and respond to the technological needs of society. At the start of the session 59.1% said yes, while at the end, just 52.6% thought so. Asked which regions were leading the way in embedding technological development into HE, South Asia was chosen by 23.1% at the start, but only 12.5% at the end, while  East Asia was chosen by 15.4% at the start and 23.8% at the end. The US was picked by 42.3% at the start and 41.7% at the end.

Explaining ways in which his university is exploring the application of Blockchain technology to higher education, Professor Nick Petford, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Northampton, UK, suggested there was a gap in the market for the development of soft skills and weaving this together with traditional provision into one single product.

Professor Nick Petford, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Northampton, UK, said the use of technology does not rule out taking a humanistic approach to higher education, citing a “block chain for humanity” project trialling a solution for Syrian refugees tracing back all the credentials individuals may have had that have been lost in the war.

The University of Bradford was one of the UK’s first universities of technology created in the 1960s. Its Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Cantor said the institution’s first VC defined technology as “making an impact on society”. But universities of technology do not get proper recognition now, despite their commitment to making an impact and helping to solve the world’s problems, he added.

More than two to tango: bridging global collaboration and local engagement

More than two to tango: bridging global collaboration and local engagement

James Gardner, Pro Vice-Chancellor – Strategic and International Partnerships, De Montfort University, UK, talked about the support that De Montfort University was providing to refugees and asylum seekers. Programmes such as the #DMUlocal Refugee Support Programme offer services such as mentoring, and skill sessions. The University has involved students and staff in the initiatives, in roles such as fundraisers, volunteers, and supporters of events. He says universities “have a duty now as a sector to respond…by sharing knowledge and research” 

Dr Rahul Choudaha, Executive Vice-President of Global Engagement, Research & Intelligence, StudyPortals, USA, stated that the main challenge was to “make sure offerings are both local, and adaptable to the global market”. In building strategy, he challenged university representatives to think about whether their institution was a “challenger” (a non-market leader seeking to expand reach), a “defender” (a market leader seeking to build on existing base), an “adapter “(an institution looking build on strategies from the industry) or an “innovator” (open to new ways of working) 

KEY QUOTES FROM DAY 1 SESSIONS:

“Leadership is a $50 billion industry. But a lot of it is failing. Leadership is this word, but what does it mean? Many people within leadership development feel uncertain about that.” Jo Chaffer, Advance HE. Strategic Leadership in Turbulent Times.

“There is no answer to the question, what is leadership? It’s an empty word. It needs to be captured and held within each specific context.” Jo Chaffer, Advance HE. Strategic Leadership in Turbulent Times.

“With politics the right answer is not always the right answer. Knowing the judgement to make on that is the key to success, without losing your moral compass.” Alison Johns, chief executive, Advance HE. Strategic Leadership in Turbulent Times.

“Universities across the world are under more scrutiny than other organisations. Under those circumstances your governance is your fall-back -- your safety mechanism.” Alison Johns, chief executive, Advance HE. Strategic Leadership in Turbulent Times.

“It is particularly significant for the British Council to be hosting Going Global in Kuala Lumpur this year as we celebrate our 70th anniversary since opening our first office here in 1948. 70 years of building connections and trust between the UK and Malaysia and this particular meeting is the largest global gathering in the country.” Sarah Deverall, the British Council’s County Director for Malaysia. Opening plenary.

“Our major challenges as a world community – global warming, sustainable energy, plastic waste, infectious disease, terrorism – these know no national boundaries.  We can meet them and defeat them only by working together. Universities have always drawn ideas from far and wide and they have always had an impact through their physical presence and through the activities of their alumni within their local context and their international context.“ Professor Dame Janet Beer, a Trustee of the British Council and President of Universities UK, the body representing UK universities. Opening plenary.

“We are welcoming record numbers of international students to the UK.  They enrich our campuses and the experience of our students as well as facilitating institutional partnerships and adding to the UK’s impressive research capacity.  Research and innovation are critical in addressing global challenges and unlocking opportunity and we will undeniably achieve more in partnership with others than alone. That is why we have made international collaboration and important part of our new Industrial Strategy…..Now more than ever,  the UK is committed to becoming even more global and international in action and in spirit.” Sam Gyimah, the UK Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation. Opening plenary.

“New jobs that are created [through AI and technology] are not only for technologists. Never before have we needed creativity, imagination, and humanity as much as now, as machines do the routine work and we are really free to let our imagination fly.” Dr Ayesha Khanna, Co-founder and CEO of ADDO AI. Opening plenary.

“This is a great moment for Asia, and for our youth and even those in mid-career. We have never been so driven, and never has opportunity come knocking on our door because of artificial intelligence, and robotics, and technology. I go to Sweden, to America, to the UK, to Italy, they are afraid. But in Asia we are not afraid – we see this as an opportunity to leapfrog and to climb up that social mobility ladder.” Dr Ayesha Khanna, Co-founder and CEO of ADDO AI. Opening plenary.

“If there was ever a time when we need to shout about the positivity of international education, about the economic, social and cultural benefits that student mobility brings, the time is now. We have a golden opportunity for future generations to live and learn in a world that looks really similar to this conference hall, with people from across the world, of all creeds, colours and faiths.” Yinbo Yu, International Students’ Officer, National Union of Students UK. Opening plenary.

“Though UK institutions are autonomous and are responsible for their own degrees, their professional programmes must be accredited by the regulatory bodies for the sectors. These professional bodies – in fields such as psychology, law and especially engineering – are becoming more interested in the accreditation of international programmes. This is new so watch this space.” Fiona Crozier, Head of International for the UK’s Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education. Creating effective TNE partnerships hosted by the UK Quality Assurance Agency

“If you have got to grips with the principles of quality assessment in one country or region, such as the UK or Ireland or the European Higher Education Area, then they can be translated globally but you also have to get to grips with national specifics and context by face to face meetings with your prospective TNE partner to thrash out the details and come to a mutual understanding of each other’s systems.” Fiona Crozier, Head of International for the UK’s Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education. Creating effective TNE partnerships hosted by the UK Quality Assurance Agency

“TNE enriches our faculty members because they see a new culture and no longer function in a silo. They can bring that learning and new perspective back home to the university and share it with their colleagues and students.”  Wah Swee Hwa, Director South East ASEAN region, Sheffield Hallam University. Creating effective TNE partnerships hosted by the UK Quality Assurance Agency

“We need to change the way we think about the traditional role of universities – it’s not just about teaching and research but also about innovation.” Professor Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Stellenbosch University, South Africa told the session on developing entrepreneurship. How can HEIs develop entrepreneurship to meet diverse economic need?

“There’s a strong commitment and enthusiasm among ASEAN countries toward developing significant levels of transnational education, as they want to bring students into their countries…but that does not necessarily mean that the monitoring systems are in place for all of this activity to deal with such providers. There is a great deal of variability across the countries.” Professor Glenda Crosling, Head, Centre for Higher Education Research, Sunway University, Malaysia. Understanding the national policy environment to develop an international strategy

“Right now we need to be looking for and adapting ourselves to change. Change, whether we like it or not, is constant. This is something I have learned in my years of experience in industry. We always try to catch the next great wave.” Ahmad Jauhari bin Yahya, former CEO, Malaysia Airlines. Internationalising technology - partners in the New Revolution 

“There are imbalances in the world right now which I think technology can solve … these are human problems which I think we must think very hard about how we can use technology to solve them.” Ahmad Jauhari bin Yahya, former CEO, Malaysia Airlines. Internationalising technology - partners in the New Revolution 

“It has become common for universities to say that we don’t teach our students for the jobs that you can see now, we teach them for the jobs that no-one has yet invented.” Professor Brian Cantor, Vice-Chancellor, University of Bradford, UK.  Internationalising technology - partners in the New Revolution