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Sandra Booth, Director of Policy and External Relations for the Council for Higher Education in Art & Design (CHEAD), reviews a week of higher education news in which concerns emerged over universities’ financial stability due to Covid-19 and the impact of the crisis on students.
A growing number of higher education conferences and events are being postponed or moved online in response to the Coronavirus restrictions.
Amid predictions that higher education will be changed forever by the current pandemic, Professor James Miller, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Glasgow Caledonian University, suggests the innovative ways the sector is responding to the crisis will make it even more valued in the future.
The current crisis has underlined the critical role played by the UK’s experts and researchers and the institutions supporting them, as well as the need for collaboration between them, says Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Universities and Business.
Higher education leaders from across the globe gathered in Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur to attend the British Council’s 12th flagship Going Global international higher education conference.
Around 25 UK universities were represented at the three day event, which attracted more than 1,000 delegates from over 60 countries, including university heads and senior representatives, academics, and government ministers and officials, as well as HE agencies, think tanks and global businesses. Media FHE provided official daily conference briefings from the event.
The conference has grown from its initial launch in 2004 to a major date in the international higher education calendar, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and networking events. This year’s theme was “global connections: local impact” – considering how universities and tertiary institutions can be both globally connected and locally engaged, helping to create globally minded citizens, acting as conduits to international partnerships, creating the conditions for industry collaboration and social innovation.
The event sought to answer key questions on how leaders and policymakers can develop a well-understood role for institutions in terms of their social obligation and impact on the knowledge economy; what the priorities in ensuring that tertiary education is fit to shape societies of the future and meet the needs of students, employers and communities; and the role of global tertiary networks in helping the tertiary sector achieve its goals.
New research was revealed and debated on the role of higher education and skills provision in the global and local humanitarian response to the world’s refugee crisis; on the approach to international higher education among different countries in the ASEAN region; and on transnational education and graduate employability in Malaysia.
Speaking at the press launch in Kuala Lumpur, the Director of British Council Malaysia, Sarah Deverall said:
"Malaysia is a natural choice of venue for this year’s Going Global with its strong global connections, growing reputation as a regional education hub, and one of the fastest growing economies in the world. We are proud to be able to deliver this year’s conference with co-hosts the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia, and the ASEAN Secretariat as supporting partners. This is a very fitting way to celebrate 70 years of continuous British Council presence in Malaysia.”
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