Virtual Seminar on “Future Higher Education”

In early December 2020, the Sunway University Centre for Higher Education research convened the webinar entitled "Future Higher Education'. The aim of the webinar was to explore the topic of Higher Education in today's world and its increasingly important but changing role, as poignantly witnessed across the globe recently with COVID-19.

Some of the global and national movements discussed that impact HE include massification and participation of larger numbers of individuals to meet equity and skill needs for current and future conditions, the importance of creativity and innovation for socioeconomic development, internationalisation, online learning and its variations in COVID-19 times, and the increasing shift towards automation.

The challenges for HE posed by these changes led to discussion of what forms HE could take, relevant modes of operation, who the current and future students are , and their lives on graduation.

Overall, the theme of the webinar was the ways that HE can function to contribute positively in dynamic national, regional and international contexts. The invited esteemed speakers were Prof. Dato' Dr. Norzaini Azman Professor of Higher Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia who spoke on the topic of 'Glimpsing the Future of Higher Education: Contradictions, Complexities and Reality' , and Prof. Dato' Dr. Norazah Nordin Dean, Faculty of Education, Professor of Learning Technologies and Innovation, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, whose topic was COVID-19 Pandemic: Reshaping the Future of Higher Education with Endless Innovations).

The webinar was facilitated by Professor Glenda Crosling and Professor Dr Graeme Atherton (Adjunct) of the Centre for Higher Education Research. The webinar proved to be of interest and value for academic colleagues in Malaysia, in ASEAN and internationally, with participants joining in from afar as Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Hungary and the United States of America.

Professors Crosling and Atherton also announced in the webinar that the Centre for Higher Education Research will be editors of Sunway University Press book on the topic of 'Future Higher Education' and calls will be made for proposals for contributions early in 2021.