The International Institute for Higher Education Research and Capacity Building (IIHEd) of JGU hosted the Society of Transnational Academic Researchers (STAR) Network’s annual three-day global conference in collaboration with the Association of Indian Universities on December 10–12.
‘Higher Education for the Greater Good: Leadership and Institutional Resilience’ was this year’s conference theme, and it focused on leadership, resilience and equity in a post-pandemic world. During the inaugural session, Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice-Chancellor of JGU and Director of IIHEd, stated, “We could not have chosen a better theme for this year’s conference because the pandemic has fundamentally altered the way we have been living and challenged the entire world of higher education…One of the pandemic’s unsung heroes are the world’s educators, who have made extraordinary contributions to ensure that the learning project continues uninterrupted”.
The India Country Director of the STAR Scholars Network and Deputy Director of IIHEd, Professor (Dr.) Mousumi Mukherjee, stated, “We have also witnessed much resilience and innovation emerge out of this period of crisis. As the entire medical fraternity, social workers, teachers, students, parents and diverse professionals learned to adapt to the ‘new normal’, we realised the value of higher education for the greater good.”
The conference included 50+ research presentations, 5 roundtable discussions, and 10+ thematic forum discussions. There were more than 300 members from universities, NGOs, think tanks and government sectors from 37+ countries. One of the key attractions of this conference was the A. Noam Chomsky Global Connections awards ceremony, in which senior scholars and promising young scholars are recognised by the STAR Scholars Network each year, followed by a keynote speech delivered by Professor A. Noam Chomsky. Professor Shaun Star of Jindal Global Law School received one of the Rising Star Emerging Scholar Certificates.
Professor Chomsky said, “I would like to congratulate the recipients of the Global Connections Award on their truly impressive achievements and the great promise of exciting contributions ahead. I also welcome you all to the STAR Scholars Network, an organisation that offers great hope for the future with its internationalism and impressive contributions. We are meeting at a unique moment of human history, which might be close to a terminal moment of human history. This is not an idle concern; this is by no means inevitable.”
Please click here to watch the full key note speech, delivered by Professor Chomsky.
Other distinguished speakers included Dr. Baburam Bhattarai (Former Prime Minister of Nepal), Dr. Joseph Burke (Senior Consultant, Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, USA), Dr. Pankaj Mittal (Secretary-General, Association of Indian Universities), Dr. Anil Sahasrabudhe (Chairman, All India Council for Technical Education), Dr, K.K. Aggarwal (Chairman, National Board of Accreditation), Dr. Rajesh Tandon (UNESCO-Chair in CBR & Social Responsibility in Higher Education), Dr. Joanna Newman (Chief Executive & Secretary-General, Association of Commonwealth Universities), Dr. Philip Altbach (Research Professor, Centre for International Higher Education, Boston College, USA), Dr. Lynn Pasquerella (President, Association of American Colleges & Universities), Dr. Dwan M. Whitehead (Vice-President, Office of Global Citizenship for Campus, AACU), Mr. Kurt Larsen (Senior Education Specialist, The World Bank) and Dr. Glenda Prime (Dean, School of Education & Urban Studies, Morgan State University).
The conference programme also included a Virtual Arts Exhibition and daily Virtual Cultural Performances celebrating diverse Indian cultural traditions.
The conference is annual event of the STAR Scholars Network. The conference aims to assist academicians, scholars, researchers, and students in expanding their academic and social networks by fostering human-to-human relationships with scholars from around the world, celebrating cultures, facilitating critical conversations, establishing global connections for research collaborations and forming lifelong relationships. The next conference will be hosted by the University of Mauritius during December 7-8, 2022.