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Inside JGU 2020 - Issue 8 (August)

JGU organises global virtual conference on ‘Reimagining & Transforming The University: Confluence of Ideas during and beyond the COVID-19 Disruption’

JGU and International Institute for Higher Education Research and Capacity Building (IIHEd) organised on 6th and 7th August a global virtual conference on ‘Reimagining & Transforming The University:  Confluence of Ideas during and beyond the COVID-19 Disruption’ in partnership with 6 Global Education Networks including the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) and Association of Indian Universities (AIU), Coimbra Group of Brazilian Universities, Laspau (a Harvard University affiliated network), the STAR Scholars Network and the Qatar Foundation.

Hon’ble Union Cabinet Minister for Education Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ inaugurated the conference. More than 80 educational leaders from over 55 universities and colleges participated in the global virtual conference, with nearly 40 serving and former Vice Chancellors, Provosts, Rectors, Presidents, Founding Deans and Directors in the field of higher education from 15 countries and 6 continents taking part in 15 thematic panel discussions, 4 keynote addresses and 2 special dialogues, including a special panel led by women leaders from universities. 

Besides Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, the event was also attended by Professor (Dr.) D.P. Singh, Chairman, University Grants Commission (UGC); Professor (Dr.) Virander S. Chauhan, Chairman, National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC); Professor (Dr.) Anil D. Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE); and Professor (Dr.) Bhushan Patwardhan, Vice Chairman, University Grants Commission.

Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament; Professor (Dr.) Simon Marginson, Professor of Higher Education, University of Oxford; Professor (Dr.) Philip G. Altbach, Founding Director & Research Professor, Center for International Higher Education, Boston College; and Professor (Dr.) Richard Levin, President Emeritus, Yale University, delivered a keynote addresses at the event on the themes of ‘Challenges and Possibilities for the University During and Beyond COVID-19’, ‘The Idea of the University’, ‘Reimagining and Transforming the University’ and ‘The Future of Internationalisation: Implications for India’.


The conference had a special dialogue series on ‘The Future of Universities in Asia’ with Professor (Dr.) Rocky S. Tuan, Vice Chancellor and President, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; and on ‘Women’s Leadership at the University’ with Dr. Alice Prochaska, Former Pro Vice Chancellor, University of Oxford; Professor (Dr.) Chandrika Wijeyaratne, Vice Chancellor, University of Colombo; and Professor (Dr.) Yong Zulina Zubairi, Associate Vice Chancellor (International), University of Malaya.


The conference brought together diverse views from senior leadership of over 55 leading universities and colleges across the world, including BITS Pilani, Boston College, Cornell University, Harvard University, Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad, The University of Chicago, The University of Sydney, McGill University, Pace University, University of Arizona, University of Delhi, University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales, University of Oxford, University of Sao Paulo, University of Wollongong, Yale University and York University.

The conference featured 15 thematic sessions spread over two days. The sessions were: Session 1: Educational Leadership, Institutional Resilience and Innovative Initiatives; Session 2: Institutional Support, Social Engagement and Emotional Well-being; Session 3: Quality Assurance, Academic Standards and Institutional Excellence; Session 4: Idea of the University during and beyond COVID-19 Disruption; Session 5: University Rankings, Accreditation and Benchmarking; Session 6: International Mobility and Exchange for Education and Research; Session 7: Public funding, Philanthropy and Social Impact; Session 8: Globalisation and the Future of Universities post COVID-19; Session 9: Digital Transformation of Higher Education and the Future of Online Teaching & Learning; Session 10: Beyond the Ivory Tower: Research and University Social Responsibility; Session 11: Policy, Regulation and Governance for University Sustainability; Session 12: Internationalisation at Home and Global Partnerships; Session 13: Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice as the University Mission; Session 14: Employability, Entrepreneurship and Socio-Economic Mobility; and Thematic Session 15: The Pursuit of Access, Equity and Excellence in the University.


National, regional and international organisation such as Association of Indian Universities (AIU), Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) and International Association of Universities (IAU), which represent large bodies of institutions, were represented in the conference by their senior leadership including Professor (Dr.) Pankaj Mittal, Secretary General, AIU, Dr. Joanna Newman, Chief Executive & Secretary General, ACU and Professor (Dr.) Goolam Mohamedbhai, Honorary President, IAU; Dr. Francisco J. Marmolejo, Education Advisor, Office of the Chairperson, Qatar Foundation; Professor (Dr.) Uttam Gaulee, President, Society for Transnational Academic Research (STAR) Network; Mr. Phil Baty, Chief Knowledge Officer, Times Higher Education (THE); and Mr. Ben Sowter, Senior Vice President, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).


The conference was followed by the Founder’s Day Lecture by Professor (Dr.) Richard Levin, President Emeritus, Yale University, on ‘Reimagining & Transforming the University’ in memory of Mr. Om Prakash Jindal and the Valedictory Session. Dr. Joanna Newman, Chief Executive & Secretary General, Association of Commonwealth Universities, UK, delivered a presidential address on the occasion. This session was also graced by the presence of Mr. Naveen Jindal, Founding Chancellor of JGU.


Find the recording of the conference here: