Post event report

QS WorldClass 2018: Changes in University/Industry Interaction

QS WorldClass 2018, themed Changes in University/Industry Interaction successfully concluded on 18 April 2018. University leaders and industry representatives worldwide gathered at Crowne Plaza – Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, an emerging entertainment destination and home to the state-of-the-art Yas Marina Circuit.

The seminar discussions and presentations primarily focused on the much-needed changes within university-industry partnerships and adjustments to higher education system to stay in tune with the changing economic needs. The event kickstarted with a delivery of an opening keynote address from HE Dr Mohammad Al Mualla, Undersecretary for Higher Education Academic Affairs, Ministry of Education, UAE; followed by an afternoon keynote address from Dr Suzanne Ortega, President of the Council of Graduate Schools, USA.

This year’s seminar gathered a total of 112 delegates from 50 institutions in 17 countries. University leaders not only gained valuable insights and knowledge needed to move forward and begin exploring a more flexible system to meet the learning needs of relevant stakeholders; but also got the chance to connect with prominent industry representatives from Microsoft (Asia Pacific), Microsoft (Indonesia), Huawei China, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), etc, allowing for possible future collaborations. Participants also got the unique opportunity of visiting the Sheikh Zayed Mosque – the grand mosque rises majestically from the beautifully manicured gardens and is visible from each of the bridges joining Abu Dhabi island to the mainland.

Here are some of the event highlights for those who have missed this insightful seminar:

Dr Bhanu Chowdhary, Associate Provost for Research, Dean, College of Food & Agriculture and Mr Michael McGrath, Senior Advisor, National Space Science & Tech Center at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) gave a speech on ‘Catalyzing Economic Advancement and Capacity Building through Academia-Industry Interaction’. During which, they shared about the need for each country to carefully design and adopt a model that suits its educational aspirations, landscape of economic growth and ability to drive industrial expansion. A strong and diversified national industrial framework unambiguously feeds into strengthening universities with the expectation that it will lead to the creation of a highly qualified and ingenious workforce which in turn will serve as the driver for further industrial advancement and economic development.

On the other hand, Professor Roland Chin, President of Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), shared in a presentation titled ‘Integrating Ancient Wisdom and AI for Better Healthcare’. HKBU’s Chinese medicine research team is currently driving a HK$100 million preventive healthcare project where they amass big data from over two million clinical cases, providing a unique treasure trove to generate new health and wellness insight through analytics and modelling with integration of chemical and biomedical databases. This approach merges cutting-edge basic and clinical research with traditional empirical-based wisdom generated since ancient times.

Finally, Dr Suzanne Ortega, President of Council of Graduates Schools, USA provided professional insight in a presentation titled ‘Preparing Versatile Scholars and Scientists for the Late Twenty-first Century’. Dr Ortega discussed the implications of the changing demographic, technological, social and economic trends for current graduate students – the scientists and scholars of the future. The talk focused on what students will need to know and be able to do to have productive careers in a rapidly changing landscape and explored ways that universities and the private sector can work together to meet today’s workforce needs and help students prepare for future jobs.

QS WorldClass2019 will be held in Dead Sea, Jordan in partnership with Jordan University of Science & Technology as joint organising partners.

Organising Partner for 2019

Dead Sea, Jordan