As a member of the International Association of Universities Presidents [IAUP], the American International University – Bangladesh [AIUB] was invited to participate in the IAUP Semi-Annual Meeting 2016, held from the 19th – 21st of May 2016 at the University of Alcala [UAH] in Madrid, Spain.
The 3-day program was attended by the Vice Chancellor, Dr. Carmen Z. Lamagna, along with the Chairman and Vice President of International Affairs & Public Relations, Mr. Ishtiaque Abedin, and the Special Assistant of the Vice Chancellor’s Office and the Office of Student Affairs, Ms. Shama Islam. The Opening Session for the Meeting was addressed by the Rector of the University of Alcala, followed by the President of IAUP, along with various national, regional, and local authorities of academic significance. The first day converged with business meetings of the Executive Committee and Council of Senior advisors for the Commission’s Report, followed by a guided tour of the old University and then the city of Madrid. The day was concluded with a Gala Dinner hosted by the UAH.
The 2nd day of the Meeting started off with a Working Breakfast of the Regional Chairs, leading to the main sessions of the program. The first panel session was on the Universities and the Preservation of Culture as an International Challenge, which was facilitated by 3 keynote speakers – Mr. Ramu Damodaran of the United Nations [UN], Mr. Juan Ramón de le Fuente of the National Autonomous University of Mexico [UNAM], and Mr. Remus Pricopie of the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration [SNSPA, Bucharest, Romania].
The next session was themed on Higher Education Institutions and Sustainability, which also had a 3-member panel as the keynote speakers. This session was opened by Dr. Lamagna on the Sustainability Initiatives undertaken by AIUB and Bangladesh as a whole. She presented the various practices and policies in AIUB that align with the idea of sustainable development in higher education, covering vast areas such as curriculum, research, study tours/workshops, infrastructure, and collaborations. The session continued with the presentations of Ms. Daniella Tilbury from the University of Gibraltar and Mr. Fernando León Garcia from the Center for Technical Education and Superior [CETYS]. Once the Panel Sessions were completed, the Board of Directors conducted a Meeting, which led to the Signing of MoUs between several participating Universities. AIUB signed MoUs for collaborating with both UAH and the University of Guadalajara [UAG].
The program came to an end with a tour to another historic city, Toledo, where the Closing Reception & Dinner was held, finishing off the day with a brilliant Flamenco performance as a part of the Spanish cultural heritage. Most of the participants departed the next day, while some were taken to an optional cultural visit to Córdoba and Seville. Overall, the program not only gave the participating universities a platform to engage in international dialogue on various issues of critical importance in the global academic landscape, but enabled them to exchange ideas, views, and cultures that set the pace for their future ventures to work towards evolving their institutions and the world of education in its entirety.