In the words of the remarkable inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, “Great discoveries and improvements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds”. In a world that has become borderless and yet interconnected by nature, it is essential to work together in order to not just survive, but thrive. Novel ideas, creative solutions, and crisis management has become a part of the ‘new normal’.
Accelerating internationalization to ‘learn without limits’, the Times Higher Education (THE), in partnership with Coursera for Campus, organized “THE Unbounded Universities Forum”, a half-day virtual event that brought together leaders of higher education from around the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. Held on the 6th of October 2021 via the Zoom online platform, the program encompassed a series of panel discussions and breakout sessions that showcases academic and industrial best practices on applied knowledge, skills education, blended learning, and enhanced employability, through international collaboration across the APAC region.
The Opening Panel Discussion was themed on ‘Making the most of Asia-Pacific's Opportunities with Skills Education and Industry Collaboration’. Moderated by Mr. Alistair Lawrence, the Special Projects Editor at THE, the panel comprised of Mr. Raghav Gupta, the Managing Director (India & APAC) at Coursera, Mr. Farkhod Ibragimov, the Founder & CEO of IT Park, Uzbekistan, Ms. Joyce Teo, the Vice President of Global Affairs at the Universiti Brunei Darussalam, and Dr. Carmen Z. Lamagna, the Vice Chancellor of the American International University – Bangladesh (AIUB). The discussion highlighted the need for academic and industry linkages to bridge the gap between the qualifications of graduates and the skills required for employees. This was followed by 2 breakout sessions centered on ‘Improving Learning Outcomes: New Strategies to Increase Employability in APAC and India’, where Dr. Lamagna also presented on AIUB’s approach to the academia-industry collaboration, that emphasized on the importance and scope of strategic partnerships moving forward and the necessity of embracing the adaptability to change in heading towards the future. The program was brought to a close with the final panel discussion focusing on ‘The Future of International Collaboration in Asia-Pacific’s Higher Education’.
The global academic and industry leaders deliberated on enhancing the international outlook of the APAC region as a dynamic and game-changing platform for academic excellence, productive collaboration, and sustainable development in the world.