2023 IAUP Semi-Annual Meeting is held in Egypt

2023 IAUP Semi-Annual Meeting is held in Egypt

With participants from 18 countries in the Americas, Africa, Europe and Asia, the first IAUP Semi-Annual Meeting of 2023 was held successfully at Helnan Dream Hotel in Cairo from May 11-13, under the theme “Transforming Global Higher Education through Quality, Innovation, and Inclusion”, with a diverse range of discussions led by experts in higher education who explored what institutions have learned from the pandemic and what lies ahead.

Opening remarks at the IAUP Semi-Annual Meeting in Egypt were delivered by Dr. Fernando León García, IAUP President, and Sir Enan Galaly, Chairman of the Advisory Board and host of the event. The program included several panel sessions as well as cultural activities, networking events, and the signing of several Memorandums of Understanding between IAUP members.

The IAUP Semi-Annual Meeting in Egypt highlighted the increasing relevance of international collaboration to achieve long-lasting progress and create meaningful impact, putting emphasis on higher education as a human right and making it crucial to ensure that academically deserving students from all backgrounds have access to quality education.

Moving forward, inclusivity and excellence should be at the core of the university’s efforts. Focus must be on building solid institutions that empower and shape future generations, as education holds the key for both individual and societal development.

Visit to the Pyramids, Sphinx, and the New Egyptian Museum


Panel Session 1 – Higher Education after the Pandemic: What have we learned?

Dr. Assylbek Kozhakhmetov, President, Almaty Management University, Kazakhstan, Dr. Ben Nelson, CEO, Minerva University, USA, H.E. and Dr. Hassan Diab, Former Prime Minister, Lebanon, Dr. Letlhokwa George Mpedi, Vice Chancellor and Principal, University of Johannesburg, South Africa, Dr. Francisco Trigo, Vice Provost International Affairs, UNAM, México, Dr. Tomas Morales, President, California State University, San Bernardino, USA, Dr. Arturo Cherbowski Lask, Executive Director, Santander Universidades, México (Moderator).

  • The current post-pandemic period is characterized by both significant achievements and challenges, which have prompted institutions to reassess their educational models and embrace change.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has acted as a catalyst for various pre-existing factors, leading universities to undergo digitalization for example, with applying incremental change while others call for radical transformation.
    Institutions worldwide share similar challenges related to inclusion, fairness, and access to education, as well as increasing criticism regarding the social value provided by higher education.
  • The traditional business models of universities are no longer effective, especially as institutions are questioned on what they are giving back to society.
    Global collaboration between universities is crucial for addressing these challenges and finding solutions.

Panel Session 2 – UNESCO 2030 Roadmap: What progress have we made?

Dr. Balvir S Tomar, Chancellor, Nims University, India, Dr. Santiago García, Vice President, Kedge Business School, France, Dr. Gonzalo R. Mendieta, Rector, Universidad de las Américas (UDLA), Ecuador, Dr. Carlos Iván Moreno, Chief Academic Officer, Universidad de Guadalajara, México, Dr. Kakha Shengelia, President, Caucasus University, Georgia, Dr. Fernando Galván, IAUP Secretary General, Former Rector, Universidad Alcalá de Henares, Spain (Moderator).

  • Progress on the UNESCO 2030 Roadmap varies among different regions, with particular challenges, such as access to education, being similar across the globe.
  • One of the main emphasis has been focusing not only on “what” institutions should be teaching, but on “how”, both now and in the future, fostering critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity.
  • Addressing disruption: both as an institution navigating change, as well as preparing students for a rapidly changing world by shaping an adaptable mindset and embracing lifelong learning.

Panel Session 3: The great resignation: A regional challenge or global reality?

Dr. Brent White, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Golden Gate University, USA, Dr. Sabur Khan, President, Daffodil International University, Bangladesh, Dr. Shawn Chen, Chancellor, SIAS International University, China, Dr. Stephen Williams, Director, NTU Global, Nottingham Trent University, UK (Moderator).

  • The Great Resignation is a global phenomenon, but with each region facing unique circumstances and perspectives regarding its impact. Perspectives from institutions in the USA, Bangladesh, China and Austria were shared during the panel.
  • The USA views it as a “Great Dissatisfaction” with the need to reevaluate the centrality of work, while Bangladesh is focusing on the student and employee experience.
  • The pandemic has had a significant impact on employment globally, including China, where it is seen as an existential threat to universities, as they struggle to provide a return on investment for graduates. Innovation, particularly through AI, is seen as a way to address these challenges.
  • For Austria, even though there may not be a Great Resignation in terms of employment within universities in the country currently, there are significant challenges ahead, including the rise of AI. However, there are also opportunities, especially in terms of inclusion and diversity, such as increasing the representation of women in STEM programs.

Panel Session 4: Recovery and Transformation: What lies ahead?

Dr. Takahiro Ono, President, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, Japan, Dr. Xinmiao Jiang, Vice President, Hunan Normal University, China, Dr. Antonio Leaño Reyes, President, Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, México, Dr. Marko Princevac, Vice Provost of International Affairs, University of California, Riverside, USA, Dr. Gerald Reisinger, President, University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Austria (Moderator).

  • There is a need for classical universities to shift towards a more student-focused approach in order to address future challenges, prioritizing the needs and preferences of students in shaping its strategies and structures.
  • The importance of sustainability in education was emphasized, including integrating sustainability principles into the curriculum and in research activities, as well as adopting sustainable practices in institutions’ infrastructure, operations, and their commitment to social development.
  • Other key aspects for the future of institutions are internationalization and AI, considering the increasing importance of exposing students to different countries and cultures as well as the challenges and opportunities being brought up by artificial intelligence both inside and outside the classroom.

Visit to October 6 University

As part of the conference program, IAUP Semi-Annual Meetings attendees had the privilege of being hosted by Prof. Gamal Samy, President of October 6 University in Egypt. The gathering provided a valuable platform for fruitful discussions and meaningful connections among global academic leaders, adding an enriching aspect to the event. The university also organized a captivating showcase, enabling higher education leaders to immerse themselves in the vibrant culture of the country.

MOU Signing

During the Semi-Annual Meeting IAUP members had the opportunity to formalize Memorandums of Understanding, further solidifying their commitment to international collaboration and fostering academic cooperation. Among the partnerships:

    • SIAS University in China:
      • UDLA Ecuador.
      • CETYS University in Mexico.
    • Nims University in India:
      • University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria.
      • CETYS University in Mexico.
      • Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara in Mexico.
      • UDLA Ecuador.
      • Caucasus University in Georgia.
    • CETYS University in Mexico:
      • University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria.
      • Caucasus University in Georgia.