Reimagining & transforming the university: confluence of ideas during & beyond COVID-19

This global virtual conference, organised by O.P. Jindal Global University, will bring together 80+ thought leaders from over 55 universities and colleges across the world.

Global Virtual Conference: Reimagining & Transforming the University
06 - 07 Aug 2020

The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) has collaborated with O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU), India to bring to you a global virtual conference on the theme ‘Reimagining and Transforming The University:  Confluence of Ideas during and beyond the COVID-19 Disruption’. Other partners of this event also include, Association of Indian Universities (AIU), Coimbra Group of Brazilian Universities, Laspau (A Harvard University affiliated network), the STAR Scholars Network, Qatar Foundation.

This event will bring together a range of distinguished speakers including Vice-Chancellors, Presidents, and experts from the field of higher education from different regions across the globe for a series of online sessions.

For the first time in our living memory, we are dealing with a health crisis with such magnitude and devastation. The COVID-19 crisis has affected all walks of our lives. Higher education institutions around the globe had to react swiftly to minimise the disruptions caused by COVID-19. Educational leaders, faced by multiple challenges, had to simultaneously cater to the needs of all stakeholders on their campuses and show immense resilience to the unprecedented crisis. As we are still in the midst of the pandemic, there are more questions than answers about future trajectories of higher education globally.

Some educationists share the belief that the current pandemic will become an opportunity to ‘right the pre-existing wrongs’ and shift the paradigm of global education. If this is the case, then how it will be shaped in the post-COVID-19 scenario? The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the theory and practice of global education. The scope of pandemic indicates that there is no going back to the ‘old normal’, and creative solutions are needed to solve the emerging challenges. The universities will need to become more responsive to unexpected changes and, not afraid to experiment and promote innovation.

This event will provide an opportunity to share diverse perspectives and new insights on future contours of global education.

The inaugural conference session will welcome distinguished guest speakers including:

  • Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Government of India
  • Professor Dr DP Singh, Chairman, University Grants Commission (UGC)
  • Professor Dr Pankaj Mittal, Secretary-General, Association of Indian Universities (AIU)

Keynote addresses will include:

  • ‘Challenges & Possibilities for the University during & beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic’ delivered by Professor Simon Marginson, Professor of Higher Education, University of Oxford
  • ‘The Idea of a University’ delivered by Dr Shashi Tharoor, MP - Lok Sabha, India
  • ‘The Future of Internationalization: Implications for India’ delivered by Professor Philip Altbach, Founding Director & Research Professor, Centre for International Higher Education, Boston College
  • Founder’s Day Lecture delivered by Professor Richard Levin, President Emeritus, Yale University

Dr Joanna Newman, Chief Executive, and Secretary General of the ACU will deliver the Presidential Address of the Founder’s Day Lecture and Valedictory Session on 7 August 2020 from 15:45 - 17:00 (BST).

The conference will also welcome numerous ACU members as speakers including:

  • Prof S Bruce Dowton, Vice-Chancellor & President of Macquarie University
  • Prof Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor & Principal of the University of Sydney
  • Professor Colin Picker, Executive Dean, Faculty of Business & Law, University of Wollongong
  • Professor Mark E Smith, President & Vice-Chancellor, University of Southampton
  • Professor Souvik Bhattacharya, Vice-Chancellor, BITS Pilani
  • Professor Goolam Mohamedbhai, Honorary President, IAU and former Vice-Chancellor, University of Mauritius
  • Professor Nirmala Rao, Vice-Chancellor, Asian University for Women
  • Professor Rocky S Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Professor Rhonda Lenton, President and Vice-Chancellor, York University
  • Professor Chandrika Wijeyaratne, Vice-Chancellor, University of Colombo
  • Professor Shalini Bharat, Vice-Chancellor & Director, Tata Institute of Social Sciences
  • Professor Yong Zulina Zubairi, Associate Vice-Chancellor (International), University of Malaya

For the full list of speakers, sessions and special dialogues please see the conference programme below.

Conference programme

Download the full programme here

For any immediate enquiries, please contact the team on:

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Theme: Strengthening universities