Day one – Wednesday 27 July

Conference opening


Prof Jan Thomas 

Prof Jan ThomasProf Jan Thomas is Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. Prior to this, she was Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Notre Dame Australia from 2010-2012, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Murdoch University, Australia, from 2003-2010. She is Chair of the ACU Council and of the Regional Universities Network, and Chairperson of the State Library Board of Queensland. Prof Thomas is a strong advocate for the transformative role of education, both as a mechanism for social justice and as a key driver for national productivity and innovation.

Prof Domwini Dabire Kuupole

Prof KuupoleProf Domwini Dabire Kuupole has been Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Ghana, since 2012. He is also Professor of French, and was previously Pro-Vice-Chancellor of UCC. He is currently Chairman of the Association of West African Universities, of Vice-Chancellors' Ghana, and of the Local Organising Committee for this conference. He received a BA in French and a Diploma in Education from UCC, and pursued an MPhil and doctorate degrees at the Université de Franche-Comté, France. The French government made him Chevalier de l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques in 2007, and Officier de l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques in 2013.

HE John Dramani Mahama

John Dramani MahamaHE John Dramani Mahama took office as President of Ghana in 2012. A respected historian, writer, and communications specialist, he has been a Member of Parliament since 1997, and served as Minister of Communications from 1998-2001, and Vice President from 2009-2012. Prior to this, Mr Mahama pursued academia, completing both his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Ghana. Following this, he undertook a postgraduate diploma at the Moscow Institute of Social Sciences, in the then Soviet Union. He returned to Ghana in 1991, and before entering politics worked for PLAN International.

Keynote address


Kofi Annan

Kofi AnnanKofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, is Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation, which mobilises political will to overcome threats to peace, development, and human rights. In 2001, he and the United Nations were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. Mr Annan is currently Chancellor of the University of Ghana, and has held a number of positions at universities around the world. He chairs The Elders, an independent group of global leaders who work together for peace and human rights, and the African Progress Panel, which advocates at the highest level for equitable and sustainable development in Africa.

Concurrent session A1: Responsibilities towards staff


Prof Emmanuel Mbennah

Prof Ed MbennahDefining the responsible university – a code of good practice as a tool for change in Africa

A code of good practice (COGP) deals with how staff should behave towards students, staff, and the outside world as representatives of the university.

This presentation will draw on a trial, undertaken at a Tanzanian university, which evaluated the progress of staff in meeting the code's standard. The code places a strong emphasis on providing a positive service, and high moral standards.

This trial involved a benchmarking process, adapted from an ACU technique. By using a set of benchmarking statements, the COGP clearly specifies the university's expectations of staff.

This method recognises that, while there may be many staff who meet the ideals of a COGP, there are others who do not. The COGP is intended to be an instrument for change, by setting achievable goals and rewarding achievement of these goals. Its ultimate aim is to enable the university to be a place where all staff reflect its moral and intellectual values in their daily work.

If staff and students export these values to future employment, then the impact on Tanzanian society will be significant in the long term. This presentation will consider the impact of the COGP on the wider community and its potential for wider use beyond the university setting.

Prof Emmanuel Mbennah is Vice-Chancellor of St John's University in Tanzania. He has wide experience in university teaching, academic research, and postgraduate supervision. He is an Ordained Minister in the Anglican Church and has published numerous books and papers. He was previously Extraordinary Associate Professor at the Faculty of Theology of North-West University, South Africa. Prof Mbennah obtained his PhD in Communication at Potchefstroom University, South Africa, as well as a PhD from Daystar University, Kenya.

Dr Brian Jennings

Brian JenningsIn the middle of things!

Middle-level university administrators occupy a place at the heart of the university, enabling them to serve as the interface between students and academics on the one hand, and senior administrators and university leaders on the other.

In a recent ACU pilot project for the ACU Certificate in University Administration, a group of learners consisting of middle-level administrators and two educational developers explored how 'middles' might reinterpret and reengage with their workplace situations through a strengths-based understanding of their roles and career paths within the wider mission of the university, and by conducting small change projects within their workplaces.

This presentation will review the learning that occurred in both the workshop held in London in June 2015 and the subsequent projects, drawing on the first-hand experience of participants. It will also consider the future development of the ACU Certificate in University Administration, and the initiation of similar projects to promote the professional learning and development of these administrators.

Dr Brian Jennings has been Institutional Quality Coordinator at Ghana Christian University College since 2007, and has served as a Lecturer in Ethics at the same university since 1989. He holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of Nottingham, an MPhil in Religious Studies from the Open University, a PhD in Theology from the University of Birmingham, and an MA in Education from the University of Derby, all in the UK. He is a Chartered Quality Professional, a member of the Association for Solution Focus in Organisations, and an Academic Auditor for the National Accreditation Board in Ghana.

Emma Falk

Emma FalkBenefits of being an academic in the Commonwealth

A university's ability to recruit and retain academic staff is critical to its objectives in an increasingly competitive national and global higher education sector. In order to achieve this, universities often focus on offering competitive salaries and associated financial benefits.

At the same time, studies show that academics do not consider salaries and financial benefits alone to be the most important factors in motivating them to enter the profession or to move to another country to take up a post, but instead point to factors such as academic freedom and independence, a good work-life balance, and job security.

In attracting highly-skilled/qualified staff to the academic profession (domestically and internationally), many institutions also offer non-salaried benefits, such as pensions and leave entitlements, which form an important part of the overall compensation package.

This presentation will explore some of the findings of the most recent ACU Measures Salaries and Benefits survey, paying specific attention to the provision of non-salaried benefits in member universities across the Commonwealth.

Emma Falk is Research Officer at the ACU, where she is responsible for ACU Measures, the ACU's annual online benchmarking exercise for university management. She is the author of the ACU Academic Staff Salary Survey 2012-2013 report, the most recent of the ACU's longstanding analysis of academic salary scales and benefits. Emma has also coordinated benchmarking exercises for the DFID-funded Development Research Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa (DRUSSA) programme and the ACU's Research Management Benchmarking Programme. Prior to working at the ACU, she was a part-time Visiting Lecturer, and worked in UK local government on housing strategy.

Concurrent session A2: How far can universities meet labour market needs?


Prof Paul Jones

Paul JonesThe need for transformational approaches in stimulating entrepreneurship

The global environment is characterised by various phenomena such as deepening income inequality, persistent unemployment growth, and lack of leadership. Various reasons can be cited for the challenging global context in which governments, institutions, and individual entrepreneurs are struggling to sustain socioeconomic development. Questions are asked whether the right capabilities, capacity, ecosystems, and policies exist to transform countries from struggling to progressive socioeconomic landscapes.

The role of entrepreneurship is accepted as an important part of most nations' development strategies, and it will grow in importance because of factors such as accelerating competition and increasing innovation. A plethora of initiatives exist to support entrepreneurs, such as educational and training programmes, business incubators and science parks, and research grants. Despite this, the global economy is struggling to create the necessary conduits for renewed socioeconomic growth.

Although entrepreneurship is socially productive, it struggles to address major challenges such as unemployment and income inequality. Thus a new transformational approach to the development of sustainable entrepreneurship is required – a systemic process that is more holistic – to accommodate both individuals and society.

This presentation will set out Coventry University's position on transformational entrepreneurship and how it applies the concept in education and research.

Prof Paul Jones is Deputy Director of the International Centre for Transformational Entrepreneurship and Professor in Entrepreneurship at Coventry University, UK. He is an active researcher in his discipline, with over 200 research outputs. Prof Jones has published research in information communication technology usage, entrepreneurship and small business management, and entrepreneurship education. He is Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, and Associate Editor of the International Journal of Management Education.

Prof Ranbir Chander Sobti

Prof SobtiEntrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation – integrating them into university curricula

Higher education creates opportunities for potential entrepreneurs who can generate solutions to rising unemployment. Particular interest is being focused on creating entrepreneurial skills, and nurturing innovative and creative mindsets among students and scholars, as a recipe for economic and social prosperity.

However, entrepreneurial training has not been sufficiently integrated into our university curricula. Many academic leaders recognise this and are preparing new policies to support incubation and skill development centres within their campuses. Specific efforts are also being directed at promoting innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship to improve students' employability.

The future prosperity of our economy strongly hinges on the creation of vibrant indigenous universities that instil entrepreneurial and problem-solving skills into students, so they can tackle challenges that are deeply rooted in the local economy. It is generally observed that there is a lack of accepted frameworks, paradigms, or theories of what constitutes entrepreneurship education in our universities. Similarly, curriculum development, programme design, and problems associated with programme delivery have not been subjected to rigorous scrutiny by university and industry leaders.

This presentation will outline various efficient measures and support structures that universities can implement to harness entrepreneurial initiatives and cultivate relevant skills among students.

Prof Ranbir Chander Sobti is Vice-Chancellor of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, India, and former Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, India. He is an active researcher and dynamic administrator who has made remarkable contributions in the fields of genetics and stem cell research. Prof Sobti is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, Indian National Science Academy (INSA), Canadian Academy of Cardiovascular Diseases, Third World Academy of Sciences, and others. His awards include the Padma Shri from the Government of India, INSA Young Scientist Medal, and University Grants Commission Career Award.

Further speakers TBA

Concurrent session A3: Funding trends and opportunities


During this session, representatives from a range of funding bodies will set out their priorities and current opportunities. The speakers will also reflect on how funders' theories of change inform their support of higher education in developing countries.

Dan Shah

Dan ShahDan Shah is Assistant Director for Policy at the UK Higher Education International Unit (IU). The IU represents the UK higher education sector internationally, by building capacity, shaping policy, and promoting the sector as a whole. Dan's role ensures issues of strategic importance are represented across the work of the IU. He joined the IU in 2013, having previously worked on European, immigration, and international competitiveness policy at the Russell Group, and university research and knowledge exchange funding at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, both in the UK.

Prof Hannah Akuffo

Hannah AkuffoProf Hannah Akuffo is Deputy Head of Unit and Senior Advisor (Research Cooperation) at the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), where she is charged with improving bilateral research cooperation within universities in partner countries. She is also the Swedish representative within the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), Board Member of the Training and Research in Tropical Diseases (TDR) programme, Chair of ESSENCE on Health Research, and Adjunct Professor of Parasitology at the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. Prof Akuffo is passionate about research capacity and is convinced of its key role for countries to define and address their own questions.

Andrea Johnson

Andrea JohnsonAndrea Johnson is Programme Officer in the Carnegie Corporation of New York's Higher Education and Research in Africa programme, where she contributes to grant-making on developing and retaining the next generation of African academics and peacebuilding in Africa. She previously developed a strategy to enhance women's opportunities and gender equity in African higher education, managed university-strengthening activities in Nigeria, and designed and implemented a capacity building programme for African universities on such themes as educational advancement and research management.

Concurrent session B1: Developing the new generation


Dr Caroline Moss and Prof Graham Furniss

Caroline MossGraham Furniss

Supporting the next generation of African researchers

The Next Generation report forms part of the 'Nairobi Process', a series of discussions and reports facilitated by the ACU and the British Academy, aimed at stimulating debate around Africa-UK research collaboration and the provision of researcher support in African higher education. Supporting researchers early in their careers has emerged as a key issue within the Nairobi Process.

In recent years, a sharp increase in student numbers across Africa has intensified pressure on its higher education sector. In order to meet growing demand and secure Africa's competitiveness in research and innovation, greater investment needs to be made in strengthening the capacity of its developing academics. The report explores examples of good practice for institutions, donors, and leaders.

In addition to institutional case studies, approaches currently adopted by externally-funded programmes are examined, to see how capacity building for early career researcher development can be integrated within institutional research support systems. A number of recommendations are made, which aim to build and sustain structures and processes that can effectively and holistically support early career researchers in their development.

These recommendations are presented as a framework through which institutions may reflect on their own research provision and what is appropriate in their particular context.

Dr Caroline Moss is Programme Officer at the ACU, where she currently works on the CIRCLE programme, which focuses on building institutional capacity to support early career researchers alongside intra-African fellowships in the field of climate change. She has conducted research in Latin America and Africa on community organisation and capacity building programmes for a number of international programmes. Caroline recently worked on The next generation report, in collaboration with the British Academy, reviewing support for early career researchers in Africa and making a series of recommendations for strengthening institutional provision.

Prof Graham Furniss OBE is Deputy Chair of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK. He is also a Fellow of the British Academy and chairs its Africa Panel. He served as Pro-Director of SOAS, University of London, UK, from 2008-2013, having joined SOAS in 1979 after a post at the University of Maiduguri, Nigeria. Prof Furniss was the first editor of the Journal of African Cultural Studies and the founding President of the International Society for Oral Literature in Africa. He is a Trustee of the Britain-Nigeria Educational Trust. He was made Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2013 for services to higher education and scholarship.

Herine Otieno-Menya

Herine OtienoHigher education research in Africa... Are we going for the speck before the log?

Higher education research can be conceptualised as being concerned with teaching and learning, academic work, research practices, and the purpose of higher education at global and national level.

This presentation will focus on highlights of discussions from a conference held at Sheffield Hallam University, UK in February 2016. The conference, which brought together postgraduate Commonwealth Scholars and African postgraduate students studying in the UK, debated the 'State of postgraduate research training in Africa'.

This presentation will discuss feedback extracted from phenomenological interviews conducted with postgraduate students in east African universities. It will also draw on a content analysis, covering the last 25 years of research papers from the field of mathematics, to establish the nature of research (quantitative or qualitative) and focus of research (education level: primary, secondary or tertiary).

At its core, this presentation will explore the relationship between the nature and quality of research produced by Africa's universities, and their ability to play a responsible role in shaping wider social and economic objectives. To what extent would attending to the log in their own eyes influence their capacity to remove the speck in society's eye – and in turn influence local, national, and global debates?

Herine Otieno-Menya is an emerging Kenyan researcher driven by a passion to make a positive and lasting impact on Africa's future by contributing to the next generation of African leaders in the areas of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and social research. She is currently studying for a PhD in Mathematics Education at Sheffield Hallam University, UK, on a Commonwealth Scholarship, researching the relationship between self-regulated learning and students' relationship with mathematics. She is a Founder and Trustee of Africa MathScience Technology Research and Education Foundation, an Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellow (2007), and a member of Global Leadership Interlink and the Forum for African Women Educationists-Kenya.

Concurrent session B2: How far can universities meet labour market needs?


Dr Tim McTiernan

Tim McTiernanRole strain and the responsible university: balancing prescribed and inherent mandates

Within national and regional public policy frameworks, universities are being ascribed a utilitarian role as 'engines of social and economic development'.

This relatively recent expectation applies to both new and longer-established institutions, resulting in a dynamic tension between the prescribed 'productivity and efficiency' culture and the traditional reflective and deliberative culture. Such tensions are reflected in frequent debates around the corporatisation of universities at the expense of academic values.

This presentation will address how to sustain a balance between the two, with reference to a relatively new university (less than 15 years old), whose remit is to contribute to regional economic and social development, by delivering career-oriented programmes in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)-focused environment.

In addressing the ways in which the traditional role of a university is expressed in its activities, this presentation will also discuss challenges of: governance, responsibility to internal and external communities, universities as a safe space for discourse and dissent, critical awareness, bridge building, access and social justice, and inclusiveness.

The prescribed and inherent roles of a university represent a 21st century framework for a 'responsible university'. Reducing role strain by balancing these responsibilities and obligations is critical to the overall contribution and impact of an institution.

Dr Tim McTiernan is President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada. He has previously held executive roles as a university administrator, college administrator, and government executive. Among these, he was President of Canadore College, Canada; Acting Deputy Minister during the establishment of the Ontario Government's Ministry of Research and Innovation; and Interim Vice-President Research at the University of Toronto, Canada. He earned his BA in Psychology and Philosophy from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, and his MA and PhD in Psychology from the University of British Columbia, Canada.

Prof Dato' Dr Mohd Saleh Jaafar

Mohd Saleh JaafarMalaysia's strategic direction in higher education 2015-2025: achieving national aspirations through university transformation programmes

The Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education) is a comprehensive strategic document, outlining the Ministry of Higher Education's ambition to create a world-leading higher education system that enables Malaysia to compete in the global economy.

The blueprint expresses the following goals:

  • Develop holistic and balanced graduates with entrepreneurial mindsets
  • Construct a system that places equal value on traditional, academic pathways and much-needed technical and vocational training
  • Focus on outcomes over inputs, and actively pursue technologies and innovations that address students' needs and enable greater personalisation of the learning experience
  • Harmonise how private and public institutions are regulated – a transition from the current, highly-centralised governance system to a model based on earned autonomy within the regulatory framework
  • Ensure the financial sustainability of the higher education system by reducing reliance on government resources and asking all stakeholders that directly benefit to contribute as well

Accordingly, a University Transformation Program has been developed to ensure the achievement of these aspirations. The programme aims to help public universities accelerate their own transformation journeys.

This presentation will share Malaysia's efforts to transform its public university system through the University Transformation Program.

Prof Dato' Dr Mohd Saleh Jaafar is Consultant and Special Advisor on the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education) at the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education. He is Director of the University Transformation Program (UniTP), a major initiative emerging from the Malaysia Education Blueprint which requires him to affect changes and the transformation of Malaysia's public universities. Dato' Jaafar is a Professor in Civil Engineering, and has worked at Universiti Putra Malaysia since 1985, first as Head of the Civil Engineering Department, then Deputy Dean (Academic) at the Faculty of Engineering, Dean of Engineering, and most recently Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation).

Joana Dodoo

Joana DodooUtility of university curricula in contemporary times: perspectives of employers and students of University of Cape Coast

Globally, university education is viewed as being critical to socioeconomic development and is particularly perceived as a panacea for resolving Africa's numerous developmental challenges. Consequently, it has taken centre stage in many discourses that focus on policy and change initiatives.

To date, the majority of studies and reports on university education have mainly focused on issues relating to access, quality, teaching, and learning environments. These issues are undoubtedly critical to the discourse – even more relevant is the issue of what the desired impact of university curricula should be on society.

Recently, issues of impact have become more topical, given the public outcry about the relevance of the training received at university. Similarly, high levels of graduate unemployment have been partly attributed to university curricula. Yet finding a fit between the curricula and expected competencies of graduates is crucial to the sustenance of society.

It is within this context that this presentation will explore students' and employers' views on curricula and expected competencies. It seeks to assess the perceived efficacy of curricula and answer the following questions: how do university curricula create an environment for students to achieve their personal aspirations? And how useful are university curricula to modern society?

Joana Dodoo is Assistant Lecturer at the Department of Business Studies, College of Distance Education, University of Cape Coast (UCC), Ghana. She holds a BA and an MBA with specialisation in Human Resource Management, both from UCC. Prior to becoming a faculty member, Joana was Principal Administrative Assistant at the university. She has been involved in commissioned evaluative research at UCC. Her research interest is in corporate culture and performance management in Ghanaian universities.

Concurrent session B3: Social responsibility – embedding the third pillar


Prof Charity Angya

Charity AngyaPublic responsibilities of African universities: economic and social realities of higher education in Africa

African universities have sought over time to be not only hubs of excellence and champions of addressing social and economic problems, but also critics of government policies and advocates for good governance.

This presentation seeks to explore the social and economic milieu in which African universities have operated within over the past few decades, and whether these universities have been able to achieve their responsibilities as reflected in their goals, missions, and visions.

When defining university responsibility, key areas of interest include curriculum development, research agendas and community engagement. Of particular interest is the role of management in driving this process, thereby adding value to local communities and wider society.

The contention of this presentation is that African universities are uniquely equipped, given the talent and other resources available, to harness these and engineer change for the greater good of host communities and society at large.

Complacency and mediocrity, as well as lack of motivation, are some of the enemies facing universities in their drive towards becoming more responsible. The ability of management to overcome the inertia and bring about greater commitment to change is the challenge that African leaders of higher education need to overcome.

Prof Charity Angya OON is former Vice-Chancellor of Benue State University, Nigeria. She is currently on sabbatical leave from the National Open University of Nigeria. She read Theatre and Drama Studies at the University of Jos and University of Ibadan, both in Nigeria, and has worked extensively on theatre criticism and women studies. Her research has led to publications on topics related to women in education and the public place, and on integrating gender in development. In 2012, she was made Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), in respect of her contributions to the educational sector.

Prof Craig Mahoney

Craig MahoneyHow sustainable is the socially responsible university?

Universities are increasingly being held to account for their impact on society, the economy, and sustainability. This presentation will focus on how we identify corporate social responsibility (CSR) in higher education, its importance, and sustainable economic models. Social responsibility for universities should be viewed in the context of economic benefit and globalisation, while reflecting on funding models and pressure from governments to have greater impact on society and the economy.

While some comparisons to big business can be drawn, a university's central mission requires a commitment to be responsible to, and impact upon, society, be part of their local communities, act as good neighbours, and contribute to the economy.

League tables, such as QS, are already giving universities star ratings on their social responsibility, but excelling in all of these areas does not come without a cost.

This presentation will look at models of CSR and research into the area of 'responsibility' in higher education, with a particular focus on widening access and globalisation, and will argue that funding models need to reflect the changing face of higher education, the agenda for widening access, and sustainability in a global economic context.

Prof Craig Mahoney is Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West of Scotland, UK, and was previously CEO of the Higher Education Academy. A public advocate of higher education, he has a keen interest in differentiated student-centred learning, teaching excellence, internationalisation, and research-informed teaching. He is a big supporter of the use of e-learning, technology-enhanced learning, and open educational resources. Prof Mahoney is a Chartered Psychologist, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, Chair of the Universities Scotland Learning and Teaching Committee, and a Board Member of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.

Prof Ranbir Chander Sobti

Prof SobtiUniversities and social responsibility: redefining our academic landscape

The role of universities has indeed changed in the 21st century: from citadels of education, to creators of collaborative knowledge; from isolated ivory towers, to socially responsible stakeholders. The essence of education lies in guiding societies towards responsible actions, maintaining equilibrium between socioeconomic and ecosystem prosperity, and creating the leaders of tomorrow.

Universities cannot just be a place to acquire knowledge; they have to create an ecosystem where tomorrow's leaders can define who they are, understand what their social responsibilities are, and embrace societal challenges.

Universities play a critical role in influencing local, national, and global debates that shape the world order. Imagine if 10% of medical graduates practiced in rural areas, if our agricultural schools worked hand-in-hand with farmers, and engineers tackled some of the challenges faced by those at the base of the pyramid?

This presentation will examine how universities could be more responsive to societal challenges and address how research and development funding can be maximised in order to benefit society. It will also examine the future roadmap for universities in delivering meaningful change and creating a new generation of responsible stakeholders.

Prof Ranbir Chander Sobti is Vice-Chancellor of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, India, and former Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, India. He is an active researcher and dynamic administrator who has made remarkable contributions in the fields of genetics and stem cell research. Prof Sobti is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), the Canadian Academy of Cardiovascular Diseases, the Third World Academy of Sciences, and others. His awards include the Padma Shri from the Government of India, INSA Young Scientist Medal, and University Grants Commission Career Award.

Further speakers TBA

Concurrent session B4: Responsible use of scholarships


One aspect of universities' responsibility is ensuring access through scholarships. In this session, leading Commonwealth universities will discuss the strategies and aims of their international scholarship programmes, and seek to identify good practice in the field.

Harlene Hayne

Prof Harlene Hayne

Prof Harlene Hayne is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Otago, New Zealand. She joined the University of Otago in 1992, following three years at Princeton University, USA, as a postdoctoral fellow. She was awarded a personal Chair in Psychology at Otago in 2002, and was Head of the Psychology Department for three years before being appointed as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise). She is currently Chair of Universities New Zealand – Te Pōkai Tara, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and the American Psychological Society.

Helen Pennant

Helen Pennant

Helen Pennant is Director of the Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International Trust, UK. She sets strategy, implements policy in consultation with the trustees, and builds value for students and for the university by working with international and local partners. A graduate of the University of Oxford, UK, Helen began her career in the UK Civil Service, then moved on to the British Embassy in Paris, and then the European Commission. She was Executive Director, International and Special Advisor to the President at the University of British Columbia, Canada, prior to joining the Cambridge Trust in 2013.

Prof Cheryl de la Rey

Cheryl de la ReyProf Cheryl de la Rey has been Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria, South Africa, since 2009. She is also Vice-Chair of the ACU Council. Prof de la Rey is a Fellow of the Psychological Association of South Africa, the Royal Society of South Africa, and the Academy of Science of South Africa. She serves on several national and international boards, and is Chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation, Vice-Chair of the Talloires Network, and the African co-Chair of the Australia-Africa Universities Network. She has published widely in her discipline, Psychology, and on higher education policy matters.

Plenary 1 – Responsibility in different national and regional contexts


University leaders from India, South Africa, and the United Kingdom share and discuss how the concept of a university's responsibility applies in their national and regional contexts.

Prof Furqan Qamar

Furqan QamarProf Furqan Qamar, an internationally-renowned educationist, assumed his role as Secretary General of the Association of Indian Universities in 2014, for a five-year term. Prior to this, he was Vice-Chancellor of the Central University of Himachal Pradesh, India. In his academic career spanning over 30 years, Prof Qamar has held the positions of Professor and Founding Director of the Centre for Management Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia, India; Adviser (Education) to the Planning Commission of India; and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Rajasthan, India.

Prof Paul Boyle

Paul BoyleProf Paul Boyle is President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, UK. Previously, he was Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council, the UK's largest funding agency for social science research; International Champion of Research Councils UK, with responsibility for international strategy on behalf of all seven UK research councils; and President of Science Europe, representing over 50 European funding agencies. Prof Boyle currently chairs the Scottish Science Advisory Council, is an 'impact champion' for the United Nations HeForShe solidarity movement for gender equality, and is a member of the ACU Council.

Prof Cheryl de la Rey

Cheryl de la ReyProf Cheryl de la Rey has been Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria, South Africa, since 2009. She is also Vice-Chair of the ACU Council. Prof de la Rey is a Fellow of the Psychological Association of South Africa, the Royal Society of South Africa, and the Academy of Science of South Africa. She serves on several national and international boards, and is Chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation, Vice-Chair of the Talloires Network, and the African co-Chair of the Australia-Africa Universities Network. She has published widely in her discipline, Psychology, and on higher education policy matters.

Co-hosted by

Vice Chancellors' Ghana

Sponsored by


Advanced Secure Technologies

Tailor & Francis

National Research Foundation


University of Ghana

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