We are delighted to partner with QS, Nova University and the Knowledge Hub Group of Universities in sponsoring this major event. By bringing together leaders of higher education institutions to focus on issues at the heart of what it means to be a ‘university’ today, QS provides a major service to higher education.
Great universities do not fill empty vessels, they ignite fires. Today, access to knowledge is pervasive. Our job is not therefore passively to impart knowledge but to consolidate learning and to develop young people capable of independent learning, now and throughout their lives. A young graduate today may change 30 or more jobs, and work in several different sectors, in their working life. It is our job to give them the skills, the confidence and the resilience to thrive and make a transformative contribution to society and economy. To do this, universities have not only to teach extant knowledge, but ensure that faculty are active in knowledge discovery and its dissemination, including in the classroom; and to inculcate research skills in both undergraduate and postgraduate students. This is something Abu Dhabi University commits to and we are proud to host the largest undergraduate research conference in the region, last year hosting 800 undergraduate researchers from over 50 institutions in and beyond the Arab region.
Technology offers great tools for teaching and research; but it does not replace great teachers and researchers. In ‘reimagining higher education’, we must not forget that our job is to produce research that furthers disciplines and supports social and economic development, and teaching and student experience that change lives. The themes of this conference speak to these principles. My colleagues and I look forward to participating in this key event.
Professor Waqar Ahmad FAcSS PhD BA
Chancellor, Abu Dhabi University