A new era of education - GulfToday

A new era of education


Photo used for illustrative purpose.

Staff Reporter, Gulf Today

The Australian education experts from world-renowned organisations participated in events and panel talks as part of Expo 2020 Dubai, Knowledge & Learning Week. Study Australia will also be launching a new series of Masterclass videos from the country’s top-ranking universities and professors, available to view globally and free of charge, in February 2022, as well as a live Masterclass at the Australian Pavilion.

Australia featured 36 universities in the top 1000 QS World University Rankings 2021, and is home to seven of the world’s top 100 universities, demonstrating a consistent strength in rankings each year. This performance positions the nation as a destination of choice for study, learning and discovery, and has secured its international status as a leader and pioneer in education.

Speakers at Expo included Mikaela Jade, CEO of Edu-tech company Indigital, and Professors of leading Australian Universities with campuses in the United Arab Emirates, Professor Mohamed Salem of University of Wollongong Dubai (UOWD) and Dr Madhavi Ayyagari of Murdoch University Dubai Business School.

Dubai-based Professor Salem and Dr Ayyagari both joined the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) K&L Thematic Business Forum.

Since joining UOWD in 2004, Professor Salem has held Higher Education leadership positions in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences, and was appointed President and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Middle East and North Africa) of the University in 2014. Highlighting Australia’s commitment to providing world-class education, Professor Salem stated:

“With the outstanding support from the Australian Pavilion, we are delighted to have our academics and thought leaders showcase the university’s commitment to education and contribute to the UAE’s future generations. World Expos in the past have brought together key thinkers and leaders from across countries and industries, in the spirit of community, collaboration and creativity – helping to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems”

Professor Salem’s talk at Expo focused on transnational education as a means to improving global education.

Dr Madhavi Ayyagari, Head of Business School and Chair-Research Committee member at Murdoch University Dubai, is also Executive Director at Mindsbourg, a business management consultancy in the region focusing on insights-based strategy and co-consulting models. Dr Ayyagari leads a panel discussing ways of driving the entrepreneurship ecosystem, and how modern entrepreneurial knowledge is key to human development in the era of innovation.

The remaining speakers are further active examples of how Australia is leading the way in rethinking and reshaping education for the future, including approaching training and knowledge sharing from innovative angles.

Mikaela Jade, founder of Indigital, spoke about the role of emerging technologies, artificial intelligence, and machine learning in advancing education, as part of Indigital’s work as Australia’s first Indigenous Edu-tech company. CEO of Bus Stop Films, and active member of the Deaf community, Tracey Corbin-Matchett, was invited to run her innovative workshop on educating filmmakers to be more inclusive to marginalised groups and people living with disabilities.

The speakers are among many examples of Australia’s world-leading capabilities in education, training, and thought leadership demonstrated at the Australian Pavilion during Expo 2020.

The Australian education system currently offers 22,000 courses across 1,100 education providers, with 43 universities registered to deliver programs to international students. Australian Universities are also committed to helping solve global challenges, with four institutions ranked in the top 10 in the Times Higher Education Impact rating for providing vital research and solutions to help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Justin McGowan, Commissioner General of Australia at Expo 2020 Dubai, previously noted:

“The remote geographical nature of Australia is not a roadblock in sharing our innovative, diverse and inclusive learning opportunities. Our facilities and courses have adapted to the ‘new normal’ of learning from afar, as Australia continues to focus on, and invest in, the development of Edu-tech and learning technologies to support these unprecedented times.”

Following the successful release of a Masterclass Series earlier this year, a new series of educational videos from Australia’s leading academics and researchers will be released by Study Australia, in February 2022. The series includes Noble Laureate Professor Brian Schmidt on The Expa sion of the Universe; Associate Professor Farah Magrabi on Patient Safety Risks of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Healthcare; and Professor Usha Lyer-Rangiger on the Circular Economy, among many others.  

A live masterclass will even be held at the Australian Pavilion during February at Expo 2020 Dubai. The current masterclass materials are available online here.

Meanwhile, being brave, be aware of your own bias and changing the game together. These key messages were not only the take-aways of the seminar about sport and physical activity for women and girls, but for the whole Netherlands Sports Week. Sport connects with the Sustainable Development Goals and is a bigger economical factor than most people think. This week has proven the Dutch sport sector can be the (trade) partner for inclusive, sustainable and innovative sport experiences.

yesterday’s seminar “The importance of Sport and Physical Activity in the Lives of Women and Girls”, was organized together with the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sport Association, and featured as speakers: Ms. Mariam Rashed Al Mansoori, Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sport Association, Ms. Amna Obaid al Mehiri, UAE basketball player, Ms. Abeer al Khaja, Dubai Sports Council, Ms. Laura van Leeuwen, Ajax/Sharjah FC, and Ms. Jacqueline Kronenburg, Knowledge Centre for Sport & Physical Activity Netherlands.

Coming to the Expo 2020 Dubai and organizing this theme week has resulted in new connections, new insights and new business opportunities. For instance, the innovations about sustainability – ranging from air cleaners in sport facilities to led lights and natural grass without pesticides - presented this week connect very well with the ambitions of sport organizations in the UAE. Fruitful new business contacts have been realized. Also on a higher level, the triple helix of government, knowledge and business has proven to be an interesting combination for the Dubai Sports Council and the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sport Association, that are interested to work together with Dutch organizations on the longer term.

The Netherlands Sports Week has been organized by Orange Sports Forum in collaboration with Sportinnovator and the Netherlands’ Knowledge Centre for Sport & Physical Activity, took part from 13th to 15th December at the Netherlands Pavilion.

The Netherlands’ delegation consists of more than 25 leading companies and government organizations related to sports that includes AFC Ajax, Wageningen University & Research, Philips, and many more. Thursday, they will visit ‘Invest in Sharjah’ and Sharjah FC, to conclude the NL Sports Week.

The three-day program of the NL Sports Week at the pavilion has included business meetings, matchmaking, seminars, demonstrations/ clinics, workshops and company visits. The Netherlands Pavilion also featured several Dutch products and sustainable, circular  innovations.

For those who could not make it to the physical events, the seminars can be seen as replays on the pavilion’s virtual platform, Dutch Dubai.

The Netherlands Pavilion - a platform for connection

H.E. Carel Richter, Commissioner General for the pavilion says: “The Netherlands is a multifaceted country in terms of sports. It is always very impressive to see what our athletes are able to achieve. Like other nations, even in the UAE, there is a lot of priority given to lifestyle, sports, exercising and maintaining healthy balance.”

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