Arab and European Leadership Network in Higher Education (ARELEN) - ARELEN UPDATENews |
Welcome to the first edition of ARELEN UPDATE – a newsletter for universities in the Arab Region.
We start with a report of an important round-table meeting held in July to inform and support our response to the Covid-19 challenges.
The Covid-19 Challenge. ‘Round table’ - virtual discussion to prioritise needs 1st of July 2020
The Covid-19 crisis and the resulting lockdowns have affected the higher education sector in unprecedented ways. Students have gone home, staffing has been reduced, and many academics are now working from home. Even as lockdowns ease, campus life will not return to normal. Universities face multiple challenges to their income as a result of the Covid- 19 crisis, including the probable loss of international students. With jobs scarce, domestic student applications are expected to remain steady in the short term, but campus life will not return to normal. Institutions will be under even more pressure to offer value for money. Although many institutions have already moved to online learning, a permanent shift could require a radical change of business model, with a broader customer base but lower fees. The long-term implications of the coronavirus crisis could be far-reaching. With challenges to the traditional pedagogy and finances shaken by the crisis, institutions need to rethink or rapidly restructure their operations.
The purpose of the round table session was to shed light on the challenges that are facing, and will face, higher education in the Arab world and the actions that would provide appropriate responses for the members of the Association of Arab Universities. Under these circumstances the Arab universities in such a short time had employed their technical experience to further enhance their distance learning and online education platforms.
ARELEN plans to assist university leaders to understand and respond to the challenges and opportunities which Covid 19 has created. To ensure that this is accurately informed ARELEN invited 13 rectors from Gulf & MENA countries and different types of universities to take part in a facilitated round table discussion via Zoom at 11:00 GMT on July 1st 2020 the outcome of which will inform one or more webinars on the key issues. The purpose of this round table session was to share experiences from participants on their priorities and identify the assistance which they would value from ARELEN. The objective of the discussion was to consider the wider opportunities as well as the shorter-term needs for recovery and the training and assistance that would be valued from ARELEN; as well to share the key issues facing participants within their universities and their current thinking about responses.
ARELEN is very pleased to welcome Ms Dana Al Tabari who joined the team recently as executive secretary for the Governance and Advisory board. Dana is an accomplished projects manager with over 10 years of experience in the media markets. She's so efficient at her job that she rotated in different projects as writer, producer & director of international documentaries, feature films, live TV shows & advertising campaigns. Specializing in developing & exploring ideas for clients, weaving words and images into simple narratives which talk to the right people.
She caters to major companies, non-profit organizations, and universities. She works well with corporates and can provide consultations for international corporations for organisational culture and H.R solutions.
More than her role as a project manager, she is also effective at persuading and influencing high-ranking organisations. Dana earned her MBA degree back on 2012 from Cardiff Metropolitan University back in 2013. Through her course, she developed a passionate interest in the programme designs and the needed skills for the contemporary job markets.
In particular, she focused on topics like sustainable development, self-empowerment, and leadership. After she graduated, Dana worked as teaching assistant in Arab Amman University teaching students Soft & Life Skills along with creative thinking and Entrepreneurship.
Discussions are taking place with Advance-HE, the successor body to the Leadership Foundation in the UK with a view to collaboration on a webinar in the Autumn. More information will follow in due course.
Read more in the attached Newsletter file.