Panel Discussion 1

Leading through Covid-19: Challenges, Opportunities and Lessons Learnt

Monday, 22nd June

17:00-18:30 UAE Time (+4GMT)


More than 1.5 billion students and youth across the globe have been affected by school and university closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak according to UNSECO.

We have already been witnessing the immediate impacts of the pandemic on the university higher education sector and on stakeholders, institutions of learning and the educational system as a whole. However, some impacts, may not be immediately visible yet may have significant impact on the medium and long term.

The higher education sector like many other critical sectors had to quickly respond and navigate through the pandemic to ensure business continuity. Today, the sector is in need to play an even bigger role in helping the world get through this crisis; ensuring continuity, quality learning, inequity and that no one is left behind while planning for the future which remains unclear to many. It must learn from its experience and capitalize on the various lessons it has learnt.

Most importantly the sector needs to re-assess its assumptions and the way it used to do things, consider new approaches and models and come together to learn from one another and better collaborate.

The Panel will be of relevance to all those leading and planning the delivery of education no matter where they are located and will focus around:

  1. discussing the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the three core functions of universities and how they have been disrupted in light of the pandemic— teaching, research and community engagement as well as considering aspects related to international collaboration.
  2. sharing highlights around how their institutions have navigated through the pandemic and ensured business continuity.
  3. reflecting on challenges faced and how these were tackled and consider differences that may occur among different regions.
  4. highlighting opportunities and key learnings from the pandemic crisis and how could we leverage on these to shape the future and ensure the agility of our educational ecosystem.
  5. providing key actionable recommendations for higher education institutions, governance as well as regulatory bodies to navigate through the crisis and address the future.

Panel Chair

Prof. Yusra Mouzughi

Vice Chancellor, Muscat University, Sultanate of Oman

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Prof. Tawana Kupe

Vice Chancellor, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Dr. Erle Lim Chuen Hian

Vice Provost for Teaching Innovation & Quality, National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore

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Dr. Abdelatif Al Shamsi

President & CEO, Higher Colleges of Technology, UAE

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Dr. Julie Furst-Bowe

Vice President, Chippewa Valley Technical College, USA

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Who should attend?

  • Policy and decision makers and representatives from regulatory bodies
  • University Senior Administrators including University Presidents, Vice Presidents, Provosts, Vice Chancellors, etc.
  • Deans of Colleges and Faculties
  • Deans and Directors of Research and Community Engagement
  • Those leading institutional strategy and policy


Registration in the Panel Discussion is free and open to anyone from the higher education community wherever located. However, there is a maximum capacity to the session and slots will be allocated based on ‘first come first served’; hence we recommend early registration.

The Center may reserve the right to limit the number of registrations from the same institution to provide the opportunity to other institutions to join.

To Register to the Panel, click here


Agence universitaire de la Francophonie: worldwide association, founded over 60 years ago, gathering more than 900 institutions of higher education and research in more than 100 countries spread over the 5 continents. It is also the operator of the Francophonie Summit for higher education and research.


87 member institutions in the region from 16 countries: KSA, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, UAE, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, Qatar and Yemen.
AUF aims to accompany its members while focusing on:

  • Partnership and entrepreneurial approach development
  • Educational innovation in reforming teaching methods
  • Expertise and innovation skill development
  • Emphasis on quality and evaluation
  • Intercultural dialogue and mediation

To know more about AUF, Click Here