Panel Discussion 2

Planning the New Normal: How has the Pandemic Changed Higher Education?

Monday, 29th June

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


There is no doubt that the COVID-19 Pandemic has brought a lot of uncertainty and changes to the higher education sector that could be long-lasting. Some predict that the “new normal” will involve the emergence of new business models for the sector, wider investment in online learning and a greater adoption of micro- credentials and other alternative higher education models. Pedagogy is projected to be more blended than ever, as more institutions are considering using a blend of in-person and online classes. The sector also anticipates a decline in student enrollment, student mobility and revenues/ funding. Remote working and new faculty recruitment models may emerge. Big data may become more crucial than ever to deliver a personalized student centric learning experience. We may also witness more collaboration both among and across the sector along stronger ties with key stakeholders; as such we may witness the raise of more incubators, accelerators and research collaboration.

All of this means that the higher education sector will need to establish strategies and build the necessary capacity to sustain and enhance teaching, research, and public service in light of these new parameters. Universities and Colleges will have no choice but to reassess and redefine their value proposition. New business models may need to be considered and resources would probably need to be allocated differently than how they were in the past.

The panel aims at:

  1. discussing the top predictions for the higher education sector on the long term and consider how they will disrupt the sector
  2. addressing the key areas institutions should consider when planning both the near and far future
  3. highlighting strategies institutions have adopted to navigate through the “new normal”
  4. identifying views on how institutions can re-invent themselves and build resilience

Panel Chair

Dr. Narimane Hadj-Hamou

Founder & CEO, Center for Learning Innovations & Customized Knowledge Solutions (CLICKS), UAE

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Prof. Radouane Mrabet

President, Université Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah-Fès, Morocco

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Dr. Susan Aldridge

President (Ret.), Drexel University Online, USA

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Prof. Guner Gursoy

Vice President, Istanbul Okan University, Turkey

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Dr. Noor Azizi Ismail

Vice Chancellor, Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, Malaysia

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Dr. Haifa Jamal Al-Lail

President, Effat University, KSA

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Who should attend?

  • Policy and decision makers and representatives from regulatory bodies
  • Representatives from IGOs and NGOs concerned with Higher Education n
  • 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