Panel Discussion 6

The Impact of Covid-19 on Internationalization in Higher Education

Monday 19th October, 2020

17:00-18:30 UAE Time

Registration Closed

Panel Overview

Until the spread of COVID- 19 in March; more than six million students crossed borders every year for tertiary and higher education programs; with the emergence of the pandemic and the closure of borders many students were left stranded and unsure about their future. Furthermore, and despite the remarkable efforts that the sector has placed into shifting online to ensure both the safety of its community and the continuity of learning; many international students feel that the online experience would not provide them with the sort of intellectual and broader life experience they were aspiring for when deciding to study abroad. It was further noticed that many students and their families were also financially impacted during the pandemic limiting their ability to afford studying abroad.  This all present a range of complex challenges for universities and colleges in terms of international student recruitment.

The pandemic has not only stopped international mobility for students but also for academics and faculty exchange programs. Many universities and colleges research agendas have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e. cancelling of international travel and the cancellation or postponement of physical scientific conferences and events). Moreover, many institutions fear that budgets being affected and resources needing to be re-allocated this may present a risk on scientific projects which were planned.

Yet at the same time the pandemic has provided many opportunities for virtual mobility, online collaborations and online learning as an alternative form which may have the potential to reshape how the sector may address internationalization in the future.

During the past few months, numerous studies and forecasts on the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the internationalization of higher education have been published; this particular panel aims at addressing the impact of COVID-19 on HE internationalization and international academic mobility both globally and regionally as well as highlighting what the current research findings in the field of international higher education is telling us (including those related to international students’ views)  and the sort of strategies and innovation that could be considered to plan the future of internationalization in the sector post the pandemic.

Very specifically the panel aims at:

  1. Highlighting the short and long term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on student and academic mobility globally and regionally (both in terms of challenges and opportunities)
  2. Examining the impact of COVID-19 on scientific research and cooperation within and across the sector
  3. Discussing some of the key findings and concerns of prospective international students based on the research undertaken both from a regional and global perspective
  4. Sharing examples of government measures in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic to address internationalization
  5. Discussing actionable strategies, alternative models and innovations to plan the future of internationalization and academic mobility after

Panel Chair

 Prof. Nabil El Kadhi

Vice President for Academic Affairs, Khawarizmi International College, UAE

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Mr. Phil Baty

Chief Knowledge Officer, Times Higher Education, UK

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Vice-Rector for Internationalisation, CEU San Pablo University, Spain

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Ms. Ayse Deniz OZKAN

Vice-Dir. for Global Education and Partnerships, Istanbul Aydin University, Turkey

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Dr. Hilligje van’t Land

Secretary general International Association of universities

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Who should attend?

  • University Senior Administrators including University Presidents, Vice Presidents, Provosts, Vice Chancellors, etc. including those leading internationalization agenda within their institutions
  • Education Policy and Decision Makers and Government Representatives
  • Directors and Staff working in Internationalization Offices
  • Funding organizations and agencies
  • Representatives from students’ recruitment organizations


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. Kindly note that shall you be unable to join the session, an email to should be sent to cancel your registration and enable other colleagues to join.

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 or to prioritize registrations from among the target audience.