Dr. Sabrina Joseph, Provost and Chief Academic Officer at the American University in Dubai, participated in THE Digital Universities MENA conference from 12-14 September 2022. The event brought together leaders in higher education across the region and was hosted by Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, in the presence of His Excellency Ahmed Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education, and Phil Baty, Chief Knowledge Officer at Times Higher Education, the conference organizer.
Dr. Joseph was a speaker in a morning panel on 13 September titled “Today’s innovation for tomorrow’s education: How technology will unlock world-class universities in MENA,” as well as an afternoon workshop centered on upskilling through online learning across the MENA region. During the panel which included three other speakers from regional universities (Dr. Hamdan Al-Omari, Assistant Professor of Learning Design and Technology at King Saud University; Dr. Randa Hariri, Head of the Department of Education at Dar Al-Hekma University, and Dr. Brian Moran, Dean of Graduate Studies at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. Moderator: Charlotte Coles Head of content, Digital Events Series, THE), Dr. Joseph discussed the opportunities and challenges of applying technological innovation across university campuses in the MENA region. She highlighted that expanding the use of technology in higher education requires the adoption of more learner centric pedagogies and a commitment to faculty professional development. In terms of the challenges posed by technology, universities will need to have robust policies and procedures in place to tackle issues related to academic integrity, privacy, and faculty workload. . .
Dr. Joseph also presented examples of the various ways in which the American University in Dubai utilizes technology, including smart classrooms, virtual reality, 3D printing technology, and learner analytics to promote educational innovation, external engagement and academic excellence.
During the afternoon workshop also held on 13 September and moderated by Miranda Prynne (THE Campus Senior Content Curator, Times Higher Education), Dr. Joseph, in collaboration with three other workshop speakers including Dr. Ahmed Al Shoaibi (Senior Vice-President of Academic and Student Services at Khalifa University), Dr. Hoda Mostafa (Director of the Center for Learning and Teaching at The American University in Cairo), and Mr. John Schwartz (Head of Global Business Development edX), led an interactive session with participants that explored the role of online learning in building transferable skills and expanding opportunities to engage with industry and employers at the curriculum level.