University of Southampton: Sustainability Strategy Overview (Prof. Mark E. Smith)
Climate change and ecological destruction are amongst the greatest challenges of our time. We have a responsibility to respond to these crises, and as a university we can play a unique role in doing so. During the summer for 2020 given the importance of sustainability to the institution despite lockdown the University of Southampton carried out an institutional consultation to update our university sustainability strategy. The University of Southampton’s Sustainability Strategy 2020-2025 was developed by the University in partnership with the University of Southampton Students’ Union. This Strategy has been developed rapidly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic because we want to take advantage of this opportunity to change our behaviour and processes, and thereby build a better future. This resulted in an updated sustainability strategy that was launched in October 2020 (University of Southampton Sustainability Strategy – University of Southampton Blogs (soton.ac.uk). It sets out our ambitious vision for a sustainable University and what we need to achieve to get there. We need to rapidly reduce our negative environmental impact, while drawing on our world-leading research and education to help tackle the climate crisis.
Universities Future Strategies for UNSDGs Initiatives (Dr. Esra AlDhaen)
Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) globally faced serious challenges during COVID-19, several HEIs were pro-active in diverting their strategies and responding to the unforeseen challenges. This paper will demonstrate Ahlia University future strategies and measures towards United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) by highlighting AU future strategies and directions with clear impact measures for the upcoming 5 years. The paper will conclude with proposed employability skills that is required for our future graduates as well as research areas that should be considered by HEIs for sustainable education.
Future Application of Game-Based Learning as a Platform for Reflective Learning Associated with Entrepreneurship Education in the MENA Region (Dr. Michael J.D. Sutton)
The application of unique approaches to experiential education and game-based learning provides a range of opportunities for architecting reflective thinking and learning into entrepreneurship educational programs. This paper will discuss an ongoing project that is surveying the literature associated with entrepreneurship programs that apply experiential learning principles in the countries of the MENA region. From identified publications, courses, and educational resources, the potential is described for applying game-based learning within entrepreneurial educational programs of the region. The purpose is to provide a foundation for scoping the current state of game-based learning in the region applied in teaching entrepreneurship. Instructional methods and assessment tools will be examined that could easily be applied in online or face-to-face classrooms situations.
Keywords: Experiential Learning, Reflective Thinking, Reflective Learning, Game-Based Learning, Entrepreneurship Educational Programs
Higher Education Leadership during Covid-19: A case of Qatar (Dr. Hend Al Muftah)
Higher education institutions (HEIs) operate in a complex environment that includes influence from internal and external factors including globalization, new technologies and strategies for teaching and learning, changing student demographics and different crisis. Generally speaking, such complexity and continues change requires a leadership style and strategy that is adaptive and supportive. In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic shocked the world, almost bringing it to an unprecedented stop. HEIs were not exempted from this pandemic, rather were directly and highly affected by the closure and lockdowns, and faced serious challenges during Covid-19. This paper discusses how did HEIs in Qatar responded to the covid-19 pandemic and explore how it faced these challenges. The paper is based on related literature and information conducted by the researcher, and it describes such response by studying the case of Doha Institute for Graduate Studies (DI). It also highlights the leadership approach at DI in dealing with this crisis. The paper concluded that the adaptive leadership approach of DI helped a lot in accelerating their response to the pandemic and it was more flexible in facing different challenges, most significantly the e-learning requirements and processes. DI were pro-active in diverting their strategies and responding to the unforeseen logistic and academic challenges. However, although of the good adaptive leadership approach, DI faced other challenges that continued to be more complex and difficult to deal with as academic integrity including cheating and fake attendance, unequal access by students to technology, educational resources and facilities as electricity and internet connection, family-on-line-learning imbalance. Final recommendations are presented.
Role of Media Literacy in Teaching English Classes at departments of English at the Libyan universities in Post-Pandemic Coronavirus (Dr. Youssif Z. Omar)
As we all know, the globe is passing a wave of a fatal virus that has affected on all facets of life, including education. This virus has already shut down schools and universities all over the world. Hence, it has become a must that ministries of education look for remedies to tackle this abrupt situation. As other ministries of education all over the world, Libyan Ministry of Education had the decision to use media literacy to shift classes from traditional education into hybrid education, basing mainly on the Internet with little face-to-face classes. Yet, this unexpected shift has encountered various challenges by instructors’, students, and administration. So, this paper handles the effects of this new experience in Libya on the students’ and instructors’ interaction to such a step. To fulfil this paper, the researcher has used a qualitative research method, in which he interviews a sample of students and teaching staff from a sample of departments of English at Libyan universities, to investigate about their views regarding this new experience. In addition to interviews, the researcher uses literature review that covers this topic of study. By the end of this paper, the researcher presents findings and provides recommendations to be used to accommodate the situation of teaching and learning English classes in post-pandemic coronavirus.
E-learning as Antibiotic for Potential Harms of Covid 19 on Accounting Education System in Arabic Countries (Profs. Nassr Ahmad)
Purpose: the aim of this paper is to assess the main barriers to adoption of E-learning of Accounting Education System (AES) in Arabic countries as it is the only antibiotic that can be used to confront the potential harms of Covid 19 on the AES. It is also aims at providing solutions to these challenges.
Design/Methodology/Approach: this study is an exploratory study therefore, based on literature review of barriers to adoption of E-learning in AES in Arabic countries during the time of Covid 19. The major part of data consisting of secondary source is collected through research journals, internet, conferences, relevant books, government report and author’s experiences. Citation and literature discussion have been the major approach of this study.
Findings: the review of available literature shows that there are some barriers to adoption of E-learning in AES in Arabic countries which require immediate action. These barriers include: (1) Personal Barriers, (2) Technical Barriers, and (3) Organisational Barriers. AES in Arabic countries has no excuse to overlook or turn a blind eye to such barriers. AES in such countries will make headway, in the time of Covid 19, if and only if it can address these barriers objectively.
Research limitations: this study is limited to literature review. Thus, it relies on information which has already been investigated. Thus, an empirical study is needed to provide more support to findings of this study.
Originality/Value: this paper highlights an argent issue that has not received the needed attention, and it proposes the necessary solutions to the problems it identifies. Moreover, the findings of this study may be useful to policy-makers and legislators.
Keywords: Accounting Education System, E-learning, Covid 19, Arabic Countries, Personal Barriers, Technical Barriers, Organisational Barriers.
Paper type: An Exploratory Study
E-learning and the digital divide role in transforming higher education in Sudan: An exploratory case study analysis (Dr. Omer Gibreel)
Purpose: This article explores the factors and barriers to e-learning in Sudan from a digital divide perspective.
Design/methodology/approach: The Approached used in this paper is based on a mixed-method case studies approach. Based on an exploratory case study method, we explore the factors and barriers to e-learning and bridging the digital divide in Sudan and its ramification on the development of higher education in Sudan. We employ structural equation modeling on a pilot sample size using exploratory factors analysis. The paper employs the following models and theories from e-learning and the digital divide perspective: the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), and Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA). From the above models and theories, the paper studies the following factors: ease of use, perceived usefulness, Price value, self-efficacy, internet self-efficacy, intention to use, and actual use.
Findings: the study shows that Sudan has excellent opportunities to develop in the e-learning sector, especially in the recent development of global pandemics such as Covid19. Nonetheless, there is a strong need to look into factors such as internet self-efficacy and price value for the development and growth of e-learning in Sudan
Original/value of the paper: the paper explores the role of e-learning and the digital divide in higher education development in Sudan. Previous work studied the digital divide and higher education in other MENA regions but not in Sudan and not using the above-stated factor and barriers.
Research limitations/implications: the paper could have conducted further studies with larger sample size and used Confirmatory Factor Analysis to analyze Sudan’s current e-learning environment further.
Practical implications: The paper’s practical importance is that it lays the ground for further investigation into the development of e-learning systems in Sudan. Considering the digital divide in Sudan, There is a need to look at the development and usage of e-learning systems in Sudan from a holistic perspective shedding light on both the supply side and the demand side of how e-learning is developing and shaping higher education in Sudan.
Designing and delivery of a new course the challenges of meeting sustainable needs (Dr. Mohamed G Hassan)
The role of education in shaping the future is widely recognized. The world is becoming more complex, interdependent and unsustainable and this calls for a change in lifestyle. Thus, education for sustainable development is given increased attention in universities worldwide. Transformation of education into sustainability education implies systemic thinking and interdisciplinary approaches. This a reflective article on designing a Chemical Engineering course for the future to meet sustainability requirements, and the UN 17 Goals. And how the future of university teaching is changing to meet these needs.
Higher Education In MENA: A Social Policy Challenge (Dr. Abdulraouf M. Adam)
This paper sheds light into a few salient features of the higher education institutions (HEIs) of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) states. Spurt by a heightened global drive towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and coupled by an urgent national necessity to play a key role in this process, most present-day MENA states have made decent strides towards modernising their lagging higher education institutions (HEIs). Furthermore, this bold move is justified on the ground that developed and middle-income developing countries have, to varying degrees, experienced shits towards a knowledge-based society. Development of HIEs has thus become both a global responsibility and a national imperative, and so we need to find out what opportunities and challenges are most likely to face social policy and decision-makers in MENA states. The object of this study is therefore to highlight the major challenges and examine the current and possible solutions to HEIs development problems. We broadly use HEIs here to refer to institutes and universities. This study is based primarily on library research conducted by the author. We conclude our study by, hopefully, making some enlightened recommendations.
Problems facing Sudan in achieving SDG4 (Prof. Ali Habour)
The sustainable development can be defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generation to meet their own needs. In September 2015 the General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development that include 17 sustainable development goals (SDG4). Building on the principal of leaving no one behind. The agenda emphasizes a holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all. Sustainable development goal no.4 in the education goal. It aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. The goals are meant to be global but its left to the different countries to adapt their strategies, plans and polices to achieve the stated objectives of SDG4 at national level. Sudan like other development countries is faced with challenges which are global in character include poverty, un employment, climate change and conflicts. In this paper we will present and elaborate on these challenges facing Sudan In the field of higher education following 19 December revolution in planning for new era of higher education to achieve SDG4 objectives.
Enhancing Participation of Women in STI and Business Formation (Prof. Ghada M. Amer)
It has long been acknowledged that entrepreneurs will be the people to lead their country to sustainable growth. Though entrepreneurship is becoming a more attractive career path for Muslim adults, Unfortunately, women still lag behind their male counterparts when it comes to making the risky decision to start their own business. Also, women who are disliking entrepreneurship are numerous and this because of a complex combination of external, internal & psychological issues. The future recovery of this largely depends on capitalizing on the full potential of our main national resource, i.e., our people, especially women. For this, It is essential for any nation (economy and individual enterprises) to have a first-class education system and training system that facilitates increases in innovative ideas productivity and provides individuals with entrepreneurship opportunities, and to support women to go further to innovate and to establish their own start-up from their innovation. In this presentation, we will present the challenges that face women in their entrepreneurship trip to apply their innovative idea. Also, we will focus on the reasons why females dislike entrepreneurship. And at the end of the presentation, we will be proposed solutions for these challenges, what are prioritizing innovative entrepreneurship, and what are the needed skills in the era of the 4th industrial revolution.
Keywords: Women, STI, Business Formation, entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship, innovation.
Online Learning in Higher Education: Passing fad or long-term trend? (Prof. David Read)
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, universities around the world seamlessly moved their teaching online, with 5-10 years of innovation taking place almost overnight. As we look to the post-pandemic future, we should consider what we have we learned about education during this period and what we can retain going forwards to provide the best possible learning experience for students. At the University of Southampton, Chemistry lectures during lockdown were delivered to students as recordings that they were able to work through at their own pace. Our evaluation of the student response indicated that a majority of students felt that it would be appropriate to continue to deliver lecture material in video format once we return to ‘normal’, suggesting that a ‘fully flipped’ teaching model might be preferred by students. This presentation will outline the design principles employed in the creation of online lectures and will explore the evaluation data collected from students during Spring 2020 that will help to inform the design of our programmes as we plan for the post-pandemic world. This in turn will provide advice for colleagues who wish to explore similar approaches in their programmes.