By: Azman Zakaria
Photo by: Noor Azreen Awang
PUTRAJAYA, Dec 5 - The Association of Southeast Asian Institutions of Higher Learning (ASAIHL) now has a larger agenda to promote Southeast Asia as an education hub as the region is now experiencing a new landscape of higher education.
ASAIHL President, Prof Datin Paduka Dr. Aini Ideris said as the 21st century progressed, the new world of global higher education became fast moving and at the same time, more complex.
Prof Datin Paduka Dr. Aini, who is also UPM Vice-Chancellor, said there was a greater need to transform the way people were taught and trained in the required competencies in ICT, research and critical thinking.
She said that they must also be encouraged to develop a global mindset to understand the diversity of universal cultures and appreciate the reality and necessity of functioning inter-culturally in the modern era.
“Key drivers for this transformation are the development of advanced communication and technological services, the dominance of the knowledge society, increased international staff/students mobility, increased levels of private investment and decrease public support for education and lifelong learning,” she said in her welcoming remarks at the ASAIHL Conference 2016, here.
The three-day conference, themed “Borderless Open Access Education”, saw discussions and exchange of ideas on the latest developments and innovations of the 21st century on higher education. It was opened by Deputy Higher Education Minister, Dato’ Dr. Mary Yap Kain Ching who represented Higher Education Minister, Dato’ Seri Idris Jusoh.
Prof. Datin Paduka Dr. Aini also said borderless education has potentially much deeper long-term implications for the future shape and structure of higher education in Asia and globally.
“There is a number of quite different motivations amongst Higher Education providers in encouraging new forms of borderless, and particularly virtual/distance education, teaching and learning.
“These include enhancement of students learning experience within current structure, cost reduction, greater customer focused approach, new niche opportunities, and preservation and promotion of universal human values and civilization,” she said.
She added that effective and creative collaborations among ASAIHL members would be able to promote sustainable development of the global higher education sector for the benefit of all members. – UPM