x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Academics meet to discuss globalisation

NYU Abu Dhabi will bring scholars from around the world to the capital tomorrow for a two-day conference on globalisation and higher education.

ABU DHABI // NYU Abu Dhabi will bring scholars from around the world to the capital tomorrow for a two-day conference on globalisation and higher education. Academic leaders from China, Australia, the United States, Europe and Africa will discuss four central topics: the role that universities can play to create cross-cultural understanding; the rising demand for higher education in emerging markets; the potential for universities to drive economic development and sustainability; and the notion of the "global" university.

"We picked four themes that we thought were of particular relevance to our own aspirations at NYU Abu Dhabi," said Dr Hilary Ballon, the deputy vice chancellor for the Abu Dhabi campus "But these are not unique issues to NYU. I think universities who are thinking about the interconnectedness of the world and how higher education can help societies address the problems of the world today are grappling with these issues."

The main ambition of the conference, Dr Ballon said, was to see "how higher education was confronting the new 21st-century landscape". The conference, which opens tomorrow at Al Mamoura Auditorium in Abu Dhabi, was important "in part because it's timely", said Dr Philip Kennedy, the faculty director of the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute. "NYU has recently become a global network university, one based in New York, but with programmes throughout the world, and critically with a new portal campus in Abu Dhabi."

Universities from around the world have rushed to set up shop in the Gulf in the past few years, with many prominent American institutions, including Cornell and Northwestern University, operating programmes at Doha's Education City. klewis@thenational.ae