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Conference Theme: "Uncertain Futures: Repurposing Higher Education"
November 08–10, 2019 | Lingnan University, Hong Kong
Held at Lingnan University in Hong Kong, The IAFOR Conference for Higher Education Research – Hong Kong is a multidisciplinary conference co-organised by The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), Lingnan University (Hong Kong), the Asia Pacific Higher Education Research Partnership (APHERP), and in affiliation with the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE).
Given the rate of change in today’s world, the future has never seemed less certain, to either students or teachers. This conference will concentrate on the role of formal education in preparing students for uncertain futures, and for societies that are changing at great speed.
To the positive aspects of globalisation that have transformed how we work and interact with each other, we must also consider the more negative impacts on societies and the natural environment. Nationalism, regionalism, populism and authoritarianism are frequently driven by fear-based politics, driven by the idea of an uncertain present, and scary future.
Technologies have made life better in so many ways, but they have also contributed to great losses of personal privacy, and increased reports of alienation as social media and online life vie for time with “real” life. Until fairly recently, technology was driven by policy, as opposed to the current situation where it exists before any ramifications can be fully considered.
Artificial intelligence and robots are already replacing many more routine jobs, and while technology may create many as yet unimagined jobs, teachers and professors are in the position of having to educate for the unknown. How then do we respond effectively to uncertain futures by repurposing education? How do we reimagine teaching, lecturing, nurturing, mentoring, and the curation and transmission of knowledge? How do we prepare for students to thrive when confronted with the unexpected? How do we plan for as yet unknown disruptive change?
This CHER conference will look at these questions and more. In these times of change, one thing is certain, we have a lot to learn from each other. We look forward to challenging discussions, engaging ideas, and helping to shape the future when we meet at the conference.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Bernard Charnwut Chan, Executive Council of the Government of the Hong Kong SAR, Hong Kong
Joseph Haldane, IAFOR, Japan
Barbara Lockee, Virginia Tech, USA
Joshua Mok, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
Deane Neubauer, East-West Center, USA
Susan Robertson, University of Cambridge, UK
Justin Sanders, Temple University, Japan Campus
Winnie Tang, Smart City Consortium, Hong Kong
Ada Wong, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
IAFOR Journal of Education (Scopus Indexed Journal)
This conference is associated with the Scopus and DOAJ listed IAFOR Journal of Education.
About Lingnan University, Hong Kong
Founded in Guangzhou in 1888 and re-established in Hong Kong in 1967, Lingnan has the longest history among all local tertiary institutions. Its vision is to be a leading Asian liberal arts university with international recognition, distinguished by outstanding teaching, learning, scholarship and community engagement. Lingnan is committed to providing quality whole-person education by combining the best of Chinese and Western liberal arts traditions; nurturing students to achieve all-round excellence and imbuing them with our core values; and encourage faculty and students to contribute to society through original research and knowledge transfer.
On the auspicious occasion of celebrating its golden jubilee, Lingnan has achieved a leap in ranking that puts it in the top 100 Asian universities in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Asia University Rankings 2018. In 2015, Lingnan University was also named as one of the top 10 liberal arts college in Asia by Forbes. Lingnan is dedicated to building an international campus and actively establishing strategic collaborations with prominent universities worldwide.
About the Asia Pacific Higher Education Research Partnership (APHERP)
The Asia Pacific Higher Education Research Partnership (APHERP) is the Research Consortium co-launched by Lingnan University together with University College London’s (UCL) Institute of Education’s Centre for Global Higher Education in the UK, King’s College London’s Department of International Development, and the University of Bath’s International Centre for Higher Education Management in the UK. APHERP is also supported by leading institutions in Asia: Peking University, Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University and South China University of Technology in China, Hiroshima University in Japan, and National Chung Cheng University in Taiwan.
Publications for Higher Education Research
Selected papers after serious academic reviews will be selected for publications by:
- Journal of Asian Education and Development Studies (Emerald) [Internationally refereed and ESSCI Journal]
- Springer Book Series on Higher Education in Asia: Quality, Excellence and Governance
About IAFOR’s Education Conferences
IAFOR promotes and facilitates new multifaceted approaches to one of the core issues of our time, namely globalisation and its many forms of growth and expansion. Awareness of how it cuts across the world of education, and its subsequent impact on societies, institutions and individuals, is a driving force in educational policies and practices across the globe. IAFOR’s conferences on education have these issues at their core. The conferences present those taking part with three unique dimensions of experience, encouraging interdisciplinary discussion, facilitating heightened intercultural awareness and they promoting international exchange. In short, IAFOR’s conferences on education are about change, transformation and social justice. As IAFOR’s previous conferences on education have shown, education has the power to transform and change whilst it is also continuously transformed and changed.
Globalised education systems are becoming increasing socially, ethnically and culturally diverse. However, education is often defined through discourses embedded in Western paradigms as globalised education systems become increasingly determined by dominant knowledge economies. Policies, practices and ideologies of education help define and determine ways in which social justice is perceived and acted out. What counts as "education" and as "knowledge" can appear uncontestable but is in fact both contestable and partial. Discourses of learning and teaching regulate and normalise gendered and classed, racialised and ethnicised understandings of what learning is and who counts as a learner.
In many educational settings and contexts throughout the world, there remains an assumption that teachers are the possessors of knowledge which is to be imparted to students, and that this happens in neutral, impartial and objective ways. However, learning is about making meaning, and learners can experience the same teaching in very different ways. Students (as well as teachers) are part of complex social, cultural, political, ideological and personal circumstances, and current experiences of learning will depend in part on previous ones, as well as on age, gender, social class, culture, ethnicity, varying abilities and more.
IAFOR has several annual conferences on education across the world, exploring common themes in different ways to develop a shared research agenda which develops interdisciplinary discussion, heightens intercultural awareness and promotes international exchange.
Founded in 2009, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) is a politically independent non-partisan and non-profit interdisciplinary think tank, conference organiser and publisher. Based in Japan, its main administrative office is in Nagoya, and its research center is in The Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), a graduate school of Osaka University. IAFOR runs research programs and events in Asia, Europe and North America in partnership with universities and think tanks, and has also worked on a number of multi-sector cooperative programs and events, including collaborations with the United Nations and the Government of Japan.
Special Themes and Areas of Focus
Authors have the optional opportunity of identifying whether their paper addresses either the 2020 IAFOR Special Theme and/or one of the ongoing IAFOR Special Areas of Focus.
IAFOR 2020 Special Theme: “Embracing Difference”
At a time when nationalism and ethno-centrism have become ascendant ideologies and provide easy refuge from the anxieties generated by globalisation and economic uncertainty, it is far too easy to see “difference” as a problem rather than an opportunity. Yes, cultural, religious, linguistic, and social differences can make us uncomfortable. They can be frightening, unsettling, and intellectually challenging. At the same time, they are enormously generative. It is only through encountering cultures and belief systems unlike our own that we learn anything about the flaws and limitations inherent in our own perspectives.
“Difference” is the source of innovation and change. While negotiating the difficulties of seemingly incompatible belief systems may pose tremendous challenges to us all, the payoffs for actively seeking out, celebrating, and working to converse across profound differences are manifold. As we learn about others, we learn about ourselves. And through those encounters, we have the opportunity to chart a future in which difference does not lead to violence, intolerance, or retrenchment, but instead is celebrated as the source of our collective strength.
IAFOR Special Areas of Focus
In line with its organisational mission, IAFOR encourages, facilitates and nurtures interdisciplinary research, with an emphasis on international and intercultural perspectives. Current areas of focus of the organisation include the following ongoing collaborative programmes and initiatives.