The QS Higher Education APAC Summit 2023, a crucial event for academics and administrators, took place in Kuala Lumpur from 7-9 November 2023. As a significant precursor, Lingnan University hosted a Pre-Summit APAC 2023 at its Hong Kong campus on 3 November 2023. The Pre-Summit primarily focused on liberal arts, exploring the ongoing evolution of these disciplines and the growing impact of technology inside and outside the classroom.
This hybrid event drew an audience of 400, with influential figures from the Asia-Pacific region discussing the future evolution of arts and humanities disciplines and their implications for universities, students, and teaching and learning approaches.
Professor S. Joe Qin, Lingnan’s President, highlighted the significant development in China’s higher education system, with a growing emphasis on innovation, entrepreneurship, internationalisation, and student outcomes. He stressed that forward-looking institutions must commit to change and foster the outlook and partnerships necessary for keeping pace with the digital era.
The agenda included discussions on the latest uses of technology in and beyond the classroom and specific steps liberal arts universities are taking to adapt and thrive in this new age. In his keynote address, Professor Michael Hui, Vice-Rector of Academic Affairs at the University of Macau, emphasized the need to integrate technology into all aspects of campus life and promote interdisciplinary collaboration.
In a subsequent session, the special President’s Forum focused on “The Art of STEM”. Speakers discussed how to integrate scientific thinking into a liberal arts curriculum, agreeing that all students will require STEM-related skills for their research projects, future careers, and meaningful contributions to society.
Professor Diana Laurillard, Professor of Learning with Digital Technologies, UCL Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education, University College London, in her keynote at the Pre-Summit APAC 2023, discussed the importance of digital technology in enhancing student engagement and critical thinking in a liberal arts education. She highlighted the need for teachers’ confidence in delivering online content and for assessments to reflect real-world digital realities.
In a panel discussion, academics and a tech CEO emphasized the importance of liberal arts education in fostering global understanding and employability. They discussed the value of internationalization, cultural exchange programs, industry-academic collaboration, and the critical role of liberal arts education in tackling societal issues like nuclear power safety.
In summary, the QS Higher Education APAC Pre-Summit 2023 underscored the critical and evolving role of liberal arts in higher education. The discussions emphasized the need for integrating technology, fostering internationalization, promoting interdisciplinary collaboration, and preparing students for a rapidly changing world. The event highlighted that universities, teachers, and students must embrace change, collaborate broadly, and harness the power of technology to enhance learning and address complex societal issues.
Please follow this link for highlights from the keynote speeches, President’s Forum, and Panel Discussion.