4th ARUA Biennial Int’l Conference: Prof. Ogunsola Leads 1st Plenary To Discuss Changing Dynamics Of Higher Education

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Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Professor Folasade Ogunsola, led the first plenary session at the fourth Biennial International Conference of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) where she advocated a domestic approach to examining and resolving challenges peculiar to the African continent.

The plenary session held with the theme: “Understanding the Changing Dynamics of Higher Education: A Global Perspective” held at the Tayo Aderinokun Hall of the University immediately after the opening session of the international conference on Wednesday, November 15, 2023.

Speakers were: Professor Daya Reddy of the University of Cape Town, South Africa, who spoke on “Partnerships and Collaboration in Scholarship: Crossing and Eliminating Boundaries”, Professor Emmanuel Ojo of the University of Witwatersrand who spoke on “Mapping the Academic Landscape: A Bibliometric Journey Through Higher Education in Africa” and Professor Wendy Thomson of the University of London whose presentation was titled “Transnational Education on the Tides of Change”.

Professor Daya Reddy in his presentation acknowledged the huge role of Artificial Intelligence in shaping the future of Africa. He stressed the place of cross-disciplinary links as well as inter-, multi- and trans-disciplinary collaborations, capacity building and the need for African Researchers to shift from being mere observers, consumers and receivers into being equitable participants, shapers and owners.

Professor Emmanuel Ojo gave a comprehensive, data-driven overview of the academic discourse surrounding higher education in Africa, with emphasis on historical trends, dominant values and areas of potential focus for the future. He underscored the importance of multidisciplinary research, the power of collaboration as well as prioritization of indigenous knowledge.

Professor Wendy Thomson, in her presentation, pointed out the role of universities in preparing students for their work life. She shared the “GRASP” skills (which stand for General, Relational, Analytic, Social and Personal) as a strategic roadmap for tertiary institution managers in Africa with a view to ensuring that graduates are fit for contemporaneous life after school.

In her remarks, Prof Folasade Ogunsola,  who is the Host of the Conference and Chair of the plenary session, described the suggestions and recommendations by the resource persons as the way to go for Africa to be attain the future of her dream.

Her words, “Africa cannot afford to stroll but must leap for the continent to reach her pride of place in the nearest future”.

Other activities for Day One of the 4th ARUA Biennial International Conference included a second keynote address by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, Professor Evelyn Welch who intimated the gathering about how the university recently won a $ 224,000,000.00 (two hundred and twenty-four million pounds) worth of AI supercomputer facility to be hosted and managed on behalf of the government of the United Kingdom.

There was also a second plenary session which was chaired by the Vice Chancellor, University of Ghana, Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo.

The 4th African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Biennial International Conference being hosted by the University of Lagos is holding with the theme: Reimagining the Future of Higher Education in Africa. It is the first to be hosted by a Nigerian University.

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