UK-EA Forum 31 October
UK-EA Poster ©

British Council Malaysia

Organised by the British Council in collaboration with the Association of Commonwealth Universities

  • Date   : 31 October 2019
  • Venue: Double Tree Hotel, Kuala Lumpur 
  • Time  : 9.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m

Higher education institutions (HEIs) have always played a role in the growth of our nations and regions through their three missions of teaching, research and social engagement. With an increasing realisation that national, regional and global challenges can only be effectively addressed through collective action from diverse stakeholders, there is a critical demand for universities, in their capacity as innovators, to link their research and teaching knowledge to the third mission and harness their innovative capacity to tackle these growing societal and economic challenges at multiple levels.

The contributions of HEIs to local, regional and global development through their research, social innovation and community engagement activities are complex and not always visible to governments, funders and wider society.   Yet by understanding this role better, policy makers, enterprises and other partners in the civil society can better harness and optimise the impact that universities have on the world around them. This, in turn will catalyse greater collaborations between these stakeholders to mobilise collective resources for local, regional and global economic, social and cultural development.

Universities play a critical role in producing both the knowledge that drives innovation as well as the human capital which can translate this innovation into practical solutions in society.  Social innovation, social entrepreneurship and social enterprise are increasingly recognized as alternative models for inclusive and sustainable development in local, regional and global contexts.  In the UK and in the East Asia region, several countries are also committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and have used this ambitious framework of social innovation to help develop approaches to policy and practice.

Some sector-wide attempts have been made to measure and communicate the impact that universities have on the wider world. For example, the launch of the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings earlier this year, which used the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to measure research impact. In some countries, groups of universities have voiced their contributions and commitments together, for example through the Civic University Agreement in the UK, signed by 31 universities.  At an institutional level, however, HEIs face a challenge in balancing between their various missions and the increased expectations of their role as learning institutions in a global world.  In a climate where institutional funding is increasingly scarce, HEIs face tensions to prioritise and justify the funders’ ROI by enhancing the quality of graduates through teaching, driving national internationalisation strategies and becoming hubs for enterprise and research excellence.  Achieving and communicating the impact of their integration into global socio-economic missions to partners is a new challenge for many universities.

This forum highlights the role that higher education, public sector, private sector and civil society organisations play in putting academic knowledge, creativity, expertise and collaboration to work, to help make a difference to real-world challenges.  It will provide a platform to engage diverse stakeholders from the UK and East Asia region in a discussion on what it means to be a learning institution in a global world and to explore their collective contributions in tackling complex and interdependent societal challenges at local, regional and global levels through multi sector collaborations in research and social innovation initiatives..

Through focussed panel discussions, sharing of good practices and innovative approaches, the following questions will be explored from the lens of diverse stakeholders (HEIs, policy makers, enterprises, civil society organisations and learners):

  1. How can consortium, multi-sectoral or quadruple helix partnerships stimulate new knowledge and mobilise research innovation that addresses societal challenges?
  2. What are the best practices, innovative models and challenges in embedding social innovation and social entrepreneurship within the teaching and learning mission of higher education institutions?  
  3. How are higher education institutions evolving to engage learners with the Sustainable Development Goals and support learners’ contribution to local, regional and global development?

Audience (50 pax): Higher Education Institutions in East Asia and selected UK (and other Commonwealth) universities, relevant policymakers, regional development organisations, civil society and enterprise bodies and well as student representatives.

Programmme: Morning and Afternoon Session

 Time   Agenda
 08.45-09.00 Registration

Welcome Remarks 

Sarah Deverall, Director Malaysia, British Council

Dr. Faye Taylor, Head of Strategic Partnerships, Association of Commonwealth Universities


Officiating Remarks 

YBhg. Datuk Ir. Dr. Siti Hamisah Tapsir, Director General, Ministry of Education Malaysia (tbc)


 Keynote 1:

Role of Higher Education Institutions in realising the Sustainable Development Goals 

Speaker: (tbc)


Panel 1: Innovation in Research

Strengthening Consortium and Partnerships: Reframing Research Innovation to address global challenges for societal welfare.


To demonstrate case studies/models on consortium or multi-sectoral partnerships in higher education which address social/global challenges and/or regional priorities  

Panel Speakers:

•  Representative from University of Sussex (Coordinator of Transformation Innovation Policy Consortium) (tbc)

•  Prof. Alan Marshall, Head of Department of Electrical Engineering & Electronics, University of Liverpool and UK Chair of the UK-Jiangsu 2020 World Class University Consortium

•  Representative from ACU’s Higher Education and the SDGs Network (University of Newcastle) tbc

•  Prof. Nuntavarn Vichit Vadakan, DR.PH, Dean, School of Global Studies, Thammasat University

•  Professor Dr. Shaliza Ibrahim FIChemE, Associate Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), University of Malaya

 Session moderator: (tbc)




Keynote 2: 

Social Innovation in Higher Education: A case for a Civic University

Paul Sternberg, Director Design Innovation and Principal Research Fellow, Ravensbourne University

Programme: Evening Session


Panel 3: Innovation in Engagement 

Developing active innovators: Collaborations in HE that support the growth of learners in active citizenship and mobilise collective resources for local, regional and global economic, social and cultural development


To explore how multi-stakeholder partnerships and cross border collaboration can empower learners to engage with contribute to community development through innovation.


•  Dato' Hamidah Naziadin, Group Chief People Officer and Chief Executive Officer, CIMB Foundation (tbc)

•  Dr. Pun-Arj Chairatana, Executive director, National Innovation Agency of Thailand or Theresa Mathawaphan, Chief Strategy Officer, National Innovation Agency Thailand

•  Representative Generation UK

•  Representative from EU Share Dialogue (tbc)partners/NGO/CSO/Student organisation sector (tbc)

•  Representative from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (tbc)

Session Moderator: Jazreel Goh, Director Education China, British Council


Breakout Session

Interactive world café or fishbowl discussion to explore emerging themes from the panel sessions.

Session Panellists: (tbc)


Summary and Closing

Leighton Ernsberger, Director Education and English East Asia, British Council



About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We were founded in 1934 and incorporated by Royal Charter in 1940.  We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

Since hosting the Going Global 2018 conference in Malaysia in 2018, the British Council has undertaken a series of activities to deep dive into the common HE priorities especially in the space of future internalisation and collaboration strategies between the UK and the East Asia region.  The present forum is especially important to catalyse pertinent discussions in the priority area of ‘innovation’, given that the theme for Going Global 2020 focuses on the global learner of the future, their journey to becoming a global innovator and how this shapes global learning institutions.

About the Association of Commonwealth Universities

The ACU is an international organisation dedicated to building a better world through higher education.  We believe that international collaboration is central to this ambition. By bringing universities together from around the world – and crucially the people who study and work within them ‒ we help to advance knowledge, promote understanding, broaden minds, and improve lives.

We champion higher education as a cornerstone of stronger societies, supporting our members, partners, and stakeholders as they adapt to a changing world. Our newly established Higher Education and the SDGs Network will support university efforts to directly engage in the SDG agenda – for example, through integrating sustainable development into their operations, sharing SDG learning content and materials, or developing SDG-focused research strategies. It builds on our longstanding role as a champion of the importance of higher education in sustainable development and experience of convening networks that tackle global challenges.