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):
- How can consortium, multi-sectoral or quadruple helix partnerships stimulate new knowledge and mobilise research innovation that addresses societal challenges?
- 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?
- 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.