Prof. Dr. Nor Haniza Sarmin, Associate Director (Global Strategy and Engagement), UTM International, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), was recently featured as one of the guest speakers for EURAS Regional Webinar on Higher Education in Asia that was held on Thursday, 22 October 2020.

This webinar was hosted by EURAS (Eurasian Universities Union) in collaboration with several partners and members as part of a webinar series on the Future of Higher Education and International Education. Launched in 2008, EURAS is a non-profit international association that promotes cooperation among 110 universities across the Eurasian region. By joining EURAS as a Member, it gives UTM the opportunity to increase its visibility and recognition as a global university across the region, as well as to forge strategic alliances within the EURAS network.

This Regional Webinar, which was hosted virtually on Zoom platform, focused on the new trends in higher education in Asia and the impact of COVID-19 on higher education institutions’ planning. All participants were greeted by Dr. Mustafa Aydin, the President of EURAS, followed by sharing sessions by representative speakers from Taiwan, Malaysia and Bangladesh, moderated by Dr. Pinar Elbasan, the General Coordinator of EURAS.

Prof. Nor Haniza, who had the honor of representing UTM and Malaysia, shared her speech with the title “Tackling the Paradigm Shift in Higher Learning – the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Experience”. In her speech, Prof. Nor Haniza shared various means of engagement implemented by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia to ensure the continuation of staff-student interactions, as well as global connections with UTM partners during the pandemic, mainly through the digital platform. These include the Online Global Classrooms (OGC), Virtual International Engagements (VIE) and Virtual University President Forum (VUPF). Local and international conferences were also organised and held totally online with minimal setback.

The other two speakers, Prof. Dr. Ching-Pu Chen from Yuan Ze University, Taiwan and Mr. Syed Raihan-Ul-Islam from Daffodil International University, Bangladesh, had also given insightful sharing on the topic from the perspective of each institution. The webinar ended with a Question & Answer (Q&A) session. Conclusively, it is clear that the higher education sectors in all three countries have done tremendous work in postulating a future where students can be taught and supported digitally, without compromising academic quality and standards of the curriculum.

Written by: Prof. Dr. Nor Haniza Sarmin & Miss Ajlaa Sofya Mohd Khalil