North American University (NAU) hosted its second Annual International Conference in Houston, Texas, USA with the theme of “Internationalization of Higher Education” during July 19-20, 2022. Upper administration of universities and diplomats from throughout the world participated to discuss new trends and challenges in higher education and global education. 26 upper administrators, with 10 presidents in person, of 20 universities participated in this event from 16 countries, including Albania, Bosnia, Brazil, Cambodia, El Salvador, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Mozambique, Philippines, Tunisia, and the USA.
The conference was held at several locations: the Stafford Centre (July 19, 10a.m.- 5p.m., 10505 Cash Rd., Stafford, TX 77477); VIP reception and dinner at the Raindrop Foundation (July 19, 5:30-8:30p.m., 9301 W. Bellfort St., Houston TX 77031), and on the campus of North American University (July 20, 10a.m.-1p.m., 11929 W Airport Blvd., Houston, TX 77477).
This two-day conference brought together university administrators, government officials, and corporations to present their ideas on the future dynamics and indicators of global education and the need, preparedness, and trends in the internationalization of higher education. The discussions were aimed at broadening the role of higher education globally and its impact on sustainability of nations in addressing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals) for nations. The discussions also explored expanding collaborations and expanding preparedness of global citizenry through higher education for the advancement of nations. Speakers were diplomats/Consul Generals, Mayor’s Office of International Trade, international researchers, university presidents, Houston Airport Systems, and corporate leaders. Presentations addressed issues such as the following: Preparedness for internationalization in higher education; structural, functional, administrative, academic, socio-cultural, etc.; Emerging ethical issues in higher education; Lessons learned during the pandemic that encouraged internationalization of higher education; Innovative solutions in times of uncertainty in the context of Internationalization of Higher Education; and, Moving ahead to the “New Normalcy.”
Group A presentations included a welcoming speech by Dr. Deandra Travis (Department Chair, Business Administration, North American University), opening remarks by Dr. Serif Ali Tekalan (Vice President for International Affairs, North American University), keynote speech by Dr. Hasnain Walji (a doctor, researcher, educator, and writer based in the USA) and two more presentations as follows:
· Millennium’s Perspectives for Higher Education Internationalization by Prof. Dr. Mohammed Taleb Obaidat (President of Jadara University, Jordan, Professor of CE at JUST University, Jordan)
· Internationalization of Higher Education by Prof. Mosleh M.S. Duhoky (Former President, University of Duhok, Kurdistan Region, Iraq)
Group B session included following four presentations:
· Internationalization of Higher Education: Institutional Policy and the Management of Internationalization by Prof. Rossana Valeria de Souza e Silva (Executive Director, The International Cooperation Group of Brazilian Universities (GCUB), Brazil)
· The Impact of Information Technologies in the Internationalization of the Universities After COVID 19 Pandemic by Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Gjana (President, Western Balkans University, Albania)
· Internationalization of Higher Education Institutions in Indonesia as an Effort to Improve the Quality of Human Resources in Facing Global Challenges by Prof. Dr. Amany Lubis (Rector, Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University, Indonesia)
· Mobility and Internationalization: Experiences of Pathways to Higher Education Institutions (HEI) from Countries with Scarce Resources by Prof. Jorge Ferrao (Rector, Pedagogical University of Maputo, Mozambique)
Following were the presentations during Group C session:
· The Internationalization of Epoka University in Albania: Historical, Structural, Cultural, Administrative and Academic Aspects by Prof. Dr. Ahmet Oztas (Rector, Epoka University, Albania) and David Felsen (Vice Rector, Epoka University, Albania)
· An Institution’s Journey Towards Expanding Global Partnerships by Dr. Melanie Viloria-Briones (Vice President, Research and Extension, Mabalacat City College (MCC), Philippines) and Counselor Amelia Z. Macapagal (Assistant City Government Department Head, Mabalacat City College, Philippines)
· UEES Experience in the New Normalcy by Dr. Cristina de Amaya (Rector, Universidad Evangelica de El Salvador (UEES), El Salvador), Dr. Mirna García, Dr. Nuvia Estrada, María de los Angeles Mercado, Mario Parrillas, and Cesar Melendez
Group D presentations were as follows:
. Providing Quality Assurance Support to Teaching and Learning Services Remotely at Suleyman Demirel University (Kazakhstan) by Dr. Davronzhon Gaipov (Rector, Suleyman Demirel University, Kazakhstan)
· Study Abroad, Mobility, and Student Exchange by Dr. Ahmed Ben Taleb (Vice President, Computer Science Department, IT Business School, Tunisia), Dr. Safa Fennia (Head, Computer Science Department, IT Business School, Tunisia), and Prof. Dr. Jihed Majdoub (President, Professor, IT Business School, Tunisia)
· Human Values Are an Effective Way to Cross into a Global University Education by Prof. Dr. Abdelmajid Bouchebka (Head, Department of Islamic Studies, Choaib Doukkali University, Morocco)
· Emerging Ethical Issues in Higher Education by Prof. Dr. Farhat Nasreen (Head, Department of History & Culture, Jamia Millia Islamia, India)
· Feasibility of Lean Implementation of Teaching Process at Higher Education Institutions by Dr. Zhyldyzbek Zhakshylykov (Director, International Distance Learning Center and Professor, Ala-Too International University, Kyrgyzstan)
The concluding session included closing remarks by Dr. Javaid Laghari (Former Professor SUNY, Buffalo, NY, and Former President, SZABIST, Pakistan) and Dr. Faruk Taban (Interim President, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, North American University).
Partnering universities for this conference were IT Business School University (Tunisia); Jadara University (Jordan); Mabalacat City College (Philippines); Pharos University in Alexandria (Egypt); and Universidad Evangelica de El Salvador (UEES) (El Salvador).
Sponsors of this event were Ibn Sina Foundation, Optima Global Financial, Houston Airport System, Fadi’s, Omar Kasani: Certified Public accountant, Abu Omar, and Farouk Chi Biosilk.
During this event, North American University signed MOUs with Universidad Evangelica de El Salvador (El Salvador), Coimbra Group of Brazilian Universities (Brazil), Ala-Too University (Kyrgyzstan), IT Business School (Tunisia), Karaganda Buketov University (Kazakhstan), and Universidade Pedagógica do Maputo, (Mozambique).
This conference was streamed online for global participation and the official language of the Conference was English.
North American University (NAU) hosted its first Annual International Conference on its campus in Stafford, Texas, USA on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. It was also broadcasted live from the NAU’s website to benefit the audiences that were not able to attend the conference in person due to the pandemic situation. Having a theme of Future of Higher Education in an Online Environment, this international conference was aimed to share experiences, learn about how higher education in different countries has been transforming and what is perceived as a future of higher education in an online environment. It was educational in nature. The audience for this conference was vast and encompassed participation from across the globe and engaged university administrators, scholars, educators, professionals, and interested community members from eleven countries: Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tunisia, and the USA. Total 55 people participated, out of which 44 were in person and 11 were online participants. The event was viewed 290 times on YouTube by August 2, 2021. It was indeed a unique and fruitful learning experience for all involved.