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The first-ever DIES Alumni Forum

Under the concept of “from alumni, for alumni”, DIES Alumni Forum is aiming to bring together alumni from different DIES training courses to share their views and perspectives on recent developments in higher education as well as to exchange practices and discuss the pressing issues in the dynamic field of higher education management and its capacity building from an interregional perspective. 

DIES Alumni Forum 2022 was successfully concluded on 10 November. Under the theme of Higher Education Intuitions in Transformation? The Impact of the Pandemic, DIES alumni from Latin America, Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East discussed the dynamic changes the pandemic has brought to higher education institutions and its influence on future learning.

As a three-day event, the Forum kicked off on 27 October. To inspire the participants, the event commenced with the expert’s talk on building a digital university, managing big data and promoting diversity. It included many valuable reflections about past and current experiences and possible future directions. Besides, the alumni were able to learn different approaches, forced by the pandemic, implemented at the panellists' instittuions  across the globe. On 3 November, the main theme of the Forum talks was higher education management. Alumni of different higher education institutions presented their practices which were learnt from the pandemic, such as the shift to online teaching and learning, students’ assessment in blended learning, university resilience, etc. Furthermore, alumni discussed pathways of future learning, technology and equity, digital mobility and other related topics in breakout rooms. On 10 November, capacity building in higher education management was in the spotlight. Human resources played (and still do) a crucial role in change and institutional development, and this was highlighted even more  in the past three pandemic years. The alumni discussed the competencies required in international offices, training on data literacy and inclusive capacity building. Moreover, they shared good practices on teaching capacity building, multiplication training, and faculty development.

Those three days of intensive discussions allowed the alumni to exchange lessons from the complex experiences gathered since the pandemic onset. As some of the alumni put it in the end, “we have different contexts but the same challenges and concerns generally… It’s good to know that we are not alone in our challenges…” Alumni Forum was also a great networking event, and even though it was online, it still created an opportunity to see many new and familiar faces; and that only leaves us more excited for the next DIES Alumni Forum.