UNIC Rector Professor Philippos Pouyioutas: “Disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, the Metaverse, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and X Reality have already made a significant impact on Education”
The University of Nicosia, the Council for Education in the Commonwealth (CEC), the Association for Commonwealth Universities, the Foundation for the Management of European Lifelong Learning Programs (IDEP), and the UNESCO Chair of the University of Nicosia, jointly organized the “Education Conference 2023 – Digital Transition and Inclusion in Education: An Agenda for Action”, held on 18 – 21 May, 2023 at the University of Nicosia, Cyprus.
The Conference explored the digital transformation of Education and how it contributes to greener and more inclusive societies, bringing together esteemed leaders, educators, and professionals from the education sector to discuss and explore strategies for leveraging digital technologies in education.
The Education Conference 2023 proved to be a significant platform for exchanging ideas, fostering collaboration, and shaping the future of education in the digital age. Perhaps the conference’s most significant recommendation, as summarized by Professor Panayiotis Angelides, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs at the University of Nicosia, is to “embrace digital technologies and promote inclusivity in Education”.
The event began on Friday, 19 May with a lively registration session, followed by official welcome addresses by notable speakers including:
Professor Philippos Pouyioutas, Rector of the University of Nicosia
Lord Sonny Leong, Chair of the Council for Education in the Commonwealth
Dr Joanna Newman, Chief Executive and Secretary General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities
Mr Irfan Siddiq OBE, British High Commissioner to Cyprus
Mr Philippos Hatzizacharias, Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation, and Digital Policy and
Dr Terpsa Konstantinidou, Director of the Directorate of Higher Education of the Ministry of Education, Sports, and Youth.
The welcome session was followed by keynote addresses by renowned experts that set the tone for the conference.
Sir (Professor) Peter William Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, delivered an insightful address on “Sharing Best Practices Across Universities”.
Professor Catherine Bachleda, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Gibraltar, discussed the digital transformation challenge in relation to Artificial Intelligence tools and particularly ChatGPT.
Professor Alfred J Vella, Rector of the University of Malta, shared insights on delivering higher education sustainably within a digital context.
Dr Stelios Mavromoustakos, Director of the Foundation for the Management of European Lifelong Learning Programmes, discussed the opportunities for international mobility through the Erasmus+ programme.
Mr Mark Crossey, Assistant Director, Policy and Global Engagement at Universities UK International, provided an overview of the current landscape, opportunities, and challenges of digital transformation in international higher education.
Professor Charalambos Vrasidas, Executive Director of CARDET (Center for the Advancement of Research & Development in Educational Technology), discussed education’s response to digital transformation through AI, XR, and the Metaverse.
The conference also included a round table discussion titled “How have the Vice Chancellors/Rectors managed, using digital technology, to deliver programs throughout the pandemic.” Chaired by Dr Joanna Newman, Chief Executive and Secretary General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the discussion featured esteemed panelists such as Sir Peter William Mathieson, Professor Catherine Bachleda, Professor Philippos Pouyioutas and Professor Alfred J Vella.
Parallel sessions on the second day of the conference provided opportunities for in-depth discussions and presentations on various topics related to the conference theme, whereas rapporteurs summarised the discussions and outcomes and presented their recommendations. Professor Panayiotis Angelides, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs at the University of Nicosia led the concluding session, providing valuable insights and summarising the key findings of the conference.
The event concluded with a farewell address by Professor Philippos Pouyioutas, Rector of the University of Nicosia and Dr Alba de Souza member of the Directors of the Board of the Council for Education in the Commonwealth, who expressed their gratitude to the participants for their active engagement and contributions to the conference.
Participants left with renewed inspiration, innovative strategies, and a collective commitment to driving positive change in education.
Source: University of Nicosia I News (https://rb.gy/syx79)