Khanapara (Meghalaya), Sept 7: The Vice Chancellor of the University of Science and Technology Meghalaya (USTM), Prof GD Sharma, took center stage at the Global University Association Forum (GUAF) and Association University Network (AUN) meeting held in Bangkok, Thailand on Sept 6 .
The GUAF conference brought together representatives from ten Asian countries, including the Association of Arabian Universities and the European Universities Association, as well as the Association of African Universities. Prof Sharma, representing India through USTM and the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) as its President, delivered a keynote address that resonated with the theme of ‘Digitalization in Internationalization of Higher Education for Innovation, Hybrid Learning with Technology, and Industry Relevance.’
Addressing this prestigious assembly of academic leaders and dignitaries, Prof Sharma highlighted the critical role of digitalization and technology in advancing the quality and global relevance of Indian higher education. Prof Sharma emphasized the transformative potential of digital education and technology in enhancing the quality of higher education. He underscored the significant opportunities presented by India’s National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) to provide multidisciplinary, skill- oriented, collaborative, and flexible choice-based education to the nation’s youth.
During his presentation, Prof Sharma showcased videos highlighting the state-of-the-art physical and academic facilities available at the University of Science and Technology Meghalaya, reinforcing the institution’s commitment to excellence in education. Notably, in a significant step towards international collaboration, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between AIU and a Canadian counterpart, marking an important milestone for both organizations. This event took place in the presence of the President of AIU.
Prof Sharma’s participation extended beyond his keynote address, as he engaged in fruitful discussions and meetings with academic leaders from diverse countries. These interactions aimed to foster networking opportunities and mutual collaborations for the advancement of global higher education.
Looking ahead, Prof Sharma highlighted the upcoming international conference organized by AUN- QA (ASEAN University Network-Quality Assurance), where the accreditation process, using the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) grading system as a benchmark, will be presented.
Several distinguished individuals attended the event, including Dr. Chiltis Dhirathiti, Executive Director of the Asian University Network; Dr. Michael Gaebel, European Universities Association; Dr. Philip Landon, Chief Officer Administration of Universities Canada; Dr. Gao Xiaojie, Director of the China Association of Higher Education; Dr. Amr Ezzat Salama, Secretary General of the Association of Arab Universities; Dr. Bie Dunrong, Executive Director of CAHE (China Association of Higher Education); Dr. Jiang Enlai, Vice President and Secretary General of the China Association of Higher Education; and Dr. Li Peiye Queena, Foreign Affairs Assistant of the CAHE Secretariat, MOE.
Prof GD Sharma’s participation in the GUAF meeting exemplifies a significant step towards creating global relevance for Indian education through the visionary NEP 2020 framework. It emphasizes India’s commitment to providing world-class education, fostering innovation, and enhancing the nation’s position on the global academic stage.