EduChat February 2020 Edition 2

Dear Reader,

We are happy to present EduChat—the second edition of February 2020—to provide you with key updates in the higher education space.

The fifth volume of the ‘Practitioner Series’ talks about the increasing importance of edtech in light of the increasing skills gap in the corporate world.

As the outbreak of coronavirus spreads to 29 countries with suspected or confirmed cases over 70,000, it has affected the higher education market globally. As the coronavirus travel ban continues into the third week, the mobility of international students is impaired leading to the exam and first-year enrolment cancellations. To address the obstacles students are facing, globally universities are facilitating online classroom teaching and learning formats for their students locked out due to restrictive international travel policies.

This global impact of the coronavirus outbreak is projected to have a more severe impact than the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak. As the second-largest economy and the largest student sending country, China’s health crisis has exposed stakeholders worldwide to vulnerabilities in their supply chains and subsequently business continuity. Thus, the situation needs to encourage a more proactive approach towards building sustainability in the supply chain notwithstanding shocks such as epidemics and natural disasters.

Meanwhile, sustainability initiatives on clean water and energy and urban living are underway in the higher education community globally, be it the universities in Cuba or IIT in India.

Thank you in advance for your feedback which would help us to improve the quality and impact of the forthcoming issues.

Happy Reading!!

Sannam S4 Annual SDG Conclave 2020

India, home to one-sixth of all humanity, contributes to 20% of the global SDG gap in 10 of the 17 goals. As a nation, it has a global responsibility to adopt, implement and monitor the goals to ensure a sustainable future for our planet. At Sannam S4, we believe that the 17th SDG, namely ‘Partnerships for the Goals’ is the critical backbone for achieving the SDGs in India by 2030. Multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilise and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources are needed to leave no one behind. SannamS4 recognises that the discourse on SDGs cannot be complete without universities, non-profits and corporates playing a leading role since they serve as critical hubs of innovation, research, and capacity-building across borders. To kick-start the conversation, Sannam S4 is organising a two-day conclave convening the leading Indian and International organisations who are working together to make an impact on the SDGs.


Coronavirus forces foreign students in China to choose between ‘stay’ or ‘go’

The coronavirus has led to a temporary suspension in educational ties between the country and the global community. For many Chinese students abroad, that means worrying about family at home and for many foreign students studying in China, the outbreak has frozen or even ended their opportunities to study a vast and complicated country.

B-Schools begin cancelling Master of Business Administration (MBA) trips to China

With the coronavirus outbreak continuing to worsen in China, business schools that take their MBA students on global immersions to the country are reconsidering their plans. The schools are looking for alternative destinations as part of the global immersion programme.

Sustainability Goals

The University of Melbourne gets research funding to accelerate Victoria’s transition to a low-carbon future

Fotowatio Renewable Ventures has closed a financing agreement for its 85 MWac Winton Solar Farm near Benalla, marking the commencement of its first project in Victoria. As a part of Winton Solar Farm project, the company will fund a research programme at the University of Melbourne, exploring ways to accelerate Victoria’s transition to a sustainable, low-carbon future through technical and regulatory innovation, economic development and community engagement.

Environment America Research and Policy Center leads a nationwide campaign for colleges and universities to generate clean energy

Environment America Research and Policy Center is launching a campaign on dozens of campuses, pressing colleges and universities to generate 100% of their energy from renewable sources. The initiative aims to get 150 schools to commit by 2021 to exclusively using renewable energy.

The University of Surrey wins UK-Philippines Newton Prize for a clean water project

The University of Surrey’s project that aims to convert wastewater into nutrient-rich fertiliser is leading the way on improving the health and prosperity of rapidly urbanising areas in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. The success of the project will help in improving the health of the population, creating jobs and providing encouragement and motivation for other cities in the Philippines to invest in sanitation for all.

Practitioner Series: Volume 5

Impact of edtech in changing how India learns and skills

In the latest volume of Practitioner Series, Mayank Kumar, Co-founder & Managing Director, upGrad, highlights the importance of edtech with the advent of newer technologies making existing job roles obsolete. Online education provides a better return on investment for working professionals by offering courses at a lower cost without the need of quitting their jobs to pursue higher education.

Digital Future

IT trends to watch as higher education moves into a new decade

With the new year—and a new decade—underway, three key trends will continue to take hold in higher education i.e. digital transformation, artificial intelligence and data privacy. Campus leaders are rethinking the user experience in response to competition, financial pressure and a growing expectation that technology should be optimised to improve education, boost productivity and simplify operations.

Education Fairs –  India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan

Our Education Team compiles all the education fairs that are happening in South Asia.

Regional News

Latin America

Cuban higher education institutions aligned their areas of study and development with the 2030 SDG agenda

The Cuban government has linked its educational programmes to the United Nations global agenda of achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030. In this regard, the areas of study and development of Cuban universities are linked to virtually all SDGs.

Cuba and the US educational institutions commit to exchange programmes

The higher education institutions in Cuba and the US are committing themselves to unite for the benefit of knowledge and development, following the International Congress Universidad 2020. As part of the memorandum, exchange actions will be carried out in the university system, such as short courses, internships, PhD scholarships, master’s degrees, and presentations by academics.

South Asia

One million Pakistani students to be trained on disruptive technologies

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiative Asad Umar chaired the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the governments of Finland and Pakistan, launching an initiative to train 1 million students on disruptive technologies. It will be managed by the Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, Finland, Allied ICT Finland and the Virtual University (VU) of Pakistan.

Sri Lankan education minister pushes to attract foreign branch campuses in the country

Sri Lankan government has given the green light to several education reforms, including a new push to allow branches of world-class universities to be set up in the country. To facilitate this, the cabinet ministers have approved to establish a ‘free education investment zone’ to attract investors who wish to set-up branches of world-class foreign institutions.

Bangladesh gets its first university on aviation

Minister of Education, Bangladesh has inaugurated the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University (BSMRAAU). The purpose of the BSMRAAU is to promote aeronautical and aerospace studies in the country with a focus on producing experts in the specialised field.

Country News


China to relax its internet restrictions for 0.10 million students hit by Australia’s coronavirus travel ban

China has agreed to relax its internet restrictions enabling international students to study online while they are banned from Australia during the coronavirus outbreak. Currently, more than 0.10 million Chinese students, who already have Australian student visas and were planning on commencing their studies are stranded outside of Australia as a result of the government’s 14-day travel ban from mainland China.


JK Lakshmipat University organises Innovations in Technology, Management and Design for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (ICSDG)

JK Lakshmipat University (JKLU) organised an International Conference on Innovations in Technology, Management and Design for Achieving Sustainable Development Goals (ICSDG) at their Jaipur campus to showcase innovations in technology, management and design that can address sustainability issues and catalyse actions and partnerships across disciplines and boundaries, to support United Nations 2030 agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

India signs MoU with Norway to strengthen research and higher education collaboration

To achieve a stronger and deeper bilateral relationship in the field of higher education, Indian higher education institutions have signed four memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with Norwegian universities. These MoUs include cooperation in various fields such as biophotonics, nanotechnology, water management, renewable energy etc.

The IIT-Delhi partners with New Zealand universities to boost research in data science, sustainability and healthcare

The Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD) is all set to establish a ‘New Zealand Centre’ at its campus to accelerate research practices and long-term collaboration. The institute has signed a memorandum of understanding with eight universities in the country. The centre will allow researchers and academians across sectors to conduct collaborative research on data science, cybersecurity, energy and environmental studies, and advanced biological and healthcare systems and engineering, sustainable cities, technologies for clean water.


Transforming MARA University of Technology into a globally renowned university in science, technology, humanities and entrepreneurship by 2025

MARA University of Technology (UiTM) has embarked on a five-year strategic plan to transform into a globally renowned university of science, technology, humanities and entrepreneurship by 2025. The plan requires the university to proactively respond to changes, developments, and current needs such as the fourth industrial revolution and sustainable development goals 2030.


The UAE University allocated USD 20 million to scientific research in 2019-20

The UAE University (UAEU) has financed scientific research projects worth USD 20 million in 2019-20 to provide research solutions to the challenges facing the country and the region. The university established nine research centres specialising in priority topics that are in line with the country’s strategic priorities. UAEU will also continue to develop its graduate studies programmes to ensure its high quality to meet the needs of the society and to be one of the best research and academic universities.

Online learning platform Coursera targets growth of over 30% in its Middle East busines

Online learning platform Coursera aims to grow its Middle East business by more than 30% in 2020—outpacing its global average—focusing on the UAE market. The company’s partnership with the Abu Dhabi School of Government has driven up enrolments from the public sector. The three most sought-after courses offered by Coursera in the region are related to business studies, data science and health care.


Minister of Education and Training proposes to raise the standard for university admission

The minister of Education and Training has proposed revised university recruitment regulations for the 2020 intake. To facilitate the same, the collaboration between educational institutions and high schools needs to be improved and strict regulations would be imposed on violating universities, officials, labourers and candidates.


© 2008-2021 Sannam S4 | Sitemap | Privacy Notice