21st Century Changes and Challenges in Learning and Design of Pedagogy in Higher Education

The webinar proved to be of interest to many people globally, attracting registrations from more than 30 countries including in ASEAN, Asia, South America, India, United States of America, United Kingdom, Africa and the Middle East.

The webinar’s keynote and panellist speakers presented a range of perspectives on the topic. Following the introduction and scene setting by Professor Glenda Crosling (Head, CHER) and the webinar facilitator Dr KJ John (Chairperson, OHMSI), the keynote presentation by Dr Azly Abd. Rahman, eminent international educator, author, columnist and alumni of Columbia University New York City, was entitled ‘The Interplay of Technology and Cognition for Liberal Education’. The distinguished panellists were Professor Graeme Wilkinson (Vice-Chancellor Sunway University), Professor Dr Mohd. Tajuddin Mohd, Rasdi, (USCI University, Malaysia), Datuk Dr Johan Ariffin Samad (former CEO Sabah Institute of Development Studies) and The Honourable Mr Baru Bian (Member of Parliament, Selangau, Sarawak, Malaysia). Drawing together these various viewpoints and concluding the webinar, Professor Graeme Atherton (CHER Adjunct and Professor, University of West London, UK) discussed the way forward for higher education.

In essence, the webinar discussions in focussing on responses in higher education learning and pedagogy in and for the 21st Century, were framed by the massive technological developments and need for sustainability in more recent times. A common theme across the presentations was that higher education graduates need capacities of open mindedness as evident in critical and creative thinking, in order to respond to differing perspectives put forward as solutions are devised to new and arising issues. Balancing technological developments with humanistic approaches, multi- and cross-disciplinary approaches and narrowing of the educational gap for less advantaged citizens were identified in the webinar as important strategies going forward.

The webinar’s theme of the future of and for higher education draws on one of CHER’s key research foci and follows CHER’s 2020 webinar, ‘Future Higher Education’, which featured Professor Dato' Dr. Norzaini Azman and Professor Dr. Norazah Mohd. Nordin, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Currently in 2021, CHER is editing a collection to be published by Sunway University Press in 2022, entitled ‘Higher Education in the ASEAN Region: Shaping the Future’. Studies and ensuing publications in CHER have also explored blended and online learning, including in the time of COVID-19, as well as the British Council-funded investigations into higher education internationalisation and student mobility in the ASEAN region.

Sunway University personnel interested in discussing research initiatives on educational issues are invited to contact CHER: