The University of the Future

Dealing with the disruption in responding to Covid-19

An Open International Webinar

Open to all academics (and others) across the world
Thursday 4 February 2021 from 12:30 to 16:00 GMT
In association with

The Covid-19 crisis has disrupted society in a number of ways and one of the most affected has been education. As a result, the question now being asked is, Will university education ever be the same again? The answer to that question is probably No, university education won’t be the same again. This leads to a second question, Does it matter, and how will universities change? Although the answer to the first part of this second question is clearly Yes, there is much more to say about what the University of the Future will look like.  

Universities have been subject to a lot of criticism and there is little doubt that there is need for reform. And it could well be that the Covid-19 crisis will trigger these reforms. Certainly this crisis has forced universities to think more carefully about a number of aspects of their operation.  

Universities have become complex institutions, which have over the years grown into multifunctional, multi-process, multi-product, multinational organisations and they have become extremely important players in the economy. Universities have been so successful that in many parts of the world it has been taken for granted that getting a university education was a “good thing” and would lead to a relatively fast track to success. In fact, universities offer an effective route for both young and not so young (mid-career) individuals to improve their life chances in all sorts of ways. Therefore, it is important that we are all concerned about how universities will cope with the current crisis and develop effectively in the future.  

The webinar will be run through Zoom and will consist of short presentations by a group of leading academics from across the world and an opportunity for small group discussions, each of which will be led by other distinguished academics. Finally, there will be a plenary summary and discussion session.  

UNESCO-AND-ACI-final.pdf (184 downloads)  

Invited speakers  

Niyi AwofesoHBM Smart University DubaiSmart Learning and Smart University Smart University CampusesNA - Dubai - Nigeria
Dima DayoubTishreen University, SyriaThe Syrian experienceDD - Syria
Philip DoverBabson College - BostonIvory Tower to Ecosystem DriverPD - USA
Gabriel DunleaveyUniversity of New England, AustraliaThe Future Proof UniversityGD - Australia
Moeketsi LetsekaUniversity of South AfricaOpen distance e-learning in the advent the of COVID-19BAML - South Africa
Mandla Stanley MakhanyaUniversity of South AfricaBlended Learning as a Strategic Dimension in the University of the FutureMSM - South Africa
Mpine MakoeUniversity of South AfricaVisionary paths of the University of the FutureMM - South Africa
Dan RemenyiACPIL (UK) and UWC (SA)Dealing with the disruption - Imagining and Re-imagining the University of the FutureDR - UK – South Africa
Shawren SinghUniversity of South AfricaUniversity of the futureSS - South Africa

 Small group discussions

The small group discussions will be facilitated by a number of other leading academics from South Africa and abroad.

Joining instructions

This is an Open Webinar and there is no fee to attend. However, to participate it is necessary to complete the registration form at and appropriate links will be sent to you. Registrations will be accepted until Wednesday 3, February 2021 at 12:00 noon GMT.  All registrations will be acknowledged and joining instructions will be sent to registered participants at least 24 hours before the event.

Invited speakers’ bios

Niyi Awofeso is currently a Professor at the School of Health and Environmental Studies Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU), Dubai. He holds postgraduate qualifications in infectious diseases medicine, public health, business administration and health administration.
Dima Moain Dayoub is Associate Professor of Educational Technology and ELT and head of the English Language Teaching Department at the Higher Institute of Languages, Tishreen university, Syria, where she teaches Integrating Technology into Language Learning and Teaching and Academic Research to Masters students. She holds a PhD from the University of Manchester.
Gabriel Donleavy has four decades of university teaching and managerial experience in Australia, England and the Far East. He is currently at Australia’s University of New England in Armidale as Professor of Accounting and President of the Teachers’ Union branch there.
Philip Dover is an Emeritus Professor at Babson College in Boston, MA, USA. His academic and business interests lie in the management of high technology products, entrepreneurial studies and strategic market planning. He has extensive executive education experience, leading programs on market strategy and corporate entrepreneurship.
Moeketsi Letseka is Professor of Philosophy of Education and holder of the endowed United Nations, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Chair on Open Distance Learning (ODL) at the University of South Africa (UNISA).
Mandla Stanley Makhanya is Vice Chancellor of the University of South Africa and is a prominent proponent of higher education leadership and advocacy, nationally, continentally and globally, more especially as it pertains to Open, Distance and eLearning.
Mpine Makoe is the Commonwealth of Learning Chair in Open Education Practices/ Resources at the University of South Africa (UNISA). She is also a National Research Foundation (NRF) rated Professor and a Director of African Council for Distance Education (ACDE). Mpine has published extensively in Open Distance Learning related fields.
Dan Remenyi is an Extraordinary Professor at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa and a director of ACPIL. He has worked at 10 different universities over the past 30 years as a visiting professor where his main interest has been in the sociology of research. He has also acquired an interest in how universities function as educational and research organisations.
Shawren Singh is an Associate Professor in the School of Computing at the University of South Africa, the largest university on the African continent. He has spent more than 20 years teaching and researching in the Information Systems space.

For further information contact