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Experts from 25 countries gather in Rome for RHE 2021 conference hosted by IE University and Luiss University to discuss impact of higher education on innovation

Reinventing Higher Education 2021 | IE University

This year’s two-day hybrid event will focus on higher education’s role as a global catalyst for positive change and innovation.

IE University and Luiss University bring together more than 35 experts and distinguished guests with backgrounds in academia, media, and the private and public sectors for the 12th annual Reinventing Higher Education conference, a hybrid event taking place online and at Luiss University in Rome on November 15-16. This year’s theme, “Global Engagement: Towards Responsive and Innovative Universities” evaluates the role of higher education in promoting positive change and innovation across society.

Since its launch in 2010, Reinventing Higher Education has provided a platform where educational leaders, student representatives and corporate players can discuss the status of higher education and collaboratively shape its future. This year, more than 35 international experts, distinguished guests, and student representatives will be attending from 25 countries to participate in various panels on the future of higher education and the challenges set to impact academia, government, and the private sector. Opening remarks will be delivered by Andrea Prencipe, Rector of Luiss University, Santiago Iñiguez, President of IE University and Maria Cristina Messa, Italian Minister of University and Research.

“During the pandemic we have attended an accelerated course into the future and for the future. As a higher education institution, Luiss University has learned that students must now acquire such skills as critical thinking, problem framing and problem solving, flexibility, to deal with unprecedented crises and challenges featuring into the post-pandemic scenarios. This conference offers a great opportunity to bring together academics, industry and institutional leaders to jointly reflect on innovative educational initiatives, ranging from enquiry-based approach to problem-based teaching to digitally-enhanced teaching tools,” said Luiss University Rector Andrea Prencipe mentioned.

“Now in its twelfth year, the Reinventing Higher Education conference has become a beacon for forward thinking academic, business, and government leaders who gather to discuss ways to collaborate and learn from one another and, importantly, plant the seeds of learning and innovation that will make a future impact on society.”
Santiago Iñiguez, President of IE University

“Without a doubt, the world has changed dramatically in the past two years and higher education will continue to play a vital role in fostering the entrepreneurial mindset and critical thinking necessary to create positive change in the world. At IE University, for example, we aim to leave space – both at the institutional and classroom level – for the outliers and the disrupters among us, because these are the individuals who will push the learning process forward.”

Andrew Jack, Global Education editor for the Financial Times, will moderate the panel “Towards responsive universities: the corporate perspective” that will include Francesco Starace, CEO of the Enel Group, and Francesca Bria, President of the Italian National Innovation Fund. 

Anne McElvoy, senior editor of The Economist, will moderate “Setting the pace for universities in the new global landscape” and discuss the digital transformation occurring in higher education with Raffaele Marchetti, Deputy Rector for Internationalization, Luiss University, (Italy), Valery Katkalo, First Vice-Rector, HSE (Russia), Alice Gast, President, Imperial College (UK), Patrick Awuah, President Ashesi University, (Ghana), and Ahmad Hasnah, President, Hamad Bin Khalifa University (Qatar).

The panel on “Open Exchange of Ideas, Diversity of Thoughts in Higher Education”, who will be moderated by Alessandro Speciale, Rome Bureau Chief for Bloomberg, will investigate how universities can ensure a plurality of views and nurture open-minded and inclusive graduates.

The second day of the conference will include activities including amongst student representatives from America University of Beirut, University of British Columbia, University of Edinburgh, IE University, and King’s College on how they envision the future of higher education and a presentation of the results of a survey they conducted on the topic.

Thomas Estermann, Director for Governance, Funding and Public Policy Development, European University Association (EUA) will present a study on the “Future of Universities 2030 and NextGeneration EU’s Impact”.

In addition, IE University Provost Manuel Muñiz will moderate panel titled “Responsive Higher Education: Towards Collaborative Initiatives” and discuss how higher education can mitigate external factors to enable cross border collaboration. Panelists will include Kate Vivian, Acting Vice President International Affair at Sciences Po and Nunzio Quacquarelli CEO and founder of Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).

The Panel n. 4 “Driven knowledge generation: research, excellence & impact” will be moderated by Barbie Latza Nadeau, Rome Bureau Chief for the Daily Beat – on-air contributor for CNN and will many Rectors from all over the world discussing the need for Universities, as do companies, to embrace the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), integrate them within the curriculum and make them the center of their research/innovation and community impact.

For more details on additional panels and speakers, please visit the program agenda here.

IE University aims to drive positive change through education, research and innovation. The institution offers a technology-driven learning ecosystem for leaders who make a real difference in the world through innovation, global vision, an entrepreneurial mindset, and a unique focus on humanities. IE University has a faculty of more than 500 professors who teach students from 140 countries on its master’s, PhD and executive education programs. IE University’s alumni network comprises more than 60 000 graduates in some 165 countries. More information is available at http://www.ie.edu.