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AUS hosts international conference on Conceptualizing the Global University
American University of Sharjah (AUS) hosted the international conference Conceptualizing the Global University, May 3-4, 2014, which connected scholars from different backgrounds and interests to develop a series of frameworks for better understanding the changing university.
The global university has emerged as a new force in education through the delocalization of the site of learning. It is manifested in the growth of global network universities undertaken by various Western universities to enable students and faculty to study and conduct research around the world. It is also demonstrated in the spread of branch campuses in different parts of the world which, although by no means a new phenomenon, are increasingly used to generate not only profit but also prestige for both the university and the host.
The conference brought together scholars from the Middle East, Asia, Europe and North America who were interested in the ways in which universities have recently been used to contribute to national and regional development and are embedded in global transformations. The seven conference panels with speakers from American University; Virginia Commonwealth University-Qatar; Zayed University; University of Oran; Texas A&M University, Qatar; American University of Kuwait; and University of Dammam, to name a few.
The keynote address was given by Mary Ann Tetreault of Trinity University who spoke of "Managing the Local in the Global University."
According to Stephen Keck, Head of the AUS Department of International Studies, "This event has deepened our understanding of both the challenges and opportunities facing 'global universities.' We have had the chance to explore the ways in which global educational trends are affecting institutions in the Arabian Gulf. Participants in the conference have been excited because the papers investigated many of the key realities which shape the political economy of global education. What is at stake in these discussions is nothing less than the past, present and future of the modern university."
"This conference was an example of the important work AUS' Gulf Studies Center can engage in to study contemporary social and educational transformation in the Gulf," said Dr. Kevin Gray, Assistant Professor of International Studies, co-organizer of the conference, and Acting Coordinator of the Gulf Studies Center.
The conference was organized by the Department of International Studies in conjunction with the AUS Gulf Studies Center.