The University of Jordan News Landmark Event at UJ Gathers Leading Scientists...
  • 01 - Jun
  • 2024

Landmark Event at UJ Gathers Leading Scientists from Around the Globe

By Suha Alsubaihi

In a landmark regional higher education event held under the patronage of Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh, the University of Jordan (UJ) inaugurated its First Honorary Professors Forum today. The event, marked by wide participation from esteemed academics and industry leaders, celebrated collaboration, knowledge exchange, and the university's commitment to achieving global excellence.

In his welcoming speech, UJ President Prof. Nathir Obeidat highlighted the forum's significance. "This forum embodies the spirit of collaboration and the pursuit of knowledge. We will explore strategies to elevate UJ to world-class status in research," said Prof. Obeidat. He emphasised that the discussions would shape the future of education at UJ, drawing on the invaluable experiences and insights of the attending honorary professors. According to him, the forum is crucial for fostering knowledge exchange and collaboration, particularly in university-industry engagement.

UJ Roadmap to Excellence in Higher Education

The opening session, titled "UJ Roadmap to Excellence in Higher Education," featured a panel discussion on "New Trends in Higher Education." Moderated by Former UJ Vice President Prof. Ahmad Majdoubeh and Dean of the School of Medicine Prof. Yaser Rayyan, the panel delved into innovations in teaching and learning methods and the role of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, in shaping the future of education.

Panellists Prof. Martin Hemman, Prof. Farhan Saif, Prof. Karin Sanders, Prof. James Haslam, Prof. Shahrokh Shariat, and Prof. Marie Hosey explored a range of topics, from engaging students actively and fostering creativity to increasing accessibility and promoting lifelong learning. They also discussed the critical need for adaptability and flexibility and the importance of producing curious, well-communicated, and professional graduates.

The panel underscored the necessity of globalised learning and the potential of new technologies. They advocated for a system where students could choose between distance and on-campus education, emphasising the need for robust assessment processes for distance learning. Discussions also highlighted the ethical use of AI and its responsible integration into education.

Entrepreneurship and Industry Engagement

The second panel discussion, "Entrepreneurship and Industry Engagement," moderated by the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center Director Dr. Reem Alfayez, focused on the intersection of academia and industry. Panellists Prof. Sumit Yadav, Prof. Krist Gernaey, Prof. Salah Amasheh, Prof. Beverly Glass, and Prof. Mansour Ibrahim discussed the benefits and challenges of forming partnerships between higher education institutions and industry.

Key topics included strategies for converting research into practical ideas, securing funding, and leveraging digital tools to enhance productivity. The discussion highlighted the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration and the establishment of offices for licensing and intellectual property, as well as the unique perspective of innovation and entrepreneurship in Islam.

Globalization and Internationalization of Education and Research

The second session focused on the "Globalization and Internationalization of Education and Research," moderated by UJ Vice President Prof. Nahed Emaish and Advisor to the President Prof. Rami Ali. Panellists Prof. Ali Diabat, Prof. Natasha Halasa, Prof. Salah Al-Zaiti, Prof. Thqif El Khassawna, and Prof. Gurel Cetin discussed how universities could better prepare students for a globalised world and foster international collaboration,  in addition to strategies and best practices of internationalisation from their perspectives.

They emphasised the importance of personal connections, technology, and study abroad programs. The discussion covered the internationalisation of research, the impact of cultural differences, and the need for soft skills and foreign language proficiency. The panel also considered the value of courses taught by international faculty and the importance of accreditation as a quality marker.

UJ: A World-Class University in Research

The final session of the first part of the forum, "UJ: A World-Class University in Research," moderated by the Dean of the School of Business, Prof. Raed Masadeh Bani Yaseen and Dean of Academic Research, Prof. Ameera Almasri, focused on enhancing UJ's research visibility and global impact. Panellists Prof. Nabil AlKayed, Prof. Mohammad S. Obaidat, Prof. Claire Anderson, Prof. Mohammad Raqab, Prof. Baker Ayoun, and Dr. Sarah Abu Arqub shared insights on the importance of international collaborations.

They discussed the importance of international research teams and the mutual benefits of cross-border studies, the importance of interdisciplinary projects and how they foster innovation, and the strategies involved in maintaining productive international partnerships while emphasising the role of young researchers in global collaborations.

The event featured two presentations: one by Prof. Nahed Emaish, highlighting UJ's position and progress in the international arena and global rankings, and another by Vice President Prof. Faleh Sawair, showcasing the university's research progress and achievements.