According to the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP), the last ten years have witnessed the most dramatic assault on the nature, character and operations of University systems globally. Its leaders have had to confront challenges brought about by technology, social and political unrest, climate change and severe economic pressures. In addition, politicians, decision-makers, and other stakeholders have questioned the relevance of university education. Many University leaders have struggled to keep pace with these changes as information technology has disrupted time-tested models of teaching, learning and conducting research. Security challenges have impacted us negatively, and the coronavirus pandemic has reshaped our campus life as we know it.
As valued social bodies, Universities have a substantial role to play in times of crisis. Fulfilling this responsibility takes a dedicated, resilient, and capable workforce. Fortunately, while the scale of these disruptions is significant, so is the willingness and determination of managers and operators of the system to innovate and weather the storm. Being an academic leader is a tough job, and leading higher learning institutions is challenging and changing in this current scenario. From shrinking budgets, rise in public scrutiny and students' expectations to massification, cross-border education and increased commercialisation, responsibilities continue to grow for academic leaders.
This Investment Forum invites us to re-think some of our approaches to Institutional, organizational and individual business opportunities in our Universities in the face of the above-noted challenges. It seeks to address several value-based systems to help University leaders in particular and the community in in general to prepare for a more sustainable and resilient future and grow new Value Creation from existing opportunities. The core objectives of the Forum will encompass; how to leverage sustainable ecosystem engagement to improve stakeholder Value; How to navigate new business and funding models in the age of Industry 4.0; How to use blended finance to address specific infrastructure challenges on campuses; To unlock assets within the context of the circular economy and promote projects that will add value to our domestic economy, employ labour, conserve foreign exchange and contribute towards mitigating climate and environmental degradation; Understanding of global macroeconomic trends and trajectories; identify the critical digital enablers and assets that universities can draw from to improve their bottom line.
Outline of Content and Delivery Methods
Over the three working days of the Forum, content delivery will be in three modes, namely
(A) Facilitated Action Learning Presentations and Discussions,
(B) Experience Sharing sessions and theme-specific interactive sessions, and
(C) Pitch Deck presentations, Case Studies and Discussions. We propose to pool together experienced and motivational resource persons who will guide participants to gain new insights and mindsets on how to lead their universities and deliver on their mandates of attaining investment excellence.
Investment Theme: Unlocking Investment Opportunities in Infrastructure Provisioning and the Circular Economy for African Universities.