Proposal Submission

QS Higher Ed Summit: Middle East and Africa 2022

Innovation enabling environment: Redefining education in the Middle East and Africa
1-3 March 2022

The Middle East and Africa regions are in a transformational period. Skills and labour needs are shifting, student demands continue to develop, and economies across the regions are maturing at a rapid pace, influenced by a myriad of internal and external factors. Powering these developments is a renewed focus on innovation and its importance in meeting societal needs.

The 2022 QS Higher Ed Summit: Middle East and Africa explore how innovation is being pushed by higher education, the business community, and students. Under the theme Innovation enabling environments, the summit considers what innovation means, the ways it can be fostered, and its importance in addressing shifting and overlapping priorities at a country and regional level.

Leaders from both regions and the world will discuss how to create an environment that empowers innovation through measures such as institutional and industry partnerships, the development of pedagogy and research priorities, and the challenges that need to be addressed.

The deadline to submit your proposal is 7 February 2022

Proposals will be evaluated on how well they fit within the theme and applicants will be informed about the outcome of the evaluation by 10 February 2022.

Tracks and Topics

Prior to the pandemic, opportunity gaps were beginning to develop within the Middle East and Africa, as the education and work landscapes quickly adapted to new paradigms. The rise of awareness in issues around inequality, such as limited access to education and precarious work, was spurred on by the UN’s SDGs. The pandemic has pushed back some of the progress made, and increased the level of uncertainty.

How can universities plan for and address further uncertainty? What are the immediate, medium-term, and long-term priorities for education? What can be learnt from other regions of the world? Where can collaboration address these concerns? What should be included in an institution’s strategic planning?

Universities’ research agendas are increasingly being influenced by measures designed to maximise broader community and social good. This poses both challenges and opportunities when setting their research directions. Why should research and development focus on societal impact and be rooted in sustainability? In which directions are research and development heading? Who are the current stakeholders and decision-makers, and who should be included in the conversation to expand societal impact?

Public-private partnerships continue to be a desired outcome for both universities and industry. Stakeholders in the region, however, have expressed concerns over universities’ ability to illustrate their outcomes to potential industry partners. The gap between academia and industry poses other risks, such as skills and worker needs. How can the gap between industry and academia be bridged? What are best-case examples of how it has been achieved? Why is bridging the gap important and how can it help avoid other long-term challenges? What can the industry learn from academia and vice versa?

As innovation continues to ramp up and needs develop, a significant challenge for educators is ensuring their curriculums remain relevant not only for today but also for the future. New methods, such as the rise of branch campuses in the region, which have been particularly successful, pose opportunities to create an environment that futureproofs learning. Building access to education also allows for new cohorts of students to enter university and benefit from its transformational possibilities. How can universities futureproof their learning environments? What is the role of internationalisation and international collaboration? What trends should universities be aware of in developing learning methods?

Information for Presenters

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Submissions by non-academic institutions

Kindly note that there has been a revision in our submission policies. If a non-academic institution would like to present a paper at our conferences, please send in your enquiry to and we will forward this to our conference chair for their consideration.

*Do note that there will be presenter fee applicable for non-academic institution.

Multiple submissions by academic institutions

All proposers of the said event are to abide to the following

  • Each approved presenter will only be scheduled to a single presentation slot in the program

  • Each institution is allowed up to three approved presentation slots, of which are to contain three different presenters.

The above policy has been put in place to ensure the delivery of a varied informative and well-tailored presentations by diverse prominent presenters of the global higher education sector.