Global connectivity

EMBRACING the digital frontier and providing its students with a personalised and borderless education experience are key features of Asia e University's (AeU) 2017 Strategic Plan.

AeU seeks to be one of Asia’s premier university in driving the digital frontier – to enable globally-connected education for the jobs of the future that makes a difference to the communities it serves.

Increasingly, AeU will provide opportunities for students to engage with the university and each other especially via mobile devices to deliver higher education anywhere and anytime and increasingly any size. Leveraging on the new Edtech, AeU will deliver market-driven programmes especially for the Asian market.

AeU President and CEO Prof Datuk Dr Ansary Ahmed said the new strategic plan is to ensure the university is at the leading edge of digital learning and he is confident that rather than being disrupted, AeU will continue to be ahead of other institutions in digital learning.

“Learning at AeU will be truly digitised to give an immersive personalised learning experience. In an age where the internet of things, social media and mobile devices reign supreme, we believe that is important for AeU to constantly innovate and embrace the appropriate technologies to reach out to our students and give them truly enriching learning.

“Today’s students rightly expect a premium learning experience which is user-friendly, self-paced, enabled and available 24/7 as they have come to expect in all other aspects of their lives such as banking and retail services.

“Students use a variety of mobile devices to socialise and to access information, resources and expertise, and have come to expect that access everywhere, anytime, and on any device,” he said.

He added that a highly accessible, mobile, visually rich and interactive digital presence would enable students to achieve at their own pace no matter where they are geographically, academically or where they are in their life or career stage.

Ansary said that, in this digital age, there are many and innovative new ways of doing business and universities should be no exception to this challenge.

“We are in a brave new world of higher education, where universities are no longer the sole providers of knowledge, and where content is increasingly ubiquitous, free and accessible to all,” he said.

“Learning has been unleashed from the previous constraints of time, location and expertise. The universities which continue to succeed will be those which embed digital opportunities in their work culture and that way, they enhance the student learning experience.

“These changes forces us to think about university credentials in a new way. For example, nano and micro degrees badging and to embrace the opportunities that they provide to deliver greater value in our own marketplace – and particularly to our students,” he said.

To push towards greater flexibility of learning, AeU addressed the challenges of making learning and teaching more accessible and flexible for those who seek to engage in learning whenever and wherever they choose.

“We use technology intelligently at every stage of our planning to keep the AeU community connected. We are at a very exciting time with the convergence of technology and education to truly change the paradigm of learning from being faculty-centric to learner-and learning-centric. We also have the power now to do things that previously were expensive,” said Ansary, noting that the cost of technology has come down by over 90%.

AeU’s commitment to drive higher education’s digital frontier manifests in a number of exciting ways. From new methods of learning to forward-thinking staff, technological infrastructure or exclusive global partnerships, AeU is constantly striving for new ways to improve the student experience.

“Today, everyone is talking about digitisation. Our students are also changing the way they interact with us, as they get more digitally savvy. How aptly, and quickly we respond and adapt will determine the fate of the AeU brand in the future,” he said.

Although the main focus is on learning and teaching, AeU also looks at technology as a way to improve support services. Besides an exceptionally well-equipped conventional library, AeU also houses thousands of online resources including academic books, journals, magazine articles, newspapers, encyclopedias and dictionaries. Students tap into these quality-assured and trusted resources whenever and wherever they are.

“At AeU, collaboration underscores everything we do. We place a high priority on global partnerships. We have formed partnerships with established, credible academic and professional organisations to provide world-class education to our students.

“These partnerships enable AeU to provide market-driven tertiary education that meets the needs of industry, and benefits the Asian economy,” he said.

He reiterated the focus is set to strengthen AeU’s presence in Asia by expanding its network of collaborations across the region to become one of a leading universities in Asia.

“Our graduates are our testimony. With over 11,000 graduates and cumulative student numbers exceeding 22,000, these figures speak volume of our capability to produce high-calibre graduates. Not only that, we have over 3,000 students taking our programmes at our collaborative learning centres abroad including those in the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa,” he added.

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