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“Rethinking Education Amidst Global Uncertainties”

The 2nd UTB University Presidents Forum 2023 takes on the challenges of the new environmental, technological, societal, economic, and geopolitical global landscape described in WEF 2023 which reports the major risks and challenges posing threats to the global future as follows:

  1. Environmental: natural disasters and extreme weather; failure to mitigate climate change and adaptation, natural disasters crises; biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse
  2. Technological: adverse outcomes of frontier technologies; data fraud or theft; cybercrime; critical information infrastructure breakdown; digital inequality
  3. Societal: rising inflation; spread of infectious diseases; mental health deterioration; large-scale involuntary migration; misinformation and disinformation; employment crisis; erosion of social cohesion; cost-of-living crisis
  4. Economic: collapse of a systemically important supply chain; debt crises; proliferation of illicit economic activity; asset bubbles; rapid and/or sustained inflation
  5. Geopolitics: geoeconomic confrontation; terrorism attacks; ineffectiveness of multilateral institutions

As the new normal unfolds in higher education, sustaining vitality amidst a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous (VUCA) world requires macro-level strategic reforms that are borne out of an immersive rethinking interface. If stakeholders are to embrace the range of risk-driven reforms, the current operating models and structures in the delivery of educational programmes and services (Wallace-Hulecki, 2017) can refuel newer future directions. Hence, this forum will reflect on the milestones, examine the initiatives, and illuminate the way forward in Higher Education as advocates/key players envision advancing human interest, accomplishing societal goals, and making communities better places to live and work.

Date, Theme and Topics

The 2nd UTB University Presidents Forum 2023 will be held on 24 October 2023 in the International Convention Centre (ICC) of Brunei Darussalam. With the theme “Rethinking Education Amidst Global Uncertainties” the forum will feature keynote speakers and discussants on these topic strands:

Strand 1. Higher Education milestones. From the backdrop of the new era, IR 4.0, and SGDs, this strand consolidates the operating models in HEI management and administration and sieves the significant achievements, progress and development in the key areas of higher education institutions from the local, national and regional perspectives.

Strand 2. Rethinking HE initiatives. This strand lays out current and emerging educational efforts showcasing the various delivery modalities (i.e., technologically driven): challenges and complexities in the areas of academics, research, and community service, among others. Essentially, this strand highlights how these initiatives are responsive and inclusive to institutional and societal expectations.

Strand 3. Higher Education way forward/future directions. Based on the current outcomes and future directives of higher education, this strand provides an explorative platform for stakeholders to infuse sustainable inputs/strategies in furtherance of the directions and initiatives in higher education institutions.


The forum participants will comprise from the invited and interested participant-presenters of the UTB STE-CONNECT 2023.

Speakers and Panel Discussants

Keynote speakers corresponding discussants will be selected from the list of Regional and Local affiliates (letters of invitation must be issued at least 2 months prior before the event).

Programme of Activities