How does the university sector need to reimagine itself? How can technology drive learning that is as effective as it is engaging? How do we improve access, affordability, attainment? And who’s leading the way in the drive to transform the way we teach?
These questions will provide the focal points for the 2018 Wharton-QS Reimagine Education Conference – the fifth edition of QS Quacquarelli Symonds’s global forum for passionate pedagogical pioneers – to be held at San Francisco’s Grand Hyatt Hotel this November (29–30).
The conference emerged when QS’s CEO, Nunzio Quacquarelli – whose world-renowned QS World University Rankings helped to nurture a culture of independent university evaluation – met with Jerry Wind, Lauder Professor at The Wharton School of Business – to examine how their collaboration might help recognise university excellence in one prominent area left inadequately captured by rankings: teaching quality.
The answer? A global awards programme, sponsored by Amazon Web Services open to all universities, schools, and edtech companies, offering recognition and reward – in the form of $50,000 in funding – to those universities that are seeking to innovate their teaching practices, culminating in an international, intersectoral, interdisciplinary forum designed to examine the present – and future – of university education.
Since its inception in 2014, the conference and awards have exponentially grown in reach and prestige, with over 1,000 entrants at last year’s Awards, and the conference attended by representatives from – among others – Google, Microsoft, Harvard, IBM, Imperial College London, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
This year’s event will be no different, with confirmed speakers including: Jenny Bergeron, Director of Educational Research & Evaluation at Harvard’s Derek Bok Centre for Teaching and Learning; Sonia Ilie, Director of Studies in Education and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge; Carla Aerts, former Director of Futures at UCL’s EDUCATE project; and Cassandra Horii, Director of Caltech’s Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Outreach.
The conference’s aim is to offer more than just the panel discussions and keynotes that are standard fare at events of this sort, though.
“The intended remit of Reimagine is now to drive change, not just discuss it,” said Nunzio Quacquarelli, CEO of QS Quacquarelli Symonds and co-founder of Reimagine Education. “This year’s event will do so by offering a range of networking opportunities and faculty development sessions, creating a collaborative community whose footprint isn’t limited to a two-day event.”
For example, by bringing the edtech community together with university faculty, Reimagine is seeking to create mutually beneficial partnerships between those who innovate, and those who can help the innovators prove and improve the efficacy of their work.
“We’re inspired by the work done by UCL’s EDUCATE project, for example,” said Ben Sowter, Director of Research at the QS Intelligence Unit. “Four years and over 3,300 submissions have made it clear how much work is being done to leverage new technologies in ways that improve student learning outcomes.
We believe that, by ensuring that entrepreneurs have the chance to meet those who can ensure that their solutions incorporate academic rigour and contemporary learning theory, truly transformative pedagogy can arise.”
The conference’s high proportion of edtech start-up representatives also make it an ideal event for university CIOs, who will see 2018’s leading applications showcased on the first day of the event, and meet those behind them; and for university Deans, who will receive a global, interdisciplinary overview of how fellow institutions are incorporating new tech into their curricula.
Discounted Early Bird rates are available to all ET readers through till 14 September, and those wishing to learn more, and secure their place at QS’s premium forum for educational innovation, can do so by visiting www.Reimagine-Education.com.