University College of the Cayman Islands President Roy Bodden joined some 40 other university presidents and rectors, as well as leaders of major national and international organisations and world leaders committed to higher education at the Global Presidential Conclave on the Future of Higher Education.
The conclave was hosted by West Chester University of Pennsylvania and the Universidad National (Heredia, Costa Rica) from 30 May to 1 June. Topics covered included technology and science, sustainability, best practices in higher education, globalisation and transnationalisation in higher education, and funding models for higher education.
The Presidential Conclave was an integral part of the International Conference on Higher Education, a biennial event at West Chester University seeking to build a sustainable future through global partnership in higher education.
Through the theme, “Knowledge Crossing Borders: Building a Global Future through Research and Innovative Practices,” the Presidential Conclave members met to develop global proclamations on the future of higher education. They also sought to address critical worldwide issues.
The conference and conclave featured an impressive line-up of speakers and presenters including Dr. James Ptaszynski, senior director of Microsoft Corporation’s World Wide Higher Education Strategy; Dr. Olman Segura-Bonilla, executive president of the National Institute of Learning in Costa Rica; Dr. Muriel Howard, president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities; Dr. Steinar Opstad, founder of the American College of Norway; and Dr. John Cavanaugh, chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
“Our topical presenters were extremely helpful in framing our discussions leading to recommendations for action. The fact that we were able to accomplish the goals of the Conclave is testimony to the hard work of all Conclave participants as well as to our commitment to empowering higher education to overcome the challenges we face as a global community.” said Dr. Greg Weisenstein, president of West Chester University and conference co-chairman. He continued, “Our recommendations for action across institutions of higher education will provide highly relevant goals against which institutions of higher education can measure their local and global impacts.”
The organisers are working on preparing conclave recommendation documents for dissemination. The published Presidential Conclave proclamations will ensure that the conversation begun during the conclave continues and that the agenda outlined in each proclamation is implemented.
Mr. Bodden said, “This conclave afforded me the opportunity to network, to benchmark what we are doing at UCCI with best practices elsewhere, and to exchange ideas and share experiences with international colleagues. These kinds of forums are ideal for small institutions like UCCI as they allow for interface with academics, intellectuals and entrepreneurs who would otherwise be inaccessible. In my case, I was able to establish networks which hold great prospects for the growth and development of UCCI.”