Post-event Report

QS-APPLE stronger than ever in its 12th carnation

The three-day 12th QS-APPLE conference and exhibition, themed New Directions in Asia-Pacific Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities, concluded on 24 November 2016 in Putrajaya, Malaysia. The conference was an outstanding success convening over 700 academics from 232 institutions in 39 countries – which was record-breaking. Participants exchanged their valuable knowledge, learned from the discussions and presentations, and networked in the most relaxed atmosphere. In addition, a total of 76 papers were presented during plenary and parallel sessions; and 67 exhibitors had the opportunity to showcase their universities’ offerings to the participants at the QS Hub – Exhibition.

“This is a unique conference enabling academics to ‘kill all birds with one stone’ – network and make contacts, improve your own brand, learn from experts and share knowledge. All conferences held by QS Asia are examples of ideal teamwork combined with advances in technology and knowledge as well as fun and creativity,” said Dr Svetlana Kuzmenko, director at North-Caucasus Federal University, Russian Federation.

Countries represented at the conference were: Australia, Bahrain, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, China, Egypt, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. The conference was warmly supported by the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education as well as the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Education Promotion Society for India (EPSI) as strategic partners of 12th QS-APPLE, which resulted in strong participation of educators from Malaysia and India.

The most sought-after activity at QS Asia conferences – QS Squared Debate – engaged the participants to discuss a controversial topic: A university without global aspirations should not be classified as a university! At the start of the session, 71% supported the motion and 29% were opposed. By the time the discussion had reached its end, the tables turned… supporters of the motion shrank by almost half, and those who were opposed to the motion more than doubled, making the final poll stand at 36% for the supporters and 64% for the non-supporters… interesting change of viewpoint! This could show how innovative conferences such as QS-APPLE can revolutionise global higher education!

12th QS-APPLE hosted three special guests from Malaysia: His Royal Highness Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra, crown prince of Perlis, Malaysia, who gave the welcome address during the opening plenary; Tan Sri Dr Noorul Ainur Mohd Nur, secretary general of Ministry of Higher Education, who delivered the opening plenary keynote address; and YB Dato’ Seri Idris Bin Jusoh, minister of higher education, who delivered the closing plenary keynote address.

Furthermore, at the opening plenary the 12th QS-APPLE Creative Awards ceremony was held. The gold award winners were: University of Surrey (United Kingdom) for corporate video, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (South Korea) for international print advertisement, University of Waterloo (Canada) for international student recruitment brochure, and University of Malaya (Malaysia) for international website. In addition, Education Malaysia won the best education booth design. The submitted entries for this competition were judged by a panel of academics from Amity University. To know about silver and bronze winners visit www.qsapple.org.

Like previous years, QS Stars certificates were awarded to dynamic universities that take their internationalisation seriously. They included City University of Hong Kong (5 stars plus), Kazan Federal University (4 stars), Manav Rachna International University (3 stars), Nguyen Tat Thanh University (3 stars), SEGi University (3 stars), Shanghai University (4 stars), Singapore Management University (5 stars), Taylor’s University (4 stars), Udayana University (3 stars), Universitas Islam Indonesia (3 stars), Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (2 stars), and VIT University (4 stars).

Probably, the highlight of the 12th QS-APPLE event was the launch of QS’s latest addition to its rankings portfolio: the QS University Graduate Employability Ranking, which was conducted during a 90-minute panel discussion featuring top-class speakers such as Ben Sowter and John O’Leary. There was also a session on the rankings of ASEAN universities, chaired by Ben Sowter, head of QS Intelligence Unit.

The 13th QS-APPLE conference and exhibition will be held in Taichung, Taiwan in November next year, in partnership with China Medical University and Asia University as joint organising partners.