Post-event Report

13th QS-APPLE: A reflection on the growing importance of higher education in East Asia today

The 13th QS-APPLE conference and exhibition, themed “New Directions in Asia-Pacific Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities” successfully concluded on 24 November 2017 in Taichung, Taiwan.

The annual higher education conference was prefaced by a welcome dinner where we witnessed a remarkable opening folklore performance by student representatives of the various Taiwanese tribes. This was followed by the delivery of welcome addresses and a keynote from Professor Nigel Healey, Conference Programme Chair and Vice Chancellor of Fiji National University, Dr Wen-Hwa Lee, Chancellor of China Medical University and Dr K.S.Clifford Chao, Vice President of China Medical University. The Chio Tian drumming group also presented an eye-opening performance at the event.

This year’s conference gathered over 400 academics from 143 institutions in 30 countries. Participants not only gained valuable insights and shared the latest knowledge through the interactive and engaging conference programme, but also expanded their professional network through various social activities. In addition, a total of 69 papers were presented during plenary and parallel sessions, and exhibitors from various universities around the world had the opportunity to showcase their universities’ offerings to participants at the QS Hub - Exhibition. We are delighted to have exhibitors from Columbia and Ecuador joining us for the first time at this leading global event as well!

By attending the 13th QS-APPLE conference, participants are able to establish relationships with other universities and learn about the branding strategies needed to bring young universities to success. Excellent support is also provided by both the organiser and host university” - Mr. Crisostomo Malabuyoc, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Lyceum of The Philippines University.

Here are some of the event highlights for those who were unable to attend this year’s QS-APPLE.

During one of the keynote addresses, Dr. Clifford Chao discussed on the Artificial Intelligence in Medical Education and pointed out the need for educators to identify with artificial intelligence (AI) and how this technology will alter the learning methods of future generations, so as to prepare students for the ever-evolving medical service paradigm. On the other hand, Professor Ping-Cheng Yeh talked about Gamification + Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Teaching & Learning, where he addressed some of the most challenging issues faced by educators today and shared his solution in keeping students engaged in class and making them motivated to learn. During his presentation, Prof. Yeh explained how his award-winning gamification scheme and other P2P schemes work for different courses and demonstrated the fascinating outcome from his students’ coursework.

At the inaugural QS Forum: Focus on East Asia, Professor Kingsley Bolton kicked off the session with one of the topics followed closely by many in the higher education sector across the globe today - the dynamic and high-performing higher education system in East Asia.

East Asian universities’ enrollment rate are amongst the highest globally, and this affected by the following factors (1) investment in higher education driving rapid economic growth in the region (2) proactive government policies aimed at the enhancement of leading research institutions (3) an ageing population placing downward pressure on university enrollment (4) heightened interest by the higher education institutions within the region to increase international student numbers to fill the demographic gap. A second panel discussion on the state of higher education in East Asia will be organised at the 14th QS-APPLE conference in 2018.

During the Colloquium, Professor Nigel Healey led the discussion about Leading a Young University to Success. This panel discussion gathered representatives of some of the youngest and most dynamic universities in the Asia-Pacific. Participants shared their experiences and strategies to succeed in today’s competitive environment within the higher education sector.

Marking the end of the event was the QS University Rankings Masterclass, a 90-minute panel discussion where participants learned about the latest edition of the QS Employability Rankings, its new methodology and the latest Scopus data presented by speakers such as Ben Sowter (QS), John O’Leary (Times Good Universities Guide) and Yoshiko Kakita (Elsevier). Lastly, the outcome of QS BRICS University Rankings 2018 was also released at the 13th QS-APPLE conference.

The QS-APPLE Conference and Exhibition 2018 will be held in Seoul, Korea in November next year, in partnership with Chung-Ang University.