ASEAN Engr. Nestor R. Ong, Assistant Director of the Quality Management Office (QMO) and Mr. Vien Vic G. Flores, QMO Auditor, attended the three-day 13th QS-APPLE Conference and Exhibition, themed “New Directions in Asia-Pacific Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities” was successfully held from November 22 to 24, 2017 in Taichung Taiwan.

UST joined Philippine delegates from MAPUA University, Malayan Colleges Laguna, Lyceum of the Philippines University, Southville International School & Colleges, University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, and University of the Philippines Diliman.

As part of the program activities, Ong was chosen to provide a testimonial through video interview about the success of the conference: “QS-APPLE is a good avenue to internationalize among Asia-Pacific universities by providing valuable opportunities for networking, exchanging best practices, and debating the new development in higher education.”

Ong likewise co-chaired successfully the Track 5: Building A Global University Brand, Session 5.1: Using World University Ranking to Build a Global Brand, Session 5.2: Building a Global Brand through Student Engagement, and Session 5.3: Innovative Approaches to Building a Global Brand, participated by presidents, CEOs, academic officials and administrators from different Asia-Pacific universities.

With the upcoming QS-MAPLE (Middle East and Africa Professional Leaders in Education) Higher Education Conference and Exhibition, Ong was chosen as the co-chair of the parallel sessions committee under the Track 5: Building Recognition. The conference will be the 8th QS-MAPLE Conference and Exhibition, to be held in Manama, Bahrain from March 04-06, 2018.

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.

This year’s conference convened close to 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.

The 14th QS-APPLE Conference and Exhibition will be held in Seoul, Korea in November next year 2018, in partnership with Chung-Ang University.