So many questions, indeed, need answers. This workshop aims to congregate higher education scholars, key decision makers and policy makers, practitioners, researchers, graduate students, and those who are interested in contributing to the above-mentioned discourses. It will, hopefully, surface a range of ideal, realistic, and practical strategies and collaborative actions among the participants from various corners of the globe and backgrounds who are interested in Gulf affairs, in particular, in the issue of COVID-19 pandemic and its ramifications in a range of issues and challenges in Gulf higher education. Any intellectually passionate and methodologically curious individual from the Gulf region and beyond is welcome in this workshop.
Contribution of the Workshop
This workshop aims to make a modest contribution to the field of Gulf studies, such as the following:
1. Edited Book
A significant outcome of the workshop shall be an edited book. During the Gulf Research Meeting 2019, we directed a workshop on higher education in the Gulf with papers that focused in Oman and Saudi Arabia. A number of our participants were non-Gulf scholars and researchers whose works were centred on Gulf studies. Through our sustained passion and motivation as well as guidance and support from the Gulf Research Centre Cambridge (GRCC), Routledge/Taylor & Francis published the selected papers from our workshop as an edited book (ISBN 9781032004365; e-ISBN 9781003174172). We envisage the same scenario during the GRM 2022 – hopefully, we shall have submissions that will merit another edited book (higher education reforms vis-à-vis COVID-19 pandemic at the core of submissions), which is anticipated to be the second volume of our earlier publication (pre-pandemic). This edited book will be a useful and modest reference material on the challenges in the COVID environment and how these interlace with higher education reforms in the Gulf.
2. Extended Theorizing and Problematization
The workshop also serves as an ideal platform for scholars, academics, researchers, and educational leaders and quality education specialists to reframe, remodel, and reconstruct knowledge and practices on higher education reforms in the Gulf. With the COVID-19 pandemic embedded in the higher education landscape of the GCC countries, there is an urgent need for the academic, research, and other communities (e.g., shareholders, graduate students, private entities) to converge and problematize how COVID-19 shapes educational reforms and transforms HEIs in the Gulf.
3. Multi/Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue
The workshop expects to attract contributors from the Gulf and around the globe with multi/cross-disciplinary backgrounds. The participants’ specializations may stretch from various academic and research disciplines but they are united by a common interest: to explore how COVID- 19 pandemic drives higher education reforms in the Gulf. The workshop hopes to contribute to the brewing dialogues around the world and the region on “matters that matter” in higher education, such as the challenges of COVID-19, how to buoy up quality education and keep HEIs in the Gulf at par with the world’s best, and other higher education initiatives. Dialogues, conversations, and dialectical discourses are urgently needed in order to address the ramifications of the pandemic in higher education in the Gulf, and hopefully, this workshop serves as an ideal ecosystem for such purpose.
The following participants are welcome in this workshop: higher education (HE) academics and consultants, HE leaders, managers, and administrators, HE policy makers and decision-makers, PhD researchers and other graduate/postgraduate students, private individuals interested in HE in the Gulf, QA and quality education specialists, and strategists interested in the impact of COVID-19 in Gulf HE reforms.
Draft of Workshop Agenda
* Note: If there will be 13 paper presenters, the last three sessions (presentations 11, 12, and 13) will be conducted virtually in the workshop venue itself. In-person closing ceremonies will follow thereafter. The program agenda will be adjusted accordingly if there will be more than 13 paper presenters. For instance, the sessions will continue until Day 3 (half day of 16 July 2021) or compress the schedule to fit all papers in two full days, whichever is practicable.
We had a publication engagement with Routledge/Taylor & Francis when we directed a workshop during the GRM 2019. Thus, we are humbly obliged to capitalize on a similar experience (from proposal development to peer reviews, from proposal revision to manuscript editing/proofreading, from communication and follow-ups with contributors to contract review and coordination with GRCC until the publication stage) as Workshop Directors for GRM 2022.
Acknowledgment of and Agreement with the Workshop Director and Publication Guidelines
“We hereby acknowledge that we have downloaded and read the Workshop Director and Publication Guidelines and do express our agreement with all the provisions in the said guidelines.” – Reynaldo Gacho Segumpan and John McAlaney
International Association of Universities (2021). COVID-19: Higher Education challenges and responses. Available in https://www.iau-aiu.net/COVID-19- Higher-Education-challenges-and-responses.
International Association of Universities (2021). Regional/National Perspectives on the Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education. Available in: https://www.iau- aiu.net/IMG/pdf/iau_covid19_regional_perspectives_on_the_impact_of_covid- 19_on_he_july_2020_.pdf.
Martin-Barbero, S. (2020). COVID-19 has accelerated the digital transformation of higher education. Available in: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/07/ covid-19-digital-transformation-higher-education/.
UNESCO (2021). New UNESCO global survey reveals impact of COVID-19 on higher education. Available in: https://en.unesco.org/news/new-unesco-global- survey-reveals-impact-covid-19-higher-education.
Warn, J., & Tranter, P. (2001). Measuring quality in higher education: A competency approach. Quality in Higher Education, 9(3), 191-198.