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U21 conference looks at transforming education

15 November 2012

Delegates at the U21 Educational Innovation Conference

The 5th U21 Educational Innovation Conference was held on 8 and 9 November, organised by the NUS Centre for Development of Teaching and Learning and International Relations Office. Hosted by NUS Provost Professor Tan Eng Chye, 34 overseas delegates attended the event, including Ms Lavinia Winegar Gott, Deputy Secretary General of U21 Secretariat.

Invited speakers talked on the theme "Towards Transformative Education in the 21st Century". The keynote presenters were Professor Daniel Bernstein from The University of Kansas, Professor Michael McManus from The University of Queensland, Professor Gary Poole from The University of British Columbia, and Professor Amy B M Tsui from The University of Hong Kong.

Prof Poole's speech touched on self-direction as a path to transformative learning, and Prof McManus spoke on new media literacies and personalised learning. Prof Bernstein looked at bringing breadth and integration to undergraduate education, while Prof Tsui gave her views on nurturing students to become global citizens.

Throughout the two days, breakout sessions delved into key topics raised. In these discussions, participants exchanged thoughts, ideas and best practices that would further address two of eight critical challenges identified by the Education Innovation cluster - namely, student engagement and the broadening of students' educational experience.

Led by NUS Student Ambassadors, the conference delegates toured the NUS University Town, before attending the welcome dinner hosted by Prof Tan at the Kent Ridge Guild House.

At the closing session, Professor Philippa 'Pip' Pattison, Academic Lead for U21 Educational Innovation Conference, and Prof Tan thanked the participants for their attendance. The latter also expressed hope that the new ideas surfaced will contribute towards transforming education within their institutions.