FAUBAI’s president, Maria Leonor Alves Maia, recently attended the IEASA 2019 Conference, organized by the International Education Association of South Africa, in Somerset West, South Africa, on August 21-23. This time, the event was under the theme “Internationalization of Higher Education in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR): Innovation, Diversity, Inequality and Inclusivity”.
President Maia had the opportunity to participate in two planning sessions of the event, together with the directors of other International Education Associations: Esther Brimmer, Executive Director and CEO of the Association of International Educators (NAFSA); Mirian Carballo, representative of the International Network of National Argentinian Universities (RedCIUN); Phil Honeywood, CEO of International Education Association of Australia (IEAA); Maxim Khomyakov, Director of HSE University, from Russia; Michelle Stewart, Vice-president of the European Association for International Education (EAIE); and Giorgio Marioni, senior representative of the International Association of Universities (IAU).
The theme “Observations on the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Higher Education at different regions”, discussed in one of the planning meetings, has raised discussions on how, when, in which way, and who will be benefited by the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the world. Technology is changing human life in all aspects as well as patterns of production and consumption around the world by constantly connecting more and more people to the global market, and also by excluding some other people of this process.
“The Fourth Industrial Revolution has the power to provoke deep changes in the administration and pedagogical practices of Higher Education Institutions, and it needs to be analyzed carefully. We need to know what the path of this change will be and discuss public policies that encourage innovative practices and improve people’s social welfare, especially in countries with deep social inequality, such as Brazil. We need to find out how to take advantage of technological advances in order to invest in human resources and improve the commitment and social responsibility of the students”, said Maria Leonor.
In the session bearing the theme “Global Cafe: Leaders of international associations share what is currently happening in their associations and regions in an interactive carousel”, the leaders of each association were invited to sit in groups to deepen what was discussed in the previous plenary. The themes of major interest according to questions made to the president were how the quote system works in Brazil, the suspension of university funding by the Ministry of Education, and the Future-se project.
Professor Maria Leonor has participated in a parallel session along with Lavern Samuels, Director of International Education and Partnerships from IEASA, on the theme “The bridge established between South Africa and Brazil under the COIL Project”, in which they discussed the basis for the introduction of BRAVE – Brazilian Virtual Exchange Programme and FAUBAI initiative for discussing this subject with its associates, sponsoring capacity meetings and workshops under this theme in the last three conferences. The president highlighted the importance of the theme as a component of Internationalization at Home and the meaning it may hold for all those students who, for several reasons, might not have the possibility to leave their home institutions and have an experience abroad. She also mentioned three institutions associated with FAUBAI which are engaged to this project (Unesp, UFPE, and Centro Paula Souza – FATEC), whose experiences were shared during FAUBAI 2019 Conference, in Belém.