Call for Institutional Best Practices

The MENA Higher Education Leadership Forum (MENA-HELF) is one of the very few networks established in the MENA region to address specifically higher education leaders and decision makers from across the globe.

The Forum since its inception in 2013 has been providing a dynamic and engaging international platform to address latest trends, developments and issues pertinent to the sector; encourage the exchange of good practices and help identify and shape future directions and strategies for the sector.

Participants and contributors to the Forum involve higher education leaders, policy makers, and experts joining from over 60 countries.

The 5th edition of the Forum will take place in the beautiful and vibrant Emirate of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates from the 22nd to the 24th of March, 2022 under the theme “Re-inventing Higher Education Post COVID-19: Towards a Responsive Higher Education Eco-system “.

One of the Forum’s main objectives is to encourage the development and exchange of institutional case studies. Hence, to complement the plenary sessions, panel discussions and roundtables that will discuss how universities should re-invent themselves to ensure they remain relevant in the post COVID-19 era; MENAHELF participants are invited to submit case studies from their institutions in alignment with the forum theme and sub-themes.

The case studies will allow universities, colleges and other organizations to showcase how they have been re-inventing themselves and planning for the ‘new normal’, to share experiences and inspire new ideas among the forum participants coming from all regions of the world.

Topical Guidelines

The Technical Committee of the 5th MENA Higher Education Leadership Forum invites leaders of and experts from the Higher Education Sector to submit original institutional case studies of relevance to this year’s theme.

Submitted case studies shall demonstrate a clear alignment with the main theme and sub-themes of the Forum and shall provide lessons learnt that other institutions of learning can adapt for their own institutions.

Submissions of case studies shall be made against one of the following four streams. Authors are kindly required to specify the stream against which they are submitting their case study when their extended abstract is sent:

Stream 1| Re-inventing HE: New Pedagogies and Practices for Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The focus of this stream is on presenting case studies where higher education institutions have developed and implemented successful institutional wide innovative pedagogical strategies and innovations to transition from emergency remote teaching to meaningful online learning experience that will continue beyond the pandemic. This involves but is not limited to adopting pedagogical approaches that promote learning such as experiential learning, competency based learning, self-learning and deep learning; re-thinking student assessment; digitization of course content, developing personalized and integrated virtual learning environments that may rely on the use of data analytics, integrating education technologies such as the use of   gamifications, virtual and augmented reality and augmented reality, simulations, etc.

Stream 2| Re-inventing HE: Digitalization and the Future of Universities

The Digitalization phenomenon that has affected our daily lives has multiple challenges and opportunities for universities shaping their future in the digital age. COVID-19 has acted as a catalyst to speed institutions’ efforts towards digitization not only in teaching and learning but across all functions of the university including in student support, administrative functions, etc. In this stream authors are welcomed to submit case studies that address how their respective institutions have been addressing digital transformation within their eco-system from a system perspective including aspects related to strategies, policies, process and product innovation based on new digital technologies,  re-defining knowledge in the digital ages, shaping organizational culture, managing digital innovation, developing platform to support the university eco-system, etc.

Stream 3| Re-inventing HE: Internationalization and Research

Internationalization and university research have been facing unprecedented challenges as the globe continues to be confronted with COVID-19 pandemic. The economical recession caused by the pandemic, the cancellation of travelling and face to face scientific events and the impossibility to access research facilities has put a strain on non-COVID-19 related research. Similarly, internationalization which was heavily linked to physical mobility of students and scholars have been significantly impacted. However, while this crisis has generated a lot of challenges, it has also created opportunities for institutions to innovate and to come up with new models for engaging in research and internationalization. The pandemic may have transformed the way universities engage in both research and internationalization. This stream invites institutions to share their short plans, strategies and actions aimed at improving research and internationalization within the higher education institution post COVID-19.

Stream 4| Re-inventing HE: New Relationships between HE and Society in a Global Perspective

Universities are being forced to carefully reconsider their role in society and to evaluate the relationships with their various constituencies, stakeholders, and communities. They are increasingly expected to assume a third mission and to engage in interactions with local as well as international partners. COVID-19 has been an unpresented time where universities had to show their commitment towards education being a common good for society. Higher education institutions who have developed solid strategies and programs to demonstrate their aspiration of education by taking on social responsibilities during these difficult times are invited to share their case studies with our international audience.

Stream 5| Re-inventing HE: Micro-credentials and Digital Badges in Higher Education

The micro-credentialing movement is gaining momentum globally as more governments, universities and professional organizations are attempting to respond to the need to skill, upskill and re-skill the future workforce due to the powerful change forces of Industry 4.0 along with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Micro-credentials are believed to become the next new normal and universities may play a significant role in supporting with the re-skilling of the workforce. Institutions and organizations with good practices in the adoption of micro-credentials are invited to share their cases studies. Case studies may cover a wide range of areas that may including institutional and/ or national contexts (i.e. credentialing process, recognition framework,  quality assurance, etc.)

Submission & Presentation Guidelines

The focus of the submission should be a case study  of an institutional nature which has shown tangible achievements and could be recommended as a best practice. All submissions must be original and shall be in line with the overall theme of the Forum and its sub-themes.

The submission shall be intended to be a practical summary to improve practice rather than a formal, rigorous research paper.

The following are specific requirements authors shall comply with when making their submissions.

1. Extended Abstract and Full Submission Guidelines

1.1 Extended Abstract Submission

  • An extended abstract between 350-500 words shall be submitted to the Technical Committee via email at: [email protected]  on or prior to the 20th January, 2022. Submissions may be considered after this cut-off date if the Technical Committee is able to undertake the reviews and the author(s) is still able to manage the other deadlines.
  • All submissions will be blindly reviewed by the Technical Committee. Authors should allow 3-6 weeks for reviews to take place as these are done in batches. Authors will be notified via email about the decision of the Technical Committee and any comments that need to be addressed.
  • The extended abstracts shall be structured in a way that the purpose, findings and implications of the case study are clear and well described.

1.2 Full Paper Submission

  • The full case study submitted should typically be between 10 to 15 pages in length, excluding references and appendices. It shall be submitted in MS-Word format in a single-spaced, 12-point Arial style; title centered, in bold and all in capital letters; text and sub-titles aligned left.
  • The title page should be separate and should include the author(s) title, full name affiliation(s), country, and email information.
  • The case study itself shall provide:
    • Background of the institution(s) involved
    • The context for the case study -what trends does it address? The problem that prompted the initiative or the reason(s) why the initiative was undertaken with possible examples illustrated
    • The goals and outcomes intended to be achieved by the institution(s)
    • The actual implementation strategy/ plan
    • The results and outcomes which resulted from implementing the strategy
    • Reflections on lessons learnt on the topic (the last page ideally shall include a list of bulleted lessons learnt). This could also include recommendations (positive or negative) to other learning institutions wishing to implement a similar practice.
  • References shall adopt the Harvard Referencing Style and must be carefully checked for completeness, accuracy, and consistency.
  • Authors shall use up to 10 keywords to describe the case study; these will be used for web searches.
  • Figures and tables should appear within the text of the case study and shall be numbered consecutively. The figure or table number and description should appear left-justified in a 10-point size at the top. Legends should be short and define any acronyms, abbreviations, or symbols used.
  • Submissions of full case studies of those abstracts accepted shall be emailed to [email protected] on or prior to the 20th January, 2022.
  • All submissions are blindly reviewed and input will be provided by the Technical Committee for any amendments required.
  • Authors shall make any recommended changes or amendments to the paper and ensure the latter is submitted by no later than the All final manuscripts should be submitted by 15th of February, 2022 to allow organizers to allocate the paper and edit the proceedings. Papers submitted after this cut-off date may not be considered.
  • Selected papers will be published in Forum Proceedings.
  • Submissions that do not adhere to the submission guidelines will be rejected.

2. Presentation Guidelines

The authors of the selected case studies will be invited to make a 20 minutes presentation during Forum. Case studies which are not presented by one of the authors will not be included in the proceedings. The presentations are expected to provide concrete examples and perspectives to lay the ground for discussion with the audience.

Special registration rates apply to authors of approved case studies. When preparing for the presentation authors should consider the following:

  • Authors may use for the presentations of their case study Power Point slides or poster presentation as deemed relevant.
  • Every presentation is allocated 20 minutes followed by 5 minutes for Q&As managed by the session chair. No additional time will be granted if more than one author is involved in the presentation.
  • Authors of approved case studies shall receive additional information once their paper is approved on the date and time of their presentations and shall confirm their attendance via registering online.
  • All PowerPoint presentations shall be submitted by no later than the 1st of March, 2022. Authors shall also ensure that their registration is complete before this date.

Important Deadlines

Early Bird Individual & Group Registration

Prior 30th December, 2021

Abstract and Full Paper Submission Deadline

20th January, 2022

Final Full Paper Submission Deadline

15th February, 2022

Deadline for PowerPoint Presentation Submission

1st March, 2022