British Council Going Global conference – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2018.



I was super honoured for the opportunity to speak on the closing plenary of the ‘Going Global 2018 conference’. It was a great platform to share my thoughts on the future of work and education with over 1,000 leaders from international education ministries and vice-chancellors from across 50 countries.

Education can no longer be business as usual …Universities need to think of innovative and creative ways to keep upwith the pace of technological accelerations. The mode and content of teaching need to change to reflect the needs of our time and there needs to be stronger alignment with industry to ensure that students are truly being equipped with relevant skills.

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As for young people, our understanding of education needs to evolve as degrees alone can no longer suffice. We need to make a deliberate commitment to lifelong learning – that is constantly acquiring new skills, knowledge and exposure to enable us compete in today’s world. Indeed, the internet has made things easier – with just a click on your computer, we can take free courses of sites such as coursera, Edx etc. so there is really no excuse to have redundant skills!! We need to take charge and own our careers…

Off course, I am fully aware that not everyone has such access and that is why I emphasized the need for a more inclusive conversation that recognizes the challenges faced by millions of young people in the global south especially young girls – for many of whom, education remains a luxury. Therefore any international education discourse that neglects this important geography and demography is incomplete!!

I was joined on the panel by the following distinguished young leaders from the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) region:

  • Dr Syazana Ebil, Education Officer, Institute of Brunei Technical Education, Brunei
  • Dr Abhi Veerakumarasivam, Chair, Young Scientists Network, Malaysia
  • Yinbo Yu, International Students’ Officer, National Union of Students, UK

Moderated by:James Chau, Broadcaster, Writer and UN Goodwill Ambassador, China

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