Miri – 3 December 2015 – 72 higher education teaching and learning specialists convened at the 3rd International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Conference (HETL 2015) at Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) recently.
It was jointly organised by the Office of Teaching and Learning at Curtin Sarawak and Curtin Teaching and Learning at Curtin University’s main campus in Perth, Western Australia.
Themed ‘Rethinking Assessments for Student Engagement and Learning’, the conference provided university leaders, educators, experts, and scholars, both regionally and internationally, the opportunity to share innovative ideas on key issues and trends in higher education development, particularly in the area of assessment.
Education pedagogies and practices; formative, summative, and authentic assessments; scholarship of teaching and learning; transnational education and internationalisation; and learning and teaching with technologies were among the topics covered during the 2-day conference.
The conference delegates included deans and directors of teaching and learning from the Curtin Perth campus and academics from both private and public institutions of higher learning in Malaysia and overseas.
Among the conference’s speakers was Professor Cees van der Vleuten, Professor of Higher Education, University of Maastricht, whose keynote on the first day elucidated developments in higher education assessments over a period of time.
Professor Julianne Reid, Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Teaching and Learning, Curtin University, highlighted the aspirations and contributions of Curtin University in the digital learning space.
Day two of HETL 2015 saw Professor Zainal Ariffin Ahmed of the Malaysian Academy of Sciences, a renowned Malaysian speaker and professor, highlighting high-impact learner engagement best practices from the Malaysian higher education perspective.
Final keynote speaker Professor Sue Fyfe, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Health Sciences Research and Graduate Studies at Curtin University, meanwhile, spoke about pedagogies of engagement, focusing on the ‘flipped classroom’ methodology.
In her welcoming speech, conference convenor and Curtin Sarawak’s Dean of Teaching and Learning, Associate Professor Beena Giridharan, highlighted that Malaysia featured the highest among top five countries for transnational education.
“Malaysia’s aspirations to become a regional hub for higher education in Southeast Asia may see larger cohorts of students, both domestic and international, enrolled in higher education at international offshore branch campuses,” she said.
“At Curtin University, distributed learning systems enable students to work interactively with their peers and faculty across campuses to develop professional capacities. We are committed to aligning learner needs with the requirements of industry and the professions,” she added.
Meanwhile, Pro Vice-Chancellor and President of Curtin Sarawak, Professor Jim Mienczakowski, commented that Curtin Sarawak is recognised for its academic quality and teaching excellence, research innovations, international outreach and outstanding community engagements through rating systems like Malaysia’s SETARA and D-SETARA.
He said Curtin Sarawak, Curtin University’s largest international campus, was proud to host HETL 2015 and that engaging in more interchange of views and practices among academics in higher education will, ideally, lead to students who are able to demonstrate better employability skills and an increased awareness of the world around them.
科廷大学（澳洲大学马来西亚分校） Curtin University Sarawak Malaysia