The International Institute for Higher Education Research and Capacity Building (IIHEd), O.P. Jindal Global University hosted virtually the annual 3-day global conference of the Society Of Transnational Academic Researchers (STAR) Network in collaboration with the Association of the Indian Universities.
This year’s conference theme, Higher Education for the Greater Good: Leadership and Institutional Resilience, focused on leadership, resilience, and equity in a post-pandemic world. During the inaugural session, the Founding Vice-Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University & Director of IIHEd, Prof. C. Raj Kumar stated, “We could not have chosen a better theme for this year’s conference because the global pandemic has fundamentally altered the way we have been living and it has challenged the entire world of higher education. One of the unsung heroes of the pandemic is the educators of the world, who have made extraordinary contributions to ensure that the learning project goes uninterrupted.”
The Global Conference is an academic conference and the premier annual event of the Society of Transnational Academic Researchers (STAR) Scholars Network. The conference travels to a new country each year. The conference aims to help academicians, scholars, researchers, and students expand their academic and social networks by building human-to-human relationships with scholars across the world, celebrating cultures, facilitating critical conversations, building global connections for research partnerships, and forming lifelong relationships.
The India Country Director of the STAR scholars Network and Deputy Director of IIHEd, Prof. Mousumi Mukherjee further stated, “We have also witnessed much resilience and innovation emerge out of this period of crisis. As the entire medical fraternity, social workers, teachers, students, parents and diverse professionals learnt to adapt to the ‘new normal’, we realized the value of higher education for the greater good.”
The conference programme included 50+ research presentations, 5 roundtable discussions, and 10+ thematic forum discussions. There are more than 300 members from universities, NGOs, Think Tanks, and government sectors from 37+ countries. One of the key attractions of this conference was the A Noam Chomsky Global Connections awards ceremony, whereby senior scholars and promising young scholars are awarded by the STAR scholar’s network each year followed by a keynote speech delivered by A. Noam Chomsky. Jindal Global Law School faculty, Prof. Shaun Star received one of the Rising Star Emerging Scholar Certificates.
Other distinguished speakers included Dr. Baburam Bhattarai (Former Prime Minister of Nepal), Dr. Joseph Burke (Senior Consultant, Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, USA), Dr. Pankaj Mittal (Secretary-General, Association of Indian Universities), Dr. Anil Sahasrabudhe (Chairman, All India Council for Technical Education), Dr, K.K. Aggarwal (Chairman, National Board of Accreditation), Dr. Rajesh Tandon (UNESCO-Chair in CBR & Social Responsibility in Higher Education), Dr. Joanna Newman (Chief Executive & Secretary-General, Association of Commonwealth Universities), Dr. Philip Altbach (Research Professor, Centre for International Higher Education, Boston College, USA), Dr. Lynn Pasquerella (President, Association of American Colleges & Universities), Dr. Dwan M. Whitehead (Vice-President, Office of Global Citizenship for Campus, AACU), Mr. Kurt Larsen (Senior Education Specialist, The World Bank) and Dr. Glenda Prime (Dean, School of Education & Urban Studies, Morgan State University).
The conference programme also included a Virtual Arts Exhibition and daily Virtual Cultural performances celebrating diverse Indian cultural traditions for an hour in the evening.