IIE: Celebrating 95 years of opening minds to the world

Qatar Foundation Third Annual WISE Education Leadership Program

for College and University Presidents

October 7 - 10, 2012 | Doha, Qatar

Read remarks from President and CEO of IIE Dr. Allan E. Goodman.

2012 WISE Program for Education Leadership Prepares Current and Emerging Higher Education Leaders from Developing Countries

The Qatar Foundation’s WISE Program for Education Leadership held its third annual workshop in Doha, Qatar from October 7 – 10, 2012. The goal of the WISE Program is to enhance leadership skills for new university presidents and emerging higher education leaders from developing countries.  Vice Chancellors, Rectors, and Presidents from twelve higher education institutions in eleven developing countries took part in a rigorous four-day training and networking program.  The countries represented were: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Iraq, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Palestine, Tanzania, Tunisia, and the Ukraine.

The WISE Program for Education Leadership was launched at the Qatar Foundation’s inaugural World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) in 2009 as a way to prepare current and emerging leaders in higher education. The Program is a platform for the transmission of experience and knowledge, and it reflects the intent of WISE to promote innovation through collaboration.  The International Association of University Presidents (IIE) and the Institute of International Education (IAUP), two of the Qatar Foundation's partners in WISE, are the organizing partners for the WISE Program for Education Leadership. Two other partner organizations in the WISE initiative, the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, supported the program through outreach to their higher education networks.

Building upon the successes of the previous two years, the 2012 WISE Program provided experience-based training through case studies, workshops, expert speakers and role-playing exercises. Experienced trainers, including current or former university presidents and leadership and strategic management experts, led sessions and offered some of their own insights and experience in an open and candid exchange with the participants. The key themes that were explored included: best practices in institutional management; principles of leadership and variety of academic leadership styles; establishing realistic institutional and personal goals; coaching and team building; decision making and managing structural change; working with governing and advisory boards; and managing academic personnel and resources. 

Even though the participants came from many different countries, the university leaders discovered that they shared many of the same challenges. These include the availability of human resources and funding, the relevance of the curriculum to the needs of the country, infrastructure, change management, and building capacity of teaching staff. Specific challenges that were addressed include: integrating information and communications technologies (ICT) with education to help a larger number of students, improving the quality of classroom instruction, expanding access to women, increasing the number of program offerings to meet demands and expectations of the job market and community, dealing with student and staff unions, and managing the unpredictability of funding.  Many of the represented university leaders were from countries that have experienced wars, coups, or are emerging from recent conflict.

In small group sessions and mock 'board meetings', the participating university leaders shared specific goals and objectives that they hope to address in the coming year. The goals were varied and ranged from increasing the number of faculty members , the number of faculty with advanced degrees, or the number of faculty engaging in research, to creating new degree programs, reorganizing research facilities to increase efficiency and effectiveness, and increasing the international reputation of their institutions.  The WISE Program trainers and mentors explore with them how to operationalize those goals and measure success.

The WISE Program for Education Leadership has resulted in a peer network of education leaders that facilitates communication and interaction on shared challenges and potential solutions. This year’s participants not only benefited from expert training, but will join the growing network of WISE Program alumni from around the world, and will be able to connect with these peers as they all support one another in seeking better lead their institutions to meet the needs of their students.

The 12 participants of the 2012 Wise Program for Education Leadership were:

  • Osama Sayed Ahmed, President , Alexandria University, Egypt
  • Fahima Aziz, Vice Chancellor, Asian University for Women, Chittagong, Bangladesh
  • Ezzeddine Bouassida, President, SFAX, Tunisia
  • Philipa Idogho, Rector, Auchi Polytechnic, Nigeria
  • Vasudha Kamat, Vice Chancellor , SNDT Women's University, India
  • Dominic Makawiti, Vice Chancellor, Maseno University, Kenya
  • Ibrahim Masri, President, Palestine Polytechnic University, Palestine
  • Sayed Ahmad Javid Mussawy, Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Baghlan University, Afghanistan
  • Idris Rai , Vice Chancellor, State University of Zanzibar, Tanzania
  • Rifat Rustom, Rector, University College of Applied Sciences, Palestine
  • Djeneba Traore,  Rector and University President, Université des Lettres et des Sciences Humaines de Bamako (ULSHB), Mali
  • Victoria Zarva, Rector, Berdyanks State Pedagogical University, Ukraine

The WISE Program trainers were:

  • Marwan Awartani, Secretary General of the Universal Education Foundation and past interim-president of Al-Quds University, Palestine
  • George Blanc, Emeritus Professor, HEC Paris, France
  • Wilfred Brewer, President, Performance Solutions Group, USA
  • Elizabeth Davis-Russell, President, Tubman University, Liberia
  • Fernando Leon Garcia, President, CETYS Universidad System, Mexico
  • Allan E. Goodman, President and CEO, Institute of International Education, USA
  • Jason Scorza, Secretary General, International Association of University Presidents


About the WISE Program for Education Leadership

The WISE Program for Education Leadership emerged from the 2009 World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) as a vehicle to provide first-rate preparatory training and a forum for the sharing of knowledge for educational leaders from throughout the world, especially those who have been newly appointed and are in developing countries. The participants are identified through the networks of WISE and are selected through an application process.

About the WISE Initiative

WISE is an initiative of Qatar Foundation, under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser, with a mission to address the urgent challenges and powerful economic, demographic and technological pressures facing 21st-century education. The annual WISE Summit brings together eminent decision-makers and thought-leaders from multiple sectors to generate dialogue, seek innovative solutions, raise awareness of the importance of learning, and inspire actions which will make a real difference to the lives of people across the globe. WISE is also a year-round platform and forum for the sharing of experience and best practices. Qatar Foundation's partners in WISE are: Association of Commonwealth Universities, Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, International Association of University Presidents, Institute of International Education, RAND Corporation, and UNESCO.