Linkages, Networking, and More


A Report on the 2023 QS Higher Ed Summit: Asia Pacific

by Dr. Noel Christian A. Moratilla, Deputy Director

Because much of the world is in recovery mode and has shaken off the pandemic restrictions, any opportunity to gather education leaders and advocates is nothing less than gratifying.  One such opportunity was the 2023 QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) Higher Ed Summit: Asia Pacific which had the theme “Creating the Right Outcomes: Universities and the Future of Work in the Asia Pacific” and was held November 7-9 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, Malaysia.  The event was participated in by various higher education institutions and industry partners in the region to discuss not just updates on the international rankings portfolio, but also the concerns of and challenges to higher education systems.  The involvement of UP and other Philippine HEIs was made possible by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in line with the commission’s mandate to promote education that is “(on a) par with international standards” (

One of the early highlights was the Opening Keynote by Tunku Ali Redhauddin, founder of Tech Malaysia.  In his message, Tunku Ali spoke of the need to underscore “local” contexts in the international ranking metrics, including the efforts of HEIs in developing countries to facilitate community development.

The plenary sessions provided relevant insights into such topics as international student enrolment, effective reputation management, and the part of HEIs in shaping sustainable cities.  The last one particularly struck a chord because of the increasingly pivotal role of educational institutions in ensuring sustainable development.  Consequently, it has become almost imperative for educational programs and activities to integrate at least one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Topics also included research partnerships, international students’ “expectations,” and the “community impact” of HEIs in terms of employability, sustainability, and knowledge transfer.  A parallel session situated Artificial Intelligence (AI) within the context of educational innovations.  While there are apprehensions about AI (it can undermine, for instance, such long-held academic values as honesty and integrity), it should still be leveraged in ways that will redound to the benefit of the various stakeholders, but most importantly, the learners. 

The Summit was a meaningful occasion to explore prospective partnerships.  Just as important, it proved to be a platform for exchanging information and arguments on the demands of 21st-century global education.