ABU assumes presidency of International Institute of Online Education for 2024

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Ahmadu Bello University has assumed the Rotating Presidency Unit of the International Institute of Online Education (IIOE) for 2024 with the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kabiru Bala, accepting the challenge with all sense of responsibility and pledging to do the best to move the institute forward during the period.

With its assumption of the rotating presidency, ABU is expected to closely collaborate with UNESCO-ICHEI and IIOE secretariat by providing strategic guidance and support for the development of IIOE and digital transformation of higher education in various regions.
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A statement from the Public Affairs Directorate, Office of the Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria on Monday, 11th December, 2023 said ABU’s selection as the 2024 IIOE Rotating Presidency Unit was announced during the International Institute of Online Education (IIOE) Global Partners Summit held at Shenzhen, China from 7th – 9th December, 2023.
The institution now takes over from University Putra Malaysia (UPM) as the IIOE rotating presidency unit for the year 2024.
The IIOE rotating presidency unit plays a crucial role in the governance structure of IIOE and it has been in place since its inception in 2019, rotating annually among partner universities in different regions.
Since the launch of IIOE in 2019, four IIOE partner universities have successfully served as the rotating presidency unit. These institutions are Ain Shams University, Egypt (2020); University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan (2021); University of Nairobi, Kenya (2022); and Universiti Putra Malaysia (2023).
In his acceptance speech, the Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof. Kabiru Bala, said that ABU was greatly honoured to be offered the opportunity to serve as the IIOE Rotating Presidency Unit for the year 2024.
“It is indeed humbling that you have found Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and myself worthy of undertaking this responsibility.
“We have accepted this challenge with all sense of responsibility and pledge to do our utmost best to move the IIOE forward in 2024.
“We will also strive to onboard more HEIs on the ever-growing IIOE network”, he said.
The Vice-Chancellor noted that the emerging digital technologies, AI, and other associated tools are already playing a big role in the digital transformation of higher education teaching, learning, and research.
“We must then be prepared to retool ourselves as teachers because as Carl Rogers said ‘The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change’.
“And as administrators, we must develop strategies and guidelines to ensure ethical, safe, and accountable use of these technologies and tools that will ensure equity, accessibility and inclusiveness.
“We must do all it takes to ensure that our students are competitive on the global stage and we can achieve this by working together, especially in the area of the use of AI in HE”, the Vice-Chancellor stressed.
Ahmadu Bello University, according to Prof. Bala, would work closely with UNESCO-ICHEI in 2024 to support all IIOE partner HEIs is developing micro-certification courses and encourage the HEIs to find ways of incentivizing them so that teachers could be encouraged to utilize them for continuous professional development.
He also said that ABU is already committed to collaborating with UNESCO-ICHEI to develop at least two micro-certification courses for teachers, stressing that the University would use the experience from the co-creation to develop micro-certification courses for non-teaching staff.
The Vice-Chancellor congratulated Prof. Jin Li on his recent appointment as the second Director of UNESCO-ICHEI and expressed hope that they would work together to further the spread and impact of the IIOE worldwide.
Prof. Bala also acknowledged the foundation laid by Prof. L. Ming, the first Director of UNESCO-ICHEI, saying that ABU would forever remember Prof. L. Ming for his strong commitment towards the progress of UNESCO-ICHEI.
The IIOE Global Partners Summit was rounded off on Saturday, 9th December, 2023 with enterprise visits to various places and sub-forum.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kabiru Bala, was accompanied to the Summit by the Director, IIOE Nigeria National Centre, Prof. M.B. Mu’azu; and Head of Department of Computer Engineering, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof. Adewale Adedokun.
The Ag. Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Mr. Chris Maiyaki, and African Centre of Excellence National Focal Point Leader and Project Coordinator, National Universities Commission, Dr. Joshua Atah, also attended the three-day summit.

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