About the Conference
Best Paper Award
Best Practices of Flexible Learning Award Competition
Keynote speakers
Important dates
Call for papers
Submission of abstracts and papers
About Hong Kong
Sponsor and supporters
Contact information
Past conferences
Open and Innovative Education Week
Keynote Speakers
Title: Open and Flexible Pedagogies: The Changing Role of Teachers in the 21st Century  


Prof. Wing On Lee
Vice President (Administration & Development)
The Open University of Hong Kong

Prof. Wing On Lee is a Vice-President and Chair Professor of Comparative Education at the Open University of Hong Kong. He has 20 years of senior management experience in higher education. Prior to his current appointment, he had served as Dean of Education Research at National Institute of Education, Singapore (2010-2014). He has also previously served at Hong Kong Institute of Education as Vice President (Academic) & Deputy to President, Acting President and Chair Professor of Comparative Education, Founding Dean of the School of Foundations in Education, Head of two Departments and Centre for Citizenship Education. In 2005, he was invited by University of Sydney to be Professor and Director (International). Prior to his service in Australia, he had served at the University of Hong Kong as Associate Dean of Education and Founding Director of Comparative Education Research Centre. He has served on strategic committees in his public services, such as Chair of Research Ethics Board on Population Health for the National Healthcare Group and Conference Ambassador for Singapore Tourism Board in Singapore, and Education Commission, Central Policy Unit, Curriculum Development Council and Quality Education Fund in Hong Kong. Prof. Lee is a world-renowned scholar in the fields of comparative education and citizenship education. He has published 30 books and over 170 journal articles and book chapters. He is former President of the World Council of Comparative Education and has served as Honorary Professor in many esteemed universities, including the University of Hong Kong, University of Sydney and Beijing Normal University.

Keynote address

The notion of 21st century competences began merely as a thought at the time when it was first mentioned in UNESCO’S Delors Report (1966). Nevertheless, the continuous discourse, and the development of various assessment frameworks around the world seem to indicate that there is increasing buy-in of the concept, although the details and what counts as appropriate and robust measurements of this set of competences are still in a state of fluidity and will take time to consolidate. Voogt and Roblin’s (2012) comparative review of 21st century competences frameworks indicated that the various international projects on 21st century competences gradually converged into some common attributes to be required for the 21st century knowledge economies namely creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem solving, communication skills, collaboration, information and digital literacy, conflict resolution, and social and inter-cultural skills. If we take teaching these attributes seriously, it requires fundamental paradigm shift in pedagogies and teachers’ roles. Traditional education that focused on cognitive knowledge gave teachers an authoritative role of knowledge transmission. With easy access to information via the internet nowadays, knowledge acquisition has become less teacher-dependent. Further, as the expected learning outcomes are changing in the face of the knowledge economy, teachers need to reflect on whether they should continue their traditional role as “sage-on-the-stage”, or gradually shifting to the role of being a “guide-on-the-side” and “meddler-in-the-middle”.

Title: Open Horizons and Global Citizenship: The Disruptive Innovation of Collaborative Pedagogy

Dr Alan Bruce
CEO and Director
Universal Learning Systems
Dublin, Ireland

Dr Alan Bruce, a sociologist by training, is CEO and Director of Universal Learning Systems, an international consultancy firm specializing in research, training and project management. His extensive experience includes teaching worldwide, policy research for the European Commission in Brussels, as well as training and accreditation of vocational rehabilitation specialists for the disabled in Ireland.

He was National Coordinator (Ireland) of the EU Open Discovery Space programme. In 2015, he was elected as Senior Fellow of European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN), and became its Vice-President in 2010. In 2016, he was appointed as Visiting Professor in Global Education at the National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan.

Keynote address

The notion of global citizenship has gained prominence in international development discourse. Education now assumes an important role in resolving the interconnected challenges by teaching values, technologies, and skills that help transcend barriers and enable innovation.

For learners and educators, there is now an urgent need to re-conceptualize the environments in which one works and learns. Besides a profound re-examination of the nature and scale of learning in the globalized 21st century, the understanding of the dynamics of globalization itself is also needed as its impact on education and learning is highly problematic. Learning resources (course materials, existing terminology and subjects, and web-based learning) have been criticized for their cultural and linguistic bias. Nevertheless, globalization also opens up real possibilities for transformative learning, with which knowledge can be generated exponentially without being constrained by national curricula or vested interests.  New models of learning beckon global collaborations to develop a new pedagogy.