On July 7th 2020, the Office for International Affairs and Cooperation (OIAC) of Parahyangan Catholic University, Bandung, in cooperation with the ASEAN Learning Network (ALN) conducted an International Webinar themed “Surviving and Thriving Beyond the COVID Pandemic – Charting the New Normal”. More than 500 people across the world joined the Webinar which aims to provide new perspectives and insights on how to face the new normal, particularly in the context of Higher Education Institution.
The Webinar was officially opened by Mangadar Situmorang, PhD, as the rector of Parahyangan Catholic University. It was then divided into two panel sessions, with a keynote speech from Prof. Em. Dr. Chong Li Choy from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. At the beginning of his speech, Prof. Em. Dr. Choy stated that this condition is a difficult and complex time for us to comprehend well. However, this condition also grants us an immense opportunity to turn the world around and change the world through the decisions we may take.
“…I hope that we are able to understand that we are at the time that is extremely difficult and yet we are also at the time of exceptional opportunity to turn the world around for ourselves…,” said Prof. Em. Dr. Choy.
The first panel session was moderated by Sylvia Yazid, PhD. The first panel session invited Mangadar Situmorang, PhD from Parahyangan Catholic University (Indonesia) to share his perspective regarding the future of higher education post Covid-19. Aside from Rector Situmorang, Prof. Em. Dato’ Ir. Zainal Mohamed from Universiti Teknologi Malaya (Malaysia) and Rev. Fr. Aloysius Ma. A. Maranan, OSB from San Beda University (Philippines) also shared their perspectives and unique experience based on the experience of their respective countries and universities.
The second panel session was moderated by Fernando, S.E., M.Kom. In this panel session, Prof. Dr. Salleh Abd Rashid from Universiti Malaysia Perlis (Malaysia) alongside with Retno A. Ekaputri, PhD., from Bengkulu University (Indonesia) and Dr. Eaknarin Ruangrak from Prince Songkla University (Thailand) shared their perspectives and unique experiences on charting the new normal from the field of education, rural development, and agriculture.
The Webinar was ended with a question and answer session. During the session, Prof. Dr. Salleh delivered an intriguing perspective regarding the online teaching method, “…you (lecturers) can not be the main actor, you just be a facilitator, and use technology to accelerate learning…”
We hope that participants were fulfilled with perspectives, insights, and knowledge to face the new normal.