Call for Institutional Case studies

Dear Forum Participants, Colleagues and Partners!

The MENA Higher Education Leadership Forum (MENA-HELF) organized by the Center for Learning Innovations and Customized Knowledge Solutions (CLICKS) in Dubai, UAE has significantly grown over the years to become one of the leading platforms geared specifically towards higher education leaders and decision makers from across the globe. Since its inception in 2013 as a biennial event; the MENA-HELF has gathered over a 1500 higher education leaders and decision makers from more than 60 countries to discuss and debate emerging trends and developments, recent innovations, and changing demands and external factors influencing higher education.

It has also provided a vehicle to exchange and share experiences on various aspects of Higher Education and defined strategies to shape the future of the sector.

The 6th MENA Higher Education Leadership Forum organized under the theme “Towards a New Generation of Engaged Universities: The Need to Act, Adapt and Transform” will take place ‘in- person’ in the mesmerizing and vibrant Emirate of Dubai, United Arab Emirates from the 16th to the 18th of April, 2024 with pre-forum workshops happening on the 16th of the same month.

Call for Institutional Case Studies One of the Forum’s main objectives is to encourage the exchange of institutional ‘good practices. Hence, to complement the plenary sessions, panel discussions, debates and focus groups, participants are invited to submit case studies and discuss how their institutions are responding to diverse disruptive forces, adapting and transforming themselves.

The case studies will allow universities, colleges and other organizations to showcase how they have been transforming and re-inventing themselves and planning for the for a rapidly changing future. They will be able to share experiences and inspire new ideas among the Forum participants coming from all regions of the world and the wider higher education community.

Topical Guidelines

The Technical Committee of the 6th MENA Higher Education Leadership Forum invites leaders of and experts from the Higher Education Sector to submit original institutional case studies of relevance to this Forum’s theme and for tracks. Submitted case studies shall demonstrate a clear alignment with the main theme and one of the sub-themes/tracks of the Forum and shall provide lessons learnt that other institutions of higher education can adapt for their own institutions. Submissions of case studies shall be made against one of the following tracks. Authors are kindly required to specify the track against which they are submitting their case study when their extended abstract is sent:



Universities have a crucial role towards serving its community which has over the years been seen as one of its three fundamental purposes. More importantly, they are vital to progressing the SDG agenda across all four of their functions: learning and teaching, research, external leadership and internal operations & management. This goes beyond mapping existing SDG capabilities, to embedding sustainability vertically and horizontally across diverse communities of practice. For universities to perform their unique function as enablers of change, they need to simultaneously embrace their role as targets for and enablers of change, ensuring that they are role modelling the sort of approaches and impacts they want to engender. This track will discuss a number of crucial issues that include:

  • Sustainability and Sustainable Development Goals
  • Lifelong learning
  • Non-traditional forms of education (Micro credentials / stackable degrees)
  • University- industry collaborations
  • University- government collaborations
  • Service to society



Experts across higher education suggest that education should focus on developing student employability skills by developing more engaging learning experiences that build student autonomy. Curriculum must be continuously reviewed and enhanced to meet the industry rapidly changing environment. In addition, much has been said and written about the need to consider less structured curriculam and making room for more variety: calling for new paths, multiple streams, a wider array of credentials that will enable people to upskill and reskill themselves as needed and put those skills to work immediately. Topics considered in this track include:
  • Digital Education
  • Teaching Experiences
  • Transformative Pedagogy & Practice
  • Innovative Technologies for T&L (AI, virtual & augmented reality, big data & analytics, etc)
  • Assessment Theories & Methodologies
  • Curriculum Design & Development to embed the skills graduates need for the careers of the future.
  • Adult, Lifelong & Distance Learning
  • Interdisciplinary, Multidisciplinary & Transdisciplinary Education



There has been a misunderstanding very often about the role that research plays at educational institutions and the contribution it makes on teaching, students, the university and society as a whole. The trend has been to rely primarily on the use quantitative metrics to evaluate research rather than to promote impactful and meaningful research that promotes creativity and intellectual initiative and which is essential for universities to transform and engage with other industries and the society at large. This track will explore a number of topics on how institutions are promoting and nurturing creativity, innovation while leveraging on technological advancements.

  • Nurturing Creativity & Innovation
  • Knowledge Creation
  • New Models for Research Collaborations
  • Using Technology to deliver greater research impact
  • AI and its role in improving human intelligence, performance and productivity
  • New metrices for evaluating research impact



One of the key roles of universities is to provide an environment that supports your intellectual, social and personal development of its students throughout the university experience and beyond. Respecting the diversity of the student body, promoting equity, considering the value of envisioning universities as inclusive and safe communities that challenge discrimination, prejudice and the importance of proactive initiatives that help students to develop self-confidence and resilience is crucial to produce future graduates that will be able to excel in an unknown future. This track will discuss a number of issues pertinent to:
  • The student life cycle – transformation over the years
  • The hybrid campus
  • Designing meaningful and engagement student learning experiences
  • Widening access and participation through scalable student support services
  • Data analytics and its role in improving student retention and engagement


  • An extended abstract of 500 to 750 words should be sent to by the specified deadline to
  • Authors should specify in the subject line: the title: Abstract Submission: Track #.
  • Authors shall use up to (10) key words to describe the case study in their abstract; these will be used for web searches.
  • The full case study submitted should typically be between 12 to 15 pages in length, excluding references and appendices. It shall be submitted in MS-Word format in a single-spaced, 12-point Arial style; title centered, in bold and all in capital letters; text and sub-titles aligned left.
  • The title page should be separate and should include the author(s) title, full name affiliation(s), country and email information.
    The case study itself shall provide:
    – A background of the institution(s) involved
    – The context for the case study -what trends does it address? The problem that prompted the initiative or the reason(s) why the initiative was undertaken with possible examples illustrated
    – The goals and outcomes intended to be achieved by the institution(s)
    – The actual implementation strategy/ plan
    – The results and outcomes which resulted from implementing the strategy
    – Reflections on lesson learnt on the topic (the last page ideally shall include a list of bulleted lessons learnt). This could also include recommendations (positive or negative) to other learning institutions wishing to implement a similar practice.
  • References shall adopt the Harvard Referencing Style and must be carefully checked for completeness, accuracy and consistency.
  • Figures and tables should appear within the text of the case study and shall be numbered consecutively. The figure or table number and description should appear left-justified in 10-point size at the top. Legends should be short and define any acronyms, abbreviations or symbols used.
  • Submissions of full case studies of those abstracts accepted shall be emailed to by no later than the set deadline indicated below.
  • All submissions are blindly reviewed and input will be provided by the Technical Committee for any amendments required.
  • Authors shall make any recommended changes or amendments to the case study as requested by the Technical Committee and ensure the latter is submitted by no later than deadline for final manuscripts submissions (mentioned below) to allow organizers to allocate the case study. Papers submitted after this cut-off date may not be considered.
  • Accepted case studies will become part of the program once author(s) registration is completed.
  • Submissions that do not adhere to the submission guidelines will be rejected

2. Presentation Guidelines

  • The authors of the accepted case studies will be invited to make a (15) minutes presentation during Forum.
  • Case studies which are not presented by at least one of the authors will not be included in the program of the event. 
  • The presentations are expected to providen concrete examples and perspectives to lay the ground for discussion with the audience. 
  • When preparing for the presentation authors should consider the following:
    – Authors may use for the presentations of their case study Power Point slides or poster presentation as deemed relevant.
    – Every presentation is allocated 15 minutes followed by Q&As managed by the session chair.
    – No additional time will be granted if more than one author is involved in the presentation.
  • Authors of approved case studies shall receive additional information once their paper is approved on the date and time of their presentations and shall confirm their attendance via registering online.
  • All PowerPoint presentations shall be submitted as per the below deadline.
  • Author(s) shall also ensure that their registration is complete before 1st of March, 2024. Discounted registration fee applies to authors of case studies.

Important Deadlines

Extended Abstract Submission Deadline
1st November, 2023

Full Paper Submission Deadline
25th December, 2023

Final Full Paper Submission Deadline
25th January, 2024

Deadline for PowerPoint Presentation Submission
1st March, 2024