Two of the co-founding members of the Global MOOC and Online Education Alliance have done well amid stiff competition for Times Higher Education’s awards for Asian institutions, with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) taking home the top prize for Leadership and Management Team of the Year at 2022’s THE Awards Asia while Zhejiang University made the final shortlist. All the winners were announced at a virtual ceremony on May 31, 2022.
Leadership and Management Team of the Year 2022 winner: Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore
A process of digital transformation and administrative reform launched at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in 2017 meant that when Covid-19 hit hard, the university was ready. “We were able to respond rapidly, prioritizing the safety and well-being of 40,000 students and employees while ensuring learning and business continuity,” the university explained in its winning submission.
The reforms, designed to ensure that the university was more focused on its stakeholders, have resulted in improved organizational effectiveness, better use of technology to enhance learning and collaboration, and more teamwork and consultation in the leadership team. Alongside other senior appointments, a chief administrative officer was brought in to lead change, and that role has since been elevated to senior vice-president, administration.
As well as transforming its technology infrastructure and administration, the Singapore-based institution also made a bold and powerful commitment to a sustainable future, the judges found. In 2021, it became the world’s first university to publicly issue a sustainability-linked bond, under a 10-year, S$1 billion (£564 million) medium-term note program. At the same time, NTU announced a new sustainability manifesto to guide its sustainability efforts over the next 15 years.
Judges said that NTU had “achieved an outstanding rate and quality of development in recent years and has become one of the global leaders of the sector”. The panel concluded: “NTU clearly showed that it is reflexively innovating in many areas. The pandemic has been handled well, and the innovations in teaching and learning are impressive.”
Leadership and Management Team of the Year 2022 shortlist: Zhejiang University, China
“Oscars of higher education”
In its fourth year, the event builds on the success of THE’s long-running UK-focused awards, known as the “Oscars of higher education”. This year as in 2021, the Asia awards received nearly 500 entries with submissions from 22 countries or territories, whittled down to 80 finalists.
The 2022 awards saw India punch above its weight, the only country with two winners. India also boasted the largest number of shortlisted submissions from any country, with 11 institutions in the running. Other top-performing countries include Malaysia, with 10 institutions, and China, with eight.
As this year’s awards show, universities’ response to Covid-19 is still high on the agenda. The winner in the Technological or Digital Innovation of the Year category, Thailand’s Burapha University, created a platform that allowed doctors to monitor more than 45,000 of patients remotely. Judges praised Burapha for its “timely and innovative response to the needs of hospitals” and for enabling the university’s teaching hospital to mobilize “hidden medical resources”.
THE’s chief knowledge officer, Phil Baty, congratulated all the 2022 winners for their success in a year that has seen universities continue to grapple with the fallout of the pandemic even as they adapt to other rapidly unfolding events.
Universities have never been more needed than they are now. That’s not a new sentiment, but it’s worth restating.
As the world works to recover from the Covid pandemic’s devastating impact, the countries that will be most successful in restoring the health of their populations, their economies and their wider societies will find accomplished guides to new and better futures in our higher education institutions.
This is the fourth year for the Times Higher Education Awards Asia, which have already showcased many wonderful examples of universities doing what they do best: adapting brilliantly to novel challenges. Throughout, their core missions remain the same: cultivating new ideas; helping students grow into productive and engaged citizens; working collaboratively to tackle problems locally, nationally and internationally; and contributing to efforts to build strong and resilient societies in which people can flourish.
There is no shortage of challenges, and geopolitical uncertainties threaten more upheaval, but the evidence in this brochure attests that Asia’s universities are equipped with the vision, resources and will to rise to any task.
I’d like to thank the judges this year, and particularly our esteemed external panel for bringing their talents to the process. With their experience and critical insight, they rigorously assessed nearly 500 entries – a mammoth undertaking leavened by the delight of discovering such a wealth of quality and innovation. The stories that follow are the cream of the crop. We found them fascinating and inspiring, and we hope you do as well.
Times Higher Education Awards Asia 2022 winners
Leadership and Management Team of the Year
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Workplace of the Year
Seoul National University, South Korea
International Strategy of the Year
Izmir Institute of Technology, Turkey
Teaching and Learning Strategy of the Year
Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China (Hong Kong SAR)
THE Datapoints Impact Award
Diponegoro University, Indonesia
THE Datapoints Research Improvement Award
Savitribai Phule Pune University, India
Excellence and Innovation in the Arts
Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan
Technological or Digital Innovation of the Year
Burapha University, Thailand
Outstanding Support for Students
Taylor’s University, Malaysia
Student Recruitment Campaign of the Year
Amity University Online, India