Knowledge Growth and Explosion and its Link to Digital Transformation in Arab Institutes of Higher Education – A Paper delivered by Dr. Hamdan Al Fazari from Sohar University

Knowledge Growth and Explosion and its Link to Digital Transformation in Arab Institutes of Higher Education

Dr Hamdan Al Fazari, the Vice-Chancellor of Sohar University presented a paper at the 21st Conference of the Arab Academy of Sciences which was held in Beirut, Lebanon on the 19th April 2024. He participated on line. The conference theme was “Higher Education in the Arab World: Digital Transformation’’.

Dr Al Fazari started his paper by highlighting the importance of the conference theme. He stated that it is beyond dispute that this subject has become a significant feature of the higher education landscape and it is worth the extensive examination which it would receive at the conference. He added that the theme of the conference was concerned with keeping pace with the developments of the twenty-first century in all aspects of human life; in terms of knowledge, technology and education, as well as in life skills and their daily applications. All of these factors result from the tremendous scientific advances, knowledge growth and rapid technological progress that the world is currently witnessing in all aspects of life.

Dr Al Fazari further mentioned that this conference would shed light on education and educational content in terms of the digital transformation of the Higher Education sector. He explained that it is common knowledge that technology has become the most important pillar of change in the field of education.  Artificial Intelligence systems and interactive platforms now govern knowledge. We draw from these and learn about the components of their virtual world. It is therefore necessary to focus on disciplines and applications that are commensurate with the cognitive acceleration we are witnessing today, and this requires those in charge of the education sector to review the policies, the plans for teaching and learning, together with their courses, evaluation methods and the characteristics of their learners in order to keep pace with these developments. Digital transformation is no longer a choice, it is a must.

Dr Hamdan Al Fazari concluded his paper by stating that the link between knowledge growth and explosion and digital transformation highlights the transformative impact of technology on the growth of knowledge in today’s interconnected and information-rich world and that the higher education sector needs to enhance innovation. He added that digital transformation in teaching and learning is a dynamic process that aims to harness the power of technology to enhance educational practices, empower learners, and prepare individuals for success in a rapidly evolving digital world and that the higher education sector needs to educate both educators and students. He further stated that acceptance of the knowledge explosion and digital transformation is essential for the future of the HEIs in the Arab states if they are to harness the power of information, technology, and innovation for economic, social, and environmental progress and that the higher education sector needs to provide the required resources, as indicated above, to succeed in the digital transformation era.