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MCO at AADO & ARELEN on challenges & opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the Arab region

11 October 2020

On 11 October 2020 David Lock, Secretary General of the Magna Charta Observatory, spoke at the international conference organised by the Arab Administrative Development Organisation and the Arab and European Leadership and Education Network on the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the problems caused by the repercussions of the coronavirus crisis. The event, conducted virtually, follows a series of workshops at which the challenges and opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for universities in the Arab region have been explored. The new element was Covid.

While in the short term the pandemic is disruptive and creates challenges of engaging with students, maintaining their progress and protecting their mental health, engaging with their stakeholders and society, ensuring quality and integrity in academic processes and research, and posing threats to financial sustainability, it also provides opportunities.

These opportunities come from responding to the pandemic in ways that enables universities to adjust their curriculum and pedagogy to fit more closely with the skills that employers will require as the Fourth Industrial Revolution take place. IT systems development can lead to greater effectiveness, and cost effectiveness in learning with the application of Artificial intelligence and diagnostics to guide students’ learning. New opportunities open up for internationalisation and research.

The challenges require universities to be learning institutions in respect of their organisation and processes and to challenge their current practices and values.

In considering, making and delivering all these changes in a time of great change and uncertainty, the values of the university are vitally important. Questions such as ‘Are these still the right values and are they still relevant?’ ‘To what extent are they understood and ‘lived’ by staff and students?’ ‘What needs to be done to enable the values to have more impact for achieving success for the university?’ can guide the university to make the most of the Covid disruption and become stronger and more resilient.


The MCO’s Living Values tool is one way of using values as a focus for development an details can be found HERE



Published on 13 October 2020