LSME successfully held its 8th Annual International Research Conference on the 26th and 27th of August 2021. The theme for this year was ‘Sustainable Development and Education’ and this is the second successful online conference due to the restrictions posed by the Covid-19 Pandemic. Over one thousand researchers registered their interest and after careful selection of relevant papers, a total of 225 participants and 70 presenters 16 countries attended the event.
The conference was held with an Inaugural, a Valedictory, two Keynote Sessions and a Special Lecture with ten Parallel Sessions for the presentation of research papers over the two days. The research papers presented covered relevant academic disciplines including Education, Business Management, Social Sciences, Pure and Life Sciences, Economics, Mathematical Sciences and Languages under the broad theme of Responsible Research and Innovations (RRI) with major highlights on sustainable development and education to enrich participants with research expertise encompassing the significance of education. Sustainable development has taken on a global dimension and it is imperative to discuss positive approaches towards inculcating best educational practices, including examining the role of research in promoting promote social justice, inclusion and equity; and influence on policy and practice.
The conference was inaugurated by the Lord Sheikh of the House of Lords, UK and among the Guests of Honour were Lady Sheikh, Chief of Protocol of Government of Nepal, H.E. Dr Durga Bahadur Subedi, Prof Rajan Welukar, Vice Chancellor of Auro University, India, Professor Petra Molthan-Hill of the Nottingham Trent University and Dr Peter Gray of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway.
In the inaugural ceremony, the Chairperson of the Conference, Professor Stephen McKinney of the Glasgow University stressed the need to explore how education can help us respond to some of the serious global challenges that we are facing in this period and other topics such as the educational response to the aftermath of the effects of Covid-19 and the era of restrictions and lockdowns.
In his welcome address, Dr Ravi Kumar, the Executive Director of LSME and Conference Convener highlighted the importance of Democratic Participation in Educational Process & Sustainable Development. He said “This is an extremely vital and useful topic to discuss, given the current political climate and changes going on around the globe. Building knowledge of sustainability is fundamental to our teaching strategy since LSME became a Signatory to the UN Principle of Responsible Management Education and we as an institution are committed to giving opportunities to all our stakeholders at all levels and across all disciplines to take part in activities to promote sustainability and most importantly, to disseminate their research findings”.
“This conference is an ideal environment for the exchange of ideas and the development of productive collaborations between people from all over the world in the field of responsible research and innovations and to discuss relevant challenges and realities,” said Lord Sheikh. He also expressed his delight with the enthusiasm of our young researchers and thanked the conference organising committee for their tremendous efforts and contribution towards the education of budding researchers. Professor Rajan Welukar gave a Special Remark at the opening session and touched upon the importance RRI concept, which forms the basis of the conference and highlighted the six pillars of RRI as ethics and research integration, gender equality, governance, open access, public engagement and science education. In a televised address, Professor Petra Molthan-Hill reiterated the need to tackle climate change using innovative measures. She provided a warm welcome to all the researchers and indicated her appreciation for being invited to be part of this important event. In his special remarks, Dr Peter Gray stressed that the LSME conference is a positive opportunity to make progress and move forward.
The inaugural ceremony was followed by two days of paper presentations and keynote speeches by Prof Petra Molthan-Hill on High Impact Climate Solutions, Professor Stephen McKinney on ‘Sustainable Development and Education’ and a special lecture by H.E. Dr Abdulla Naseer, Minister of State for Environment, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology, Maldives.
The Valedictory Session of the Conference, introduced by Dr Sarita Parhi, the Principal of LSME, was honoured by H.E Dr Ibrahim Hassan, Minister of Higher Education, the Maldives who inspired the participants with his words of wisdom and encouraged them to go back and reflect on the impact of their research on education and possible changes it can contribute to societal improvement. Special remarks were also delivered by Mohamed Mahid Shareef, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Islamic University of Maldives.
The conference ended with group photos. The presentation and attendance certificates and Best Paper Awards will be issued to the deserving participants. Feedback received from delegates were very positive and encouraging. Over 95% of participants rated the conference as “Excellent” and are looking forward to the next conference in 2022. The theme for the next conference is yet to be announced.