Honoris United Universities Appoints New Independent Board Member and Announces Academic Council

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Academic Council will focus on providing Honoris students with access to 21st century workplace skills

Honoris United Universities (Honoris), the first private pan-African higher education network, has appointed a new independent Board Member and established the ‘Honoris Academic Council’ in an effort to boost the sharing of academic best practices and to develop a broad ‘employability agenda’ designed around entrepreneurial and workplace skills and credentials.

New Independent Board Member

Honoris is reinforcing its Board of Directors through the appointment of a new Independent Board Member, Mr. Karan Khemka, a global expert on education with over 20 years’ experience as an investor and consultant in emerging markets. His appointment brings increased diversity into the network, with an experience that will enrich the student and academic outcomes. Mr. Khemka is a distinguished speaker at international education summits and is particularly recognised for his expert insight on the importance of international education in a globalised economy.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Khemka said: “I am delighted to be able to join Honoris United Universities as a Board Member because of its focus on employability. This is a critical component in preparing today’s graduates for the world of work – a world that whilst exciting, is more complex and challenging than ever before. I’ve worked at all levels of education – including as an advisor to policy makers – and I look forward to bringing my experience to bear in a way that really helps advance Honoris’ goals.”

Mr. Khemka also founded the International Education Practice at The Parthenon Group (now EY-Parthenon), in addition to Parthenon in Asia. He has advised on $6 billion of deals and over 250 CXO level strategy engagements in the education sector across 40 countries and five continents, within every segment of education from pre-K to K-12 to higher education. He has also advised governments and NGOs on improving education outcomes around the world.

Honoris Academic Council

The Honoris Academic Council will lead the deployment of Honoris’ unique collaborative intelligence model through the co-ownership and sharing of skills and resources across member institutions within the network. The council will also direct a diverse range of programmes including international exchanges, collaborative projects as well as learning environments, physical and digital, enabling Honoris faculty and students to benefit from the sharing of ideas, real-world expertise, and multi-cultural immersion.

Commenting, CEO of Honoris United Universities, Mr. Luis Lopez, said: “The Honoris Academic Council will drive our focus on enabling students to be agile, mobile and highly competitive professionals, with superior 21st century workplace skills. The Council’s work is an important investment in the development of world-class human capital that has the potential to transform Africa by equipping students with soft skills and digital capabilities – as well as real-world competencies – that will allow them to thrive in the ever-changing global economy.”

Members of the Honoris Academic Council include five representatives with exemplary backgrounds and extensive academic experience:

  • Dr. Wafa Troudi Cherif: With a doctorate in the genetics of cancer, Dr. Cherif is the Dean of the Health Science School at Université Centrale in Tunisia, the largest in the Maghreb region and home to the world-class Honoris Medical Simulation Centre
  • Professor Zaheer Hamid: Professor Hamid is the Academic Director at MANCOSA, the leading private distance learning institution in South Africa and a trusted provider of accessible, affordable and accredited programs designed for working professionals in Africa. Professor Hamid has a special interest in teacher training and educational research as well as the internationalization of higher education
  • Dr. Amine Bensaid: Dr. Bensaid is the President of Université Mundiapolis in Casablanca, Morocco, one of the Kingdom’s first private multidisciplinary universities known for the high employability rate of its alumni. Dr. Bensaid is also the President of the Moroccan-American Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange, which encourages and facilitates academic exchange between Morocco and the US
  • Dr. Kais Mabrouk: Dr. Mabrouk is the Executive Director of International Development at Université Centrale, a private multidisciplinary university ranked as #1 in Tunisia by Unirank. With a PhD in Electronics and Telecommunication, Dr. Mabrouk has a special interest in higher education, scientific research, enterprise studies and business development
  • Dr. Karim Alami: Dr. Alami is the Deputy General Manager of Ecole Marocaine des Sciences de l’Ingénieur (EMSI), the largest engineering school in Morocco. EMSI is renowned for its innovation and research work and in the last three years has received almost 60 international prizes and awards. This includes most recently, the 47th Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions and the 22nd Edition of the International Exhibition of Inventions and Technological Innovations in Moscow

The Academic Council’s mandates include the development of cutting-edge learning infrastructures and building on existing ‘Honoris Spaces’ such as the Honoris Medical Simulation Center in Tunisia, the SmartiLab at EMSI in Morocco, the iLeadLab at REGENT Business School and the future iTeachLAB at MANCOSA in South Africa. The Council will also look for opportunities to further develop and expand faculties across the Honoris network, as well as ensure existing faculties are employing the latest pedagogical approaches and learning technologies.

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