University of Nottingham Malaysia
Knowledge Without Borders Network

The Seventh Multiversity Conference: 'Decolonisation, Leadership and Knowledge Democracy in the 21st Century University'

25th - 27th January 2015

There are a limited number of places for UNMC staff and students, RSVP to to reserve your place for any sessions you would like to attend.


The Knowledge Without Borders Network (KWBN), UNMC in association with the Ministry of Education, Malaysia; Higher Education Leadership Academy (AKEPT); Islamic Science University of Malaysia (USIM) and the Multiversity, Penang are delighted to invite you to the following event.

Decolonisation, Leadership and Knowledge Democracy in the 21st Century University 
The relevance of the academic curriculum currently in use in higher educational institutions – its origins, its methodologies, its dissemination (including language used) and its practical uses – remains a major source of concern for leaders in the field of learning and higher education in the countries of Asia, Africa and South America.  These parameters are all still fundamentally Eurocentric in origin, context, orientation and meaning. The Eurocentric bias is not just manifest in the social sciences, but also in the teaching of math and subjects like the history and philosophy of science. 

Several efforts to change this situation have been made in various countries. In Iran, for instance, universities were closed for three years in the aftermath of the Khomeini revolution. However, the tremendous inertia of the colonially installed system – with its continuing submission to European intellectual domination – successfully thwarted these initiatives and attempts.  Subsequently, the intellectual world has been stirred by fresh controversies dealing with these issues. The critique of Eurocentrism in the social sciences has now reached a considerable state of finality. In recent years, that work has been extended to the teaching and understanding of the hard sciences as well. 

Outstanding new works on these issues include Theories of the South: Limits and perspectives of an emergent movement in social sciences by Brazilian sociologist Marcelo Rosa; Australian Raewyn Connell, Southern Theory, and Epistemologies of the South by Boaventura de Souza Santos (Portugal).  The issue of decolonising academic curricula and ridding them of Eurocentric biases has occupied centre-stage in six international conference (see organised by Multiversity in which scholars from diverse countries located in Asia, Africa and South America have been involved. These are now available in publications as well and include Decolonising the University, Multicultural Knowledge and the University, and Fighting Academic Imperialism. The conferences dealing with Decolonising the University and with Multicultural Knowledge as well as the present conference have been supported by the Ministry of Higher Education and AKEPT, Malaysia. 

In line with these influential and impactful conventions of scholars, the UNMC conference will focus more on new work being done on alternate curricula and methodologies rather than on the critique of Eurocentrism in present day institutions. There are several new and exciting models of higher education that are emerging which not only seek to deal actively with student alienation from academic studies, but also seek to ensure creative, joyful and productive learning for all. 

Date:   25 to 27 January 2015, Sunday to Tuesday
The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus     
              Jalan Broga
              43500 Semenyih  
              Selangor Darul Ehsan


25 January 2015: DAY ONE   

08:00 to 10:00  

Breakfast and Registration (Great Hall)  


Guest to assemble in Conference Hall (Great Hall) 

10:00 to 10:20 

Arrival of VVIP, VIPS and organisers
National Anthem
Recitation of Du’a 

10:20 to 10:30 

Welcoming Address by Prof. Christine Ennew and the
Deputy VC (Academic and International) of USIM on behalf of
UNMC, USIM and Multiversity

10:30 to 10:40

Speech by Prof. Dr Mohd Majid Bin Konting,
Director of AKEPT Malaysia

10:40 to 10:55

Opening Speech by YB Dato' Seri Idris Bin Jusoh,
Minister of Education II   

10:55 to 11:05 

Photo Session and presentations 

11:05 to 11: 55 

Keynote Address: Distinguished Fellow Ahmed Keeler on
'Changing the Narrative'  
Chair: Prof. Tan Sri Dzulkifli Razak  

11:55 to 12:25 


12:25 to 12:45 

S.M. Mohamed Idris on 'Why the Multiversity?

12:45 to 14:00 



14:00 to 14:10 

Statement of objectives from the organisers

14:10 to 14:30 

Prof. Tan Sri Dzulkifli Razak on 'Leadership in Global Higher Education: An Asian Dream or Nightmare?

14:30 to 15:00 

C.K. Raju on 'Further Steps in the Decolonisation of Education

15:00 to 15:30 

Babuuzibwa Luutu on 'Back to the Future: Cultural Bitterness and Leadership Challenges of the African University


Chair: Christine Ennew  

15:30 to 16:00          


16:00 to 16:30             

Tea break             


16:30 to 17:00           

Betsan Martin on 'Decolonisation - A Pacific Context'             

17:00 to 17:30             

Hossein Doostdar on 'The English Language: A Medium of Soft Power'             

17:30 to 18:00             

Sean Matthews on 'Surgery for the University? Or a bomb?'


Chair: Claude Alvares             

18:00 to 18:30             



Dinner (End of Day)                           

26 January 2016: Day TWO             


09:00 to 09:30             

Claude Alvares on 'When Will the Mental Slavery End? Are Their Signs that the Slaves are Beginning to Revolt?'
Also incorporate UNESCO paper of Budd Hall and Rajesh Tandon             

09:30 to 10:00             

Sandew Hira on 'A theoretical framework to decolonise the educational system'             

10:00 to 10:30             

Dr Hamid Parsania on 'The Social Knowledge of Muslims: A New Graduate Degree in Iran'


Chair: Mohideen Kader             

10:30 to 11:00             


11:00 to 11:30             

Tea break and surprise presentation!              

11:30 to 11:50             

Tan Sri Razali Ismail/Panel format on 'The Decolonisation Agenda: Is it Worth the Struggle and Why?'             

11:50 to 12:10             

Hamid Parvizi on 'Teaching Hikmah to Children'             

12:10 to 12:30             

Fatemah Minooyi on 'One Step Back in Transforming the Teaching of Human Sciences: A Teacher's Narrative in Iranian High Schools'                            

12:30 to 13:00             


13:00 to 14:00             


14:00 to 14:30             

Hakim Mohammad Ebadiani on 'Teaching Medicine Through the Iranian School/Tradition of Medicine'             

14:30 to 15:00             

Fereshteh Farrokhi on 'The Necessity to Preserve Medical Traditions/Schools: Challenges and Solutions'              

15:00 to 15:30             

Matthijs Cornelissen on 'Why Humanity Needs India's Psychology Traditions'


Chair: Prof. Tan Sri Dzulkifli Razak              

15:30 to 16:00             

Tea break             

16:00 to 16:45             

Shiv Visvanathan on 'The Democracy of Knowledge Systems'             

16:45 to 17:10             

Seyyed Saeed Lavasani on 'Hikmah on Technology: A Course on the Wisdom of Technology'             

17:10 to 17:30             

Suesan Gharemani Ghajar on 'How We Weave Our Learning Carpet: A Course on Rooted Syllabus Design'

17:30 to 18:00             



Dinner (End of Day)             

27 January 2016: Day THREE                               

ESCAPED FROM THE CAGE!                       

09:00 to 09:30             

Kevin Murray on 'Southern Perspectives: A Network for South-South Theory and Theory and Practice'              

09:30 to 10:00             

Sumana Nandi on 'Leaner-Centred Needs of Youth in Decoloniality'             

10:00 to 10:30             

Syed Farid Alatas on 'Relevant Knowledge: Conceptual Creativity, Demystification and Subversion' (Reflections on the Decolonisation Agenda)


Chair: Sean Matthews             

10:30 to 11:00             


11:00 to 11:30             

Tea break             

11:30 to 13:30                         

Arjun Aiyer
on 'Swaraj University: The Road Less Traveled'
Aviral Mittal on 'Swaraj University: The Road Less Traveled'
Gautam Sarang on 'Proposal for New Rural University Without Walls'
Chair: Anwar Fazal                       

13:30 to 14:30             


14:30 to 15:30             

Plenary Review and Discussion of the Presentations with Sean Matthews, Sumana Nandi and Claude Alvares as the Moderators                          

15:30 to 16:00             

Tea break             

16:00 to 16:30             

Statement from Conference and Recommendations with Prof. Tan Sri Dzulkifli Razak as Chair                            

16:30 to 17:00             



Farewell Dinner (End of Day)                                         

Download Conference Programme Book 

Knowledge Without Borders Network

University of Nottingham Malaysia
Jalan Broga, 43500 Semenyih
Selangor Darul Ehsan

telephone: +6 (03) 8924 8040