About the Panel Speakers

(in alphabetical order)

Professor Stephen BILLETT

Professor of Adult and Vocational Education
School of Education and Professional Studies, Griffith University, Australia

Professor Stephen Billett is a Professor of Adult and Vocational Education at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow. He has worked as a vocational educator, educational administrator, teacher educator, professional development practitioner and policy developer in the Australian vocational education system and as a teacher and a researcher at Griffith University. He is a Fulbright scholar, national teaching fellow, recipient of an honorary doctorate from Jyvaskala University in Finland and elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia.

Presentation on Workplace Learning and Assessment
Finding ways of providing, enriching and integrating workplace experiences into VPET programmes stands as worthwhile challenges to afford students the kinds of experiences that can prepare them for working life and promote their employability. Particular kinds of curriculum, pedagogical and assessment practices are required for preparing and engaging students in work settings and then building on and assessing those experiences when they are completed. These arrangements may prompt new roles for teachers and stronger relations with workplaces and workplace supervisors.

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Professor Christina HONG

Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Professor Christina Hong is the President of the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi). THEi (a member of the VTC Group), was established to offer innovative degree programmes developed with significant industry input, incorporating real world learning and applied research components to produce work ready graduates with an international outlook. Christina has a strong background in educational leadership with an emphasis on organisational change management, curriculum transformation, technology enhanced learning, and teacher praxis across the schools, VPET and higher education sectors. Christina's prior roles included senior executive roles in the Australian TAFE and university sectors as well as national educational reform leadership roles in New Zealand.

Presentation on Pedagogy and Educator Capability Development
Shifts in the landscape of tertiary education mean that approaches to teaching and learner engagement strategies are also being rethought and reconceptualised. What are the factors that influence the ways that we deliver to our VPET students today? How are VPET teachers, trainers and educators doing things the same but also different to face the challenges and opportunities of a new generation of VPET learners, and the community and employer expectations? If we had a crystal ball, how might we envision the VPET teaching workforce in the future?

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Professor Vesa TAATILA

Turku University of Applied Sciences, Finland

Professor Vesa Taatila works as the Rector and President of Turku University of Applied Sciences in Turku, Finland. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Innovation Pedagogy in the University of Turku. Previously, he has worked in both industry and academia, latest positions being the Vice-rector of Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and the Principal Lecturer of Innovation Management in Laurea University of Applied Sciences. In industry, Professor Vesa Taatila has held executive positions in project management, human resources and competence management in multinational corporations Metso Oyj and Sonera Oyj.

Presentation on Curriculum Development and Employability
The future graduates will face ever more increasing global competition on talent. The value of a diploma in itself will inflate because of the available amount of educated professionals. Simultaneously the competencies needed to succeed in the globalised game will differ from the ones we have traditionally considered as the key to employability. The new “innovation competences” will require novel pedagogical solutions which have to be considered in developing more flexible curricula.

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Professor Susana YUEN

Professor cum Dean
School of Business and Hospitality Management,
Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Hong Kong

Professor Susana Yuen obtained her PhD in Accounting from Bond University, Australia, a MSc in Practice of Higher Education from University of Surrey, UK and an MBA in Oklahoma City University. Before her appointment at Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Professor Yuen had gained extensive teaching and administration experience in universities in Hong Kong and Australia, including The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Lingnan University, The Open University of Hong Kong and Queensland University of Technology. Professor Yuen had also contributed significantly to quality assurance of programmes, institutional and programme accreditation and student development in her previous appointments. Her research interests are management accounting, strategic management and family businesses. She has published in a number of refereed journals, including Accounting, Organisation and Society. Professor Yuen is a Fellow Member of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants in UK and CPA in Australia, as well as a Member of the Chartered Institute of Company Secretaries in UK and Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries.

Presentation on Graduates’ Employability
Academic institutions pay great attention on their graduates’ employability as this is always one of the aspects rating their reputation or ranking. This presentation focuses on different approaches and indicators that measure graduates’ employability; actions to be taken by academic institutions to achieve graduates’ employability; and sharing of personal experience in enhancing graduates’ employability.

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