What is IE’s Reinventing Higher Education Conference?


In the heart of Madrid between the four iconic skyscrapers sits one of Europe’s top educational institutions, IE University. At the foot of one of the world’s greatest wonders lies the beautiful campus of Africa’s best university, The University of Cape Town. Now, what would these two universities on opposite spectrums of the world have in common you may ask?

That is what the 13th edition of IE’s Reinventing Higher Education (RHE) Conference aims to highlight. This year’s conference will be hosted at the University of Cape Town, from March 5-7, aiming to address key questions about the values of higher education to create an inclusive, diverse and accessible educational environment under the theme of “New Humans, New Society, New Higher Education”. 

What is This Conference About?

The invited speakers will represent 23 universities from all over the world coming together in the true spirit of ‘Ubuntu’. This is a Zulu word that is commonly used in South African culture to describe humanity and community, with Nelson Mandela describing it as “the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world, it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievements of others”. 

Although this will be the 13th edition of the RHE Conference, this will be the first edition hosted on the African continent, with the former being hosted in Europe or the Americas. Last years conference in particular was hosted at the LUISS University in Rome and attended by The Stork Team. This years location choice will allow for the unique opportunity to create connections between the global north and south educational institutions as well as highlight the under-represented think tanks that are African universities. 

Who Will Be Attending the Event?

Besides the representatives of the 23 universities as well as press from all over the world, the event will also feature many IE staff and alumni as well as students. The IE Foundation has invited two recipients of its gracious scholarships, Elvis M. D. Browne and Roché Smith Rabie, to attend the conference.

Elvis M. D. Browne

is a current MIM student from Liberia and a Kistefos Young Talented Leader Scholar. Elvis is also the Program and Operations Manager at TRIBE, a nonprofit design, strategy, and implementation company improving learning outcomes, facilitating workforce development, and building entrepreneurial ecosystems. The company aims to inspire a new generation of purpose-driven young problem solvers, entrepreneurs, innovators and storytellers by reimagining secondary education and creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem to bridge the learning and workforce development gap among students, schools, and employers. When asked about his thoughts on the upcoming conference Elvis said  “I am looking forward to meeting education stakeholders from across the world and participating in the student design thinking workshop. I believe the connection and knowledge will help me expand the work we do at TRIBE and enlighten my perspectives about innovation in education.”

Roché Smith Rabie

is a current fourth year Architecture student, Editor in Chief of The Stork as well as recipient of the Junior Advisory Board Scholarship from the IE Foundation. A South African native herself, she will be representing IE University at the conference while reporting for The Stork on the talks and workshops. She has expressed that she is most excited about “being able to understand how the industries and educational institutions of the Global South and North can build stronger connections to increase the sharing of knowledge between them for their mutual benefit, instead of harbouring the knowledge for their own gain. This is an increasingly important theme with globalisation gaining traction and the need for cooperative work to create solutions to tackle global problems that will benefit as many groups involved as possible.”

If you would like to learn more about this year’s edition of the Reinventing Higher Education Conference, be sure to follow our social media for updates!

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