In April 2001 the vision of a group of college students from Abu Dhabi, UAE came to life as delegates from around the world arrived for the inaugural E-ducation Without Borders, International Student Conference. This first of its kind three day international conference, sponsored by the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), was distinctly “by students for students.”
From the outset, the conference was a real-life project through which post-secondary students received first-hand experience in organizing complex events while simultaneously learning and engaging others about a topic on the tip of nearly every educator’s tongue: the impact of e-learning on the global educational community. “E-ducation Without Borders 2001″ was an event of historical significance, and served as a laboratory for the effective learning experience.
Building on the success of 2001, E-ducation Without Borders 2003 was a portal through which global approaches toward life-long learning and the implementation of technology in education were explored. The impact of EWB 2003 ultimately cascaded into the global community as it was attended by over 420 students representing 67 countries.
E-ducation Without Borders continued to grow in 2005; attracting over 700 students from 89 countries around the world. The conference featured workshops, stimulating debates, and presentations which facilitated the open exchange of information on the challenges, new technologies, and possibilities for the future of education.
Education Without Borders 2007, which hosted 1000 delegates from over 108 countries, focused on solving some of the world’s most pressing challenges with the theme “Innovative Solutions to Global Challenges”. Issues discussed included inequitable access to education and technology, media as a tool for social impact, responding to natural disasters and harnessing education and technology to end poverty.
Education Without Borders 2009 was held in Dubai in March 2009. It brought together 1000 delegates from over 120 countries and featured keynote addresses from Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former President of India and Sir John Rose, CEO, Rolls Royce. It was acclaimed a great success.
Education Without Borders 2011 was again held in Dubai, during March 2011. Under the theme of Solutions to “Global Challenges … Diverse Perspectives; Unified Action” this 6th edition of the EWB conference series saw inspiring mentors including Dr. Mark Plotkin, President of the Amazon Conservation Team; CNN Hero Evan Wadongo; Yolande Kakabadse, President WWF International; and inspirational young writer and speaker Adora Svitak, work with the 1200 students from 131 countries. It also witnessed internationally famous solo rock and skyscraper climber, Alain Robert dubbed “The French Spider-Man”, create history by climbing the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa.
With much anticipation, energy and excitement it is time to move forward and prepare for Education Without Borders 2013 where we will continue to imbue participants with new ideas, new friendships, and the sense that each of us has the potential to contribute and implement innovative solutions. We hope that you will join us next March as we gather together, once again, to proclaim in every language: Education has no Borders.