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Eur. Ing. Dr. João P

Vice Dean University of Glasgow College UESTC

University of Glasgow

United Kingdom

Eur. Ing. Dr. João Ponciano (CPE, LLB (Hons), M.Eng (Hons), M.A. (Distinction), Ph.D., FIET, C.Eng, MBCS, CITP, SFHEA, MIEEE, FinstLM) started his career as a researcher for the International Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, working on the West Area Neutrino Facility and North Area 48. Since then João has held several positions in teaching and management in higher education at institutions across the UK, Middle East, Africa, and Asia. At Leeds Becket University, João specialized in teaching Mobile and Fixed Networking Technologies and introduced compendium-based teaching practices, and led the design and implementation of the first Mobile and Distributed Computer Networks postgraduate course in the UK.

João authored and managed a European Social Fund Project in Women in Engineering contributing to the widening participation and inclusion of women engineers, developed and ran world-class innovative academic practice methods in Career Development, and Employability, and designed and managed staff workload models.

Since 2014, João developed and led transnational education partnerships in several countries in South East Asia and led a group of institutions under the group Star Education based in Singapore as Executive Dean and Senior Vice President. Joao is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Academic Studio, a CPD School accredited by the CPD UK Institute.

Boon Leing TAN

Guest Professor at Xi'An International University

Boon is the Chief Academic Officer and Provost at Academic Studio and has a wealth of experience in leading strategic higher education Projects, working under the authority of Top Management, Board of Directors, and External Organisations, (eg. MOE, DOE, HEA), which started from his role at the University of Sunderland and continued in roles with Xian Jiaotong Liverpool University (XJTLU) (Singapore), Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) and as the Academic Director at PSB Academy, Singapore. Boon has significant knowledge, skills, and experience in the management and leadership of partnerships in Higher Education, both at a national and international level, and possesses a genuine passion for operational efficiency with a proven track record in business planning, managing change, and customer service in Higher Education.

He currently lectures at various universities, in the areas of Business and Management, where he also supervises dissertation students at UG, PG, and Doctoral levels. He is also a guest professor with Xian International University and consults at SSC (Singapore), where he is consulted by universities and venture capitalists on the status and future of Higher Education in the region. He also delivers life and future skills workshops to tertiary students and professionals from various industries. Boon publishes regularly in leading academic journals and international conference proceedings. He currently serves on a number of editorial boards including the Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management.

At XJTLU, he was the founding Head of the Department of Business, Economics, and Management, which eventually became the International Business School Suzhou. During his tenure, he (i) developed and received approval for a number of programs at both PG and UG levels, with the aim of growing the department in terms of student numbers with more varied choices; (ii) set up a research excellence department through (a) the Suzhou City Key Lab for Supply Chain Technology with a successful bid for a research grant from the Suzhou Science and Technology Bureau (STB), (b) co-applied successfully for the National Science Foundation Council research grant; (iii) reviewed the credit system for XJTLU with the aim to integrate both China MOE and UK Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) credit systems; iv) laid the groundworks for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation with the aim to be the youngest business school to be given the recognition. Through these projects, Boon implemented and monitored academic and research policy for compliance with the Chinese Ministry of Education, the UK QAA, the Suzhou STB, and AACSB.

At PSB Academy, Boon provided leadership and input on all academic matters and was the lead academic to represent PSB Academy in the relationships with 10 universities from the UK and Australia; and developed new and existing partnerships with local pathway colleges and schools within Asia. One of the key initiatives was to commence a global alumni network in which the aim was to hold at least one alumni network event in key countries. He has also worked closely with the PSB Academy Academic Board to lead and coordinate the strategic development of academic policies and regulations for the institution and the group and provide quarterly updates to the stakeholders. As the de-facto deputy for the Dean, Boon was also actively involved in building relationships with the recruitment agent community in Asia. Over a dozen partnerships between schools and colleges have been created, articulating the curriculum of these institutions with PSB Academy diplomas and University Partners; and have set up or was in the midst of setting up collaborative partnerships in Myanmar, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

He also initiated an academic restructuring to align PSB Academy programs with international frameworks, adding scaffolding learning support for all students, redesigning courses to have integrated systems of formative assessment and feedback, and using online tools to support student learning. Additionally, to enhance student success, Boon widened the support offered by the Learning Resources Centre to offer soft skills workshops to students. This has encouraged and ensured consistency throughout the Institution in arrangements underpinning program delivery. Boon guided decisions related to student progress and took a lead role in monitoring student progress and completion at School and Institution levels. Such statistical monitoring is presented to both the Top Management and the Education Excellence Committee, which reports to the Committee of Private Education. Furthermore, he invested significantly in structured training programs in academic practice for associate lecturers that formed a community of close to 700 with around 300 having active contracts at any time.

At PSB Academy, Boon assisted the Dean to manage a team of 5 Heads of School with responsibility for the academic curriculum of the institution and provided leadership to all academic staff in managing the processes through which teaching and learning strategy and associated policies are administered and implemented. Part of his role was to be responsible for academic quality management activities, including the managing of the partner approval process and the registration of partners and courses with the Council of Private Education in Singapore. As such, he served as the academic lead for PSB Academy in the Enhanced Registration Framework and EduTrust certification.

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