A consortium of education professionals will come together on Monday, March 31st for a three-dimensional assessment of both academia and the business-side of higher education.

The 2014 Gulf Education Conference and Exhibition (GECE) may not have been on your radar, but it’s clearly paving a way for important trends including the changing nature of education, the idea of the “classroom,” and the possibility for a truly international learning experience.

The GECE — the U.K. and Gulf Region’s equivalent of a strictly higher education-based TED Talk — will bring some of the regions' most influential higher ed players together to ponder ideal ways to tackle educational prowess and unified strategic development across Western Europe and the Middle East. You will find out why these developments matter to students across the globe.

Teacher at a conference

If you’re interested in the future of education, these are the panels you need to know about:

What Will Education Look Like in 6 Years?

The two-day event will concentrate on the conference’s theme for this year — Higher Education in 2020.

Day one will focus on dissecting the findings of the Horizon Scanning report, a write-up commissioned by the Leadership Foundation and International Unit that speculates what higher education will look like six years down the road.

Speakers will address and theorize ways in which higher education will facilitate preparation for employment, wealth generation, and social and cultural enrichment for students.

Will Online Education Kill the Idea of a “Classroom”?

The second day of the GECE will give participants the opportunity to take part in a variety of discussions of their choosing, from the future of pedagogy to the internationalization of education as a viable business.

There will be a session dedicated to the discussion of the future of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). MOOCs are designed to create unlimited student participation in open access online courses. MIT, Harvard, and the growing start up Coursera are currently spearheading this educational innovation.

Developing education for employment, entrepreneurship, and building research capacity will also be a major topic of interest at the GECE.

Will Education Really Break International Borders?

You will hear from notable professors, education experts, and government officials. The guest list is vast — a saudi princess is even slated to give the official opening welcome on day one.

Ministers of education from Kuwait, Jordan, and Algeria will be in attendance. Noted professors from internationally renowned universities will be joined by business leaders, such as Michael Thomas, the CEO of Pathfinder, an organization that seeks to establish international trade relations in both the public and private sectors.

Next week, Noodle will talk with some of the key speakers of this event and share with you their thoughts about the important trends in education. Stay tuned!

Image courtesy of US Department of Education.

Matthew Creegan

Matthew Creegan is a New York-based journalist who is currently pursuing an MBA at Quinnipiac University. He writes for CNBC.com and Elite Daily. He has also worked for ABC, CBS Radio, and the New Haven Register.