In July 2023, Parami University officially welcomed our new dean, Dr. Phil Enns, to lead the Department of Academic Affairs after Dr. Romina de Jong stepped down to focus on her leading role as the Chair of the Division of General Education at Parami University. Dr. Enns received his Ph.D. in Philosophical Theology in 2006. His specialty is in Epistemology, Religion and Democracy, and Philosophy of Language. Before joining Parami University, he taught in Nigeria, Indonesia, and, most recently, Kazakhstan.
Dr. Enns’ research is focused broadly on epistemological issues surrounding the role of beliefs and reasons in public life. He has published several articles exploring the role of religious reasons within public discourse in democracies, as well as on Kant and the role of public and private reasoning. He also has research interests in Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, and Donald Davidson. Dr. Enns has also published in the area of medieval Islamic philosophy, focusing on the works of al Farabi, Ibn Sina, and al Ghazali.
Question: Why did you choose Parami? What makes Parami different from other higher education institutions you have worked with?
Dr. Phil Enns: What brought me to Parami University was the opportunity to be a part of the team and the university that provides quality education to students in Southeast Asia. It’s a new university, and I like the idea of being a part of the new project building, contributing to the country and the region. I am also looking to work with students. These will be the future leaders of the countries of the region. I look forward to being able to contribute to their education and, hopefully, to their success in their futures.
Question: What is your vision of Parami? What kind of change would you like to bring to Parami University?
Dr. Phil Enns: I see the mission of Parami Univerity to provide a foundation, support, and opportunity for students to be successful in their careers. Part of what we do at Parami University is to provide students with the opportunity to develop their skills, which they will need for the future. We don’t know what the future holds for these students. We don’t know what Southeast Asia will look like in 5 or 10 years. We don’t know what the economy will look like. We don’t know what jobs will be in demand. So we try to prepare our students by giving them the skills that will allow them to be successful in any career: critical thinking, analytical thinking, the ability to communicate clearly, the ability to create a project, formulate and develop, implement, and bring it to a conclusion. To work with other people. This is what Parami University wants. We want them to be successful and change-makers in the future, both in their community and in a broader region.
Question: What is the learning environment like at Parami?
Dr. Phil Enns: At Parami University, we provide our students with the best learning environment. We are an online institution. We reach students who might otherwise not be able to attend. In order to facilitate this learning, we make sure that we have the latest technology to support online study. We try to provide them with the best learning platform. We make sure that our courses are specially designed for that learning environment. But, it is also important that students meet with each other. So, we have learning hubs around the region that allow students to see each other face-to-face. That’s an important part of our learning experience. But a unique part of the learning environment at Parami University is that we offer a number of courses where students are able to be in the classroom online with other students from different parts of the world, so some of our courses have students from North American, South America, Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia⸺all in the same class. This international aspect: meeting and talking to students from other parts of the world allows our students to have an international learning experience, which we feel is important for students as they aim to be future leaders in the region. So, our goal is to provide students with everything they need to be successful even though they may not have a chance to attend physical institutions.
Question: What would you like to say to the youth/prospective students at Parami?
Dr. Phil Enns: Why should you come to Parami University? Our goal at Parami University is to ensure that our students are prepared for success in their futures, careers and success as a leader in their region. Again, we do not know what the future holds for us. We don’t know what the future will be like in Southeast Asia or what the job, political, and economic environment will be like. But we want to make sure that our students are prepared to be successful and to be leaders. We try to give our students at Parami University the skills they need. If you would like to be a leader in your communities and region, we invite you to us at Parami University, where we hope to prepare you and give you the skills you will need to succeed.