The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) concluded the hosting of the inaugural Times Higher Education Asia Universities Summit on 21 June and signed agreements at the Summit with four leading universities, namely the University of Glasgow, Jagiellonian University, the University of Warwick and University of Waterloo to foster international exchange opportunities for students.
The two-day Asia Universities Summit was hosted by HKUST, featuring as speakers some 30 presidents, chancellors and rectors from fast-rising and top universities in 15 countries and cities around the globe, including Mainland China, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, the United States, and the United Kingdom, among others. Some 260 delegates of higher education and other sectors from over 20 countries attended the Summit and shared their insights into nurturing creativity and innovation.
HKUST President Prof Tony F Chan said, “We were delighted that the inaugural Asia Universities Summit, which was held in the University’s 25th Anniversary year, was a resounding success with global leaders providing expert insights on a number of key issues including various challenges facing higher education. Quite a few delegates remarked to me that they found the Summit extremely useful and allowed them to establish long lasting global relationships that may lead to further collaborations.”
Of many powerful messages which emerged from the Summit, the delegates noted the following: (1) Basic research and applied research and commercialization innovation must be balanced in a university; (2) Humanities and social sciences must continue to be taught to students, especially in a technology innovation world where new advances affect mankind's way of thinking and living; (3) An international outlook is of great importance to drive universities forward—to drive research excellence through international collaboration and promote better intercultural understanding, empathy for others, and the opportunity to understand and gain from different perspectives on the world; (4) Universities and their governing bodies should strike a proper balance between the need of proactively taking initiatives to nurture innovation and inadvertently encouraging a risk-averse culture due to the need for accountability.
Prof Chan added, “During the Summit, we also signed agreements with four renowned universities on student exchange programs, and we believe that the partnerships with these universities will surely help develop the students’ global perspectives and further enhance their international exposure.”
The agreements include (in alphabetical order of the four universities):
A memorandum of agreement with the University of Glasgow regarding the establishment of an undergraduate student exchange program;
A memorandum of understanding with Jagiellonian University in relation to undergraduate student exchange between the School of Humanities and Social Science of HKUST and the Faculty of International Relations and Political Studies of Jagiellonian University;
An agreement for exchange of undergraduate students between the School of Humanities and Social Science of HKUST and the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Warwick;
A memorandum of understanding with University of Waterloo on expanding the arrangement of the Dual Degree PhD Program in Engineering to cover other disciplines.
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