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International Networks: will cross-breeding increase impact?

APRU-APAIE Joint Session at APAIE Conference 2015, Beijing

Chris_and_Uchida1.jpg(L-R) Professor Katsuichi Uchida of APAIE and Dr Christopher Tremewan of APRU co-chairing and speaking at the APRU-APAIE joint session.

On 25 March, at a major conference in Beijing, APRU Secretary General Christopher Tremewan floated the proposition that more value could be realised by cross-breeding two species of international networks: networks focused on international education, such as APAIE, and networks of research universities, such as APRU.  He outlined the areas where cooperation would bring benefits to both ‘species’.  These included:

- Student mobility related to global challenges
- Professional development
- Improving the student experience
- Research on internationalization e.g. in employment, new collaborative models for universities
- Policy influence e.g. bringing expertise to bear in APEC and UN bodies

Dr Tremewan observed that, as a foundation board member of APAIE, he was confident it had a clear role to fulfil on international education in the Asia-Pacific region and noted that most of the APAIE Board come from APRU member universities.  Together, they could have a strong impact as the major Asia-Pacific regional organisations in higher education.

In his address to the same conference session, Professor Katsuichi Uchida, President of APAIE, and formerly APRU Senior Staff for Waseda University, expressed his agreement with this approach of being clear about the distinctive yet complementary objectives of the different organisations while seeking greater collaboration.  He advocated joint attention to policies on international students, to mobility and to capacity-building in developing countries where global issues have greatest impact. He spoke about APAIE’s track record in convening one of the Asia Pacific’s largest international education conferences and possible partnerships which could add value for members. He noted that a number of APRU members were either already in APAIE leadership roles or active contributors to the organisation.

Responding to the speakers, a panel built on the propositions put forward.

Professor Joaquin Guerra, Vice Rector of International Affairs, Tecnologico de Monterrey (ITESM), Mexico, highlighted the benefits of being a part of the APRU network in enhancing his university’s strengths in service learning, community action and strategic student mobility. 

Professor Susan Elliott, Deputy Vice Chancellor (International) at the University of Melbourne and Vice President of APAIE, was positive about the future directions of both APRU and APAIE in expanding the scope of student mobility and research collaboration. She was of the view that members could leverage on the combined strengths of both organisations towards productive outcomes including benchmarking and serving communities.  She proposed a joint working group to identify areas of collaboration.

Assoc. Professor Anne Pakir, Director of International Relations at The National University of Singapore saw potential collaborative outcomes arising from an APRU-APAIE partnership as exciting, noting that both organisations were at the heart of international education and mobility – the Asia Pacific region.

Adding to this perspective was Professor Wanhua Ma of Peking University, who underscored not only the importance of a multi-cultural experience for students and faculty but the growing global standing of Chinese universities and what they could offer in diversifying education. 

APRU and APAIE’s leadership agreed that working together towards a future strategy was timely and full of potential.

Panel_and_mawh.jpg(1) (L-R): Professor Joaquin Guerra, Assoc. Professor Anne Pakir, Professor Susan Elliott and Professor Katsuichi Uchida.
(2) Professor Wanhua Ma, with Professor Joaquin Guerra, taking questions from the audience.

APRU Senior Staff speakers and facilitators at APAIE 2015 panel sessions. 

For more photos of APAIE 2015, please go to photo gallery

The APAIE Conference and Exhibition is an annual event organised to bring together international educators active in Asia Pacific higher education to promote networking, facilitate collaboration in student exchange and mobility, and enhance professional development in internationalisation. This year’s conference, held in Beijing and hosted by Peking University was attended by 1,500 delegates.
02 April 2015