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University of Washington and Chinese University Unite to Form Technology Institute

Source: New York Times

A rendering of the new institute that the University of Washington and Tsinghua University, based in China, are going to build in Bellevue, Washington. Photo: Wright Runstad        

SEATTLE — With hometown companies like Amazon and Microsoft, this bustling region on the Puget Sound easily ranks in the top tier of technology hubs in the United States.

But the area lags its peers in one glaring way: It is home to a single major research university, the University of Washington, while nearly every other big technology scene in the country has at least two.

For years, that weakness has stoked local unease about whether the gap between the supply of people with computer-related degrees and the surge in demand for those skills could impede the region’s economy. “We’ve long realized we’re at a relative competitive disadvantage when it comes to higher education,” said Bradford L. Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel.

On Thursday, Seattle’s top academic and business leaders unveiled a plan to create a new institute of learning, with the goal of strengthening the educational foundation of the region’s high-tech economy. The institute, the Global Innovation Exchange, is a partnership between the University of Washington and one of China’s leading research universities, Tsinghua University. It will open in fall 2016 with a master’s degree program in technology innovation.

Click here to read the full article. 

22 June 2015
Published in APRU News

APRU attends Global Research Council


The 4th annual meeting of the Global Research Council was held in Tokyo 26-28 May, 2015.  The GRC is an informal organization of Heads of Research Councils from around the world.  The Governing Board is chaired by Dr BAI Chunli, President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.  The meeting was jointly hosted by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and the National Research Foundation of South Africa.  The Japanese host was JSPS President Yuichiro Anzai, formerly president of Keio University and Chair of APRU.



Sessions focused on:  Funding for Scientific Breakthroughs, Building Research and Education Capacity, and Progress on Open Access.  In addition to APRU, other observers included leaders of the World Economic Forum, the AAAS, European Science Foundation, Elsevier, Nature editor-in-chief, national academies and university associations (LERU, EUA, IAU).

The meeting produced two papers:
a) Statement of Principles for Funding Scientific Breakthroughs
b) Statement of Approaches: Building Research and Education Capacity

The 2016 GRC annual meeting will be jointly hosted by the UK and India in New Delhi. 

09 June 2015
Published in APRU News

APRU Goes Global


APRU was invited to participate in a panel at the Going Global Conference of the British Council held at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Parliament Square, London, 1-3 June, 2015.  Secretary General Chris Tremewan joined a panel with Molly Corbett Broad, President, American Council on Education, Javier Sagi-Vela Gonzalez, Director General, Universia, and John Mountford, Association of Colleges (UK).  The topic was “Could associations cooperate better for greater global good?”.  Further discussion among association leaders was held the next day to determine what areas of global cooperation would be most productive. 

09 June 2015
Published in APRU News

APRU engages APEC at High Level

APRU recently took another step in connecting APRU members’ collective capabilities in education, research and innovation with policy development by governments in the Asia-Pacific region.

At the Second APEC Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM2) and Related Meetings in the Philippines (10-21 May 2015), Steering Committee member and President of the University of the Philippines, Professor Alfredo E. Pascual, and Dr Sergey Ivanets, President of the Far Eastern Federal University, Russia, who also chairs the APEC Human Resource Development Working Group (HRDWG), represented APRU.

During SOM2 and Related Meetings, both presidents attended the Preparatory Meeting for the High-Level Dialogue on Science and Technology in Higher Education where President Pascual gave a presentation on APRU and the relevance of its education, research and innovation in science and technology to the APEC agenda.

Also, Secretary General Dr Christopher Tremewan led a delegation from the Secretariat (Ms Margaret Leong and Mr Andre Edelhoff) to participate in the working meetings and to meet with experts and government officials related to the day-to-day work of APRU: APEC Study Centers Consortium (ASCC) Conference, Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG), Human Resources Development Working Group, which includes the Education Network (EDNET), the Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation (PPSTI) as well as the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) Internet Economy Workshop.

APRU has been given three-year guest membership of the HRDWG, which was announced by chaired by President Sergey Ivanets to member economies at the beginning of the 4-day session. This provides a pathway for APRU to contribute its expertise on higher education and on cross-border mobility for academics, researchers and students. In particular, the Education Network (EDNET), a sub-group of HRDWG, develops projects and policies that are relevant to APRU member universities.

Dr Tremewan was invited to be discussant on “Investing in Human Capital Development” at the APEC Study Centers Consortium Conference 2015. Representatives of APRU were able to introduce APRU’s work by presentations, statements and comments within different APEC fora dedicated to education, science and research. In addition, Dr Jim Foster, Keio University represented APRU at a panel discussion on “Barriers to the Internet” of the PECC Internet Economy Symposium. The Internet Economy is an initiative that aligns well with APRU’s “Governing the Internet Economy”-program.

09 June 2015
Published in APRU News

APWiL featured in international activities

Women, Gender, and Efforts for Equality: Comparative Asian-Western Perspectives Seminar, University of Hong Kong

APRU's APWiL program has been featured at the recent seminar on Women, Gender and Efforts for Equality held on 22 April at the University of Hong Kong. Dr Masako Egawa, inaugural Chair of the APWiL program (2013-2015) and former Executive Vice-President of the University of Tokyo (UT) reported on the key findings of the APRU Gender Gap Report, key APWiL activities and the status of women at UT. She joined the seminar's panel of distinguished speakers, faculty and researchers comprising men and women.

The seminar was co-organised by the University of Hong Kong's Department of History, School of Humanities, and Women's Studies Research Centre.

The seminar program can be downloaded here. More information on the event can be viewed here.


APWiL is now a campaign partner of Lean, a global network of over 500 corporate and non-profit partners committed to offering women and men the ongoing inspiration and support to help them achieve their goals. As a Lean partner, APWiL is able to access and make use of various resources on how institutions can potentially bring positive change in their organisations.

See APWiL's profile on Lean here.

27 April 2015
Published in APRU News

Implementing the Strategy

IPAC meeting, Singapore 5-6 March 2015

DSCF9670_copy.jpg(L-R) IPAC Co-Chair Prof Andrew Wee (National University of Singapore), Dr Christopher Tremewan (APRU Secretary General) and IPAC Co-Chair Prof Dennis Galvan (University of Oregon) leading the discussions.

IPAC’s meeting in Singapore in March 2015 followed up on the action points which came from the Senior Staff Meeting in Jakarta:
- Specify APRU’s value proposition
- Build an APRU-wide research dashboard, updated annually
- Publish and disseminate policy papers
- Streamline information flow between the Secretariat and members
- Establish evaluation criteria for programs
- Develop a database on member engagement
- Engage with NGOs relevant to APRU’s programs
- Ensure a successful APM in Osaka in June 2015 and a more interactive Senior Staff Meeting in Auckland in September 2015

The International Policy Advisory Committee (IPAC) provides leadership from the APRU Senior Staff by advising the Secretary General on ensuring activities align with strategy, on overall program initiation, management and evaluation, on communications with members and on preparations for the Annual Presidents’ Meeting.

Co-chairs of the meeting were Prof Andrew Wee, Vice President (University and Global Relations), NUS, and Prof Dennis Galvan, Vice Provost for International Affairs, University of Oregon.  

In his report to IPAC, Secretary General Christopher Tremewan stressed APRU’s ambition to identify new steps which re-shape global thinking and action, to propose new ideas and to offer leadership through engagement.

The Secretariat had been implementing the Strategic Framework through
- Program review & development
- Strengthening deliberative structures
- Fitting organisation to the strategy
- Identifying new models for engagement
- Establishing new international partnerships
- Improving communications and relationship management

Dr Tremewan stated that APRU was now moving into a phase of reviewing progress and focusing on key priorities.  The total portfolio must be coherent, focused and fully engaged both with members and with appropriate partner organisations.  APRU should not try to do everything itself but would have greater impact through selective collaborations.

He proposed that APRU consider having one or two flagship programs with presidential leadership while each Thematic Priority should also have its own flagships. 

He drew IPAC’s attention to the innovation of a presidential retreat at the next APM and that this would give attention to two areas: common challenges faced by presidents of research universities and, secondly, the potential for presidents to exercise collective leadership internationally on a key challenge such as the future of the Pacific Ocean.

 Finally, Dr Tremewan presented two concept papers on potential initiatives:
- An Asia-Pacific Higher Education Review
- An Asia-Pacific Planetary Citizens Porta

The Committee endorsed both of these concept papers for further development into concrete proposals.

DSCF9689_copy.jpgIPAC discussing a new Teaching and Learning initiative over Skype with Dr Beth Kalikoff (University of Washington). 

IPAC Highlights:
- Proposal from the University of Washington on an APRU Teaching and Learning Program
- Proposal from the University of Chile on the Equity and Access Program
- Discussion of a strategic relationship with APAIE
- Proposal for an APRU workshop on university fund-raising
- Decision to merge the doctoral student and early career researcher activities
- Consideration of program evaluation models and reviewing the Strategic Framework
- Launching a communications audit

13 April 2015
Published in APRU News