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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
Published in APRU News

USTC Professor receives the L'ORÉAL-UNESCO Award for Women in Science 2015 (Asia-Pacific)

Professor Yi Xie has been awarded this year's L'ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science 2015, Laureate for Asia-Pacific at a ceremony held on 18 March in Paris. A professor of chemistry at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), Professor Yi is among the top women researchers honored for their ground-breaking discoveries in the field of science.

Launched 1998, the annual L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards honors five outstanding women scientists – one per continent – for the contributions of their research, the strength of their commitments and their impact on society.

USTC is one of China's leading universities and a charter member of APRU since 1997. USTC was established by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 1958.

Last year's award for Asia-Pacific was also given to professor from an APRU member university, Professor Kayo Inaba of Kyoto University.

Read related article here. View photos of the award ceremony here.

20 March 2015
Published in APRU News

APRU universities convene to discuss gender gap in higher education

Sixteen member universities convened to discuss issues on gender gap at the APRU Asia-Pacific Women and Leadership (APWiL) Workshop 2015 from 9 to 11 March. The international workshop was hosted by the University of Auckland in New Zealand and supported by Elsevier. The host university welcomed participants at the university's cultural heritage landmark, the Waipapa Marae, whereby participants engaged in Powhiri, a Māori welcoming ceremony.

The overview on the state of the gender gap in Asia-Pacific higher education on 10 March elicited dynamic discussions on building the pipeline and the nurturing of talent in universities. Professor Jenny Dixon, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Engagement) at the University of Auckland (UoA) and Professor Ann Brewer, Dean of Professional and Continuing Education at the University of Sydney lead the discussions followed by case study presentations from UoA and the Australian National University. In addition, the workshop featured presentations on women's experiences in universities, identifying points of gender gap intervention and upskilling of universities for capacity building. These presentations included case studies from Tohoku University, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa and the University of Malaya, in addition to UoA. 

Read more here.

17 March 2015
Published in APRU News

JSPS offers opportunities for APRU researchers


The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science offers research opportunities through fellowships, collaborations and other schemes which can be taken up by APRU member universities. Professor Kunio Takeyasu, Director of JSPS London, and a former well-known APRU Senior Staff from Kyoto University, informed Secretary General Tremewan of these possibilities when he visited. He also met Deputy Director Matsumoto (from Tokyo University) and other staff members seconded from Keio, Tokyo and other universities as well as MEXT (Ministry of Education). For more information on fellowships and funding see:


03 March 2015
Published in APRU News

UN High Official Expresses Interest in APRU Collaboration


APRU presidents have frequently discussed ways research universities could contribute to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by the international community through the UN. These are now being evaluated and future objectives will move to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Ms. Helen Clark, former prime minister of New Zealand, is the Administrator of the UN Development Program, the third most senior official at the UN and the key UN leader for implementation of the MDGs. The day she returned from an official visit to Ebola-affected countries in West Africa, Secretary General Chris Tremewan met with her in the UN headquarters in New York on 19 February.  

Ms. Clark expressed considerable interest in APRU’s work and possible synergies with UNDP’s work in the Asia-Pacific region which focuses on

- Sustainable development
- Democratic governance and peacebuilding
- Climate and disaster resilience

She offered to assist APRU build relationships with the UNDP regional office in Bangkok and the UNDP Global Centre for Public Service Excellence in Singapore.

Ms. Clark will attend the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai in March at which APRU’s Tohoku University-based program hub on Multi-Hazards will host three panel discussions and will share the reults of its recent survey. APRU will participate in a panel discussion and highlight the benefits of regional collaboration in education and research.

For more information on the United Nations Development Programme, please click here

23 February 2015
Published in APRU News

APRU meets in Washington DC


Twenty APRU members met in the US capital on 16 February to be updated on the 2015 agenda of activities and to exchange news about their own universities. Secretary General Chris Tremewan hosted the occasion within the annual conference of AIEA attended by 700 US and international senior international officers. Dr Darla Deardorff, Executive Director, AIEA, and Assistant Director Dafina Blacksher Diabate, joined the APRU meeting, welcomed APRU participants and expressed their hopes for closer collaboration.

Dr. Tremewan briefed APRU colleagues on highlights including the innovative program for the Presidential Retreat and Annual Meeting in Osaka, June 28-30. IPAC Co-chair, Dennis Galvan, outlined the work plan for the next IPAC meeting in Singapore March 5-6. Vice Provost Jeff Riedinger, University of Washington, spoke on UW’s proposal for an APRU Teaching and Learning Program which will be further developed by UW’s hosting of the Provosts’ Forum in 2016.

All APRU colleagues spoke in turn about their priority activities and their engagement with APRU in the coming year. APRU’s new brochure and a news update were shared with the group.

23 February 2015
Published in APRU News