APRU 18th Annual Presidents Meeting

Presidents grpphotoWS
Photo courtesy of ANU
Hosted by:  Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
Date:  23-25 June 2014
The Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) held its 18th Annual Presidents Meeting (APM 2014) in Canberra, Australia from June 23 to 25, 2014. 18 presidents and over 60 delegates from 30 APRU member universities attended the three-day meeting.  
Hosted by the Australian National University (ANU), the meeting commenced with a panel on higher education in Australia, featuring Vice-Chancellors from ANU, University of Melbourne and UNSW Australia, discussing  current challenges faced by Australian universities in seeking to fulfil educational and research objectives in the midst of higher educational policy reforms and regulations in Australia.  Funding, and ensuring quality and equity in higher education remained key concerns for universities seeking to remain globally competitive and relevant while managing different expectations from the government and other stakeholders.
The session on “Big Data and the Shape of Things to Come" outlined the role and advancement of quantitative and qualitative representation of information in a data-intensive world, and the impact of quantifying data in higher education. Speakers from the Australian Information Communications Technology Research Centre of Excellence (NICTA) and Coursera shared their perspectives on the applicability and future of big data.
APM 2014's future initiatives session included a report of the year's work under APRU's new strategic framework and proposed guidelines for developing APRU hubs which act as coordination nodes for long and medium term collaboration on research, education, public policy development and community engagement among APRU member universities.  Developments in APRU programs such as the Asia Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL)'s gender gap study in higher education, and a population ageing initiative were presented by member universities.
ANU hosted two formal dinners for delegates at the National Arboretum Canberra, the elegant conservatory and home to 94 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from Australia and around the world, and the National Gallery of Australia, which features collections of more than 160,000 works in Australian art, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander art, Asian art and European and American art.  Australian Senator the Hon Scott Ryan and the ACT Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher addressed delegates at the respective dinners.
APRU elected its 7th chairman, President C L Max Nikias of University of Southern California at its business meeting on June 25, taking over from Chancellor Henry Yang of UC Santa Barbara. USC was one of four founding member universities when APRU was established in 1997.  
The latest APM program schedule can be found here.  
Other links:

General information on APM 2014

Information on Canberra, Australia and Canberra Hyatt Hotel

- Panel on Higher Education in Australia
- Big Data and The Shape of Things to Come
- Presidents Open Forum
- APRU Future Initiatives
- Invitation to 19th Annual Presidents Meeting 2015 (PPT file) Download: Video (.mp4)