APRU’s leadership visits 10 universities in eight days featuring presidential roundtable discussions, bilateral meetings with higher education leaders, and commemorative celebrations for APRU member universities, October 14-23, 2019. APRU Secretary General, Christopher Tremewan and Director (Administration and Finance) Sherman Cheng met with international leaders to enhance collaboration and accelerate solutions to solve Asia-Pacific Challenges.
On October 14th APRU leaders met with the Prof. Jiangfeng Du (Vice President for International Affairs), Prof Kun Qu, (Deputy Director, Office of International Cooperation), and Ms Meiqi Sun (Program Officer) of the University of Science and Technology of China. They discussed USTC hosting the APRU Vice Presidents for Research Meeting in 2021 and the importance of cross-disciplinary innovations related to new medicine. USTC is looking forward to leveraging the APRU network to facilitate student exchange and develop news ways to engage students in solving the challenges of the Asia Pacific.
At Nanjing University, Dr Tremewan and Mr Cheng met with President Lyu Jian along with Ms Melissa Hu (Deputy Director Office of International Cooperation and Exchanges) and Ms. Jane Xu (Section Chief Office of International Cooperation & Exchanges). President Lyu emphasized the importance of APRU to his university as an influential global platform that offers NJU opportunities to exchange, collaborate, cooperate. He noted, in particular, the APRU-NJU-UN Habitat on Sustainable Development Planning Innovation Expert Group Meeting & Future of Asia Pacific Cities Report. As a center of economic growth rivaling Shanghai, he said, Nanjing could be a site for multilateral discussions on the development of international research collaboration and partnerships leveraging the economic success of the region.
At Fudan University on October 16 APRU met with newly installed (in 2019), Prof Chen Zhimin (Vice President and Jean Monnet Chair Professor), Prof Lu Lian (Director, Global Partnerships Office and Professor of English Literature), and Ms. Ann Tang (Deputy Director International). Fudan University is looking forward to hosting the Annual APRU Global Health Conference, October 2020. They expressed interest in developing an international alliance with a focus on insurance and social cohesion with the APRU Multi-Hazard and Population Aging Programs. Fudan University has created a US-China think-tank dialogue and US-China young diplomat meeting at the Shanghai Forum to develop strategies for the next decade in Asia.
As a recent member of APRU, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, is learning of the opportunities to engage with the network. Professor Lisa Xu (Vice President for Education and International Affairs) mentioned special interest in the APRU Global Health Program an area where they already share a lot of partnerships with APRU members. The Pacific Ocean was noted as another area of collaboration. The Secretary General spoke on a panel at the 2019 Symposium on World Class Universities (WCU), hosted by SJTU October 15-17, on “How Should World-Class Universities Tackle Global Challenges and Seize Opportunities?”
The APRU Secretary General was invited to give the keynote address at the annual meeting of the presidents of the top nine universities in China and the top three in Hong Kong hosted by Xi’an Jiao Tong University from October 17-20. Dr Tremewan’s address was titled, “Leading the Asia-Pacific Region: Contributing to the Global Common Good.” He noted the ways that the world is out of balance owing to inequality and climate change. He described how research universities make a positive contribution. See a full version of his remarks in English and 中文.
President Wu Zhaohui and Professor Wang Jingdai (Chemical Engineering and Technology) met with Dr Tremewan and Mr Cheng at Zhejiang University on October 18. The President offered its new international campus as a site for collaboration and partnership for future APRU meetings. Zhejiang University is working to engage with APRU to advance international collaboration on issues of public health, artificial intelligence, and civilization ecosystems.
Dr Tremewan then attended the 120th Anniversary Celebration of the Far Eastern Federal University and addressed the Asia-Pacific Universities Presidents’ Roundtable held Oct 18-19 under the theme “Education in the Asia-Pacific: Looking back, looking ahead” in Vladivostok, Russia. Tremewan cited studies showing that the world has crossed thresholds of irreversible climate change and that universities have the ability and the responsibility to find solutions.
At Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, Dr Tremewan and Mr Cheng met with Dr. Jack Li (Dean of International Office), David Zupko (Associate Dean of International), and Mr John Paul Grima (Program Manager to determine the opportunities for future leadership on climate change, AI Ethics, and the Provosts’ Forum which will be hosted by Tsinghua University in March 2020.
At the University of the China Academy of Sciences with Professor Wu Yueliang (Vice President) along with Mr. Xie Yong (Director, International Affairs), and Ms. Michelle Xia (Program Coordinator) spoke of the many challenges to developing and maintaining partnerships due to difficulty of obtaining visas. He noted that the APRU network has been increasingly important in maintaining their international presence. There has been a surge in requests to partner and the University is committed to the development of APRU’s programs, particularly the APRU Pacific Ocean Program.
At a meeting at Peking University, Professor Wang Bo (Vice President) accompanied by Dr Li Yun (Deputy Director, Chief Division for Exchange Programs, and Ms Cici Cheng (International Office) highlighted the importance for the University to engage in areas of multidisciplinary discovery. For example, artificial intelligence is an emerging field with many implications for legal studies, cancer medical research, and life sciences. APRU can serve as a neutral platform for making these discoveries and developing new ideas. Vice President Wang also advocated for an APRU meeting of deans of social sciences and humanities.