Universities of the Asia Pacific prepare to lead in Fourth Industrial Revolution

University Presidents join business leaders and policymakers to tackle critical skills shortage in Data Science & Analytics (DSA) and support regional competitiveness In Fourth Industrial Revolution

Da Nang, Vietnam, November 8, 2017—The Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), a network of leading universities in the APEC region, today announced that it would partner with APEC’s Project DARE (Data science and Analytics Raising Employment) to bridge the looming skills gap in Data Science & Analytics (DSA).

“The lack of DSA skills currently sits on top of the skills shortage in the APEC region not just in terms of the size of the gap but also its essential role in driving artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, cyber-physical systems that are at the center of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the future of work and the future of global prosperity” said Clay Stobaugh, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President of global research and learning company Wiley, a co-Chair of APEC Project DARE. Project DARE will benefit from the leadership of APRU and its members in addressing this skill gap, leveraging the APEC platform to bring universities together with industry.”

APRU Secretary General Dr. Chris Tremewan announced the Project DARE collaboration during the inaugural APEC University Leaders Forum, which took place immediately prior to today’s kick off of the 2017 APEC CEO Summit. Organized by APRU, this year’s Forum focused on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, convening leading academic, industry and government leaders to address sustainability and skills challenges facing the region. According to Dr. Tremewan, the Forum reflects the organization’s commitment to “building the infrastructure” necessary to link academia to the business and policy communities to jointly solve urgent challenges of our time.

Launched earlier this year, Project DARE convened global employers, university representatives and government from across APEC member economies to develop a set of workplace-ready competencies for DSA-enabled workers. The Project DARE framework introduces a first of its kind list of core DSA competencies combining technical skills and critical soft or workplace skills needed by employers. Supported by Wiley and the Business Higher Education Forum (BHEF), DARE is currently building on this framework to develop tools, content and other resources to deploy these skills competencies in university and corporate settings.

“Higher education institutions will play a critical role in addressing the future DSA skills-shortage,” says Nguyen Kim Son (Nguyễn Kim Sơn), President of Vietnam National University, Hanoi, who also emphasizes that higher education finds its voice on matters of skills training. “We need to ensure that higher education institutions are positioned to take a seat at the table with businesses and policymakers in the APEC economies to better enhance the economic development and secure the prosperity of the highly dynamic Asia-Pacific region.”

Both the University Leaders’ Forum and CEO Summit will conclude with the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, the first APEC meeting for US President Donald Trump, South Korean President Moon Jae-In, HK Chief Executive Carrie Lam and incoming New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Delegates at the meeting of world leaders are expected to discuss trade and economic development in the APEC region.

The inaugural APEC University Leaders’ Forum was organized by the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), a network of leading universities of the APEC economies.

08 November 2017