Unique innovations blossomed at the APRU SDG Education for Global Citizenship Program
May 22, 2023more
Global Climate Change Simulation Offers USC Students New Perspectives on Worldwide Fight
Original post on USC Global. While climate change remains a pressing issue across countries and generations, research shows the topic is of particular concern to millennials and Gen Z, according to Pew. That is part of the reason why the Student Global Climate Change Simulation has drawn such immense interest from the USC student body. It’s also a challenging, thought-provoking way to learn more about the worldwide effects of climate change. The event, hosted in partnership with the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), saw almost 200 students from 22 universities around the globe participating in an online mock United Nations climate change conference. Students formed delegations that worked together to negotiate policies, sign pledges related to carbon emission caps and other climate change solutions, and more. Top experts from the UN, World Business Council for Sustainable Development and other esteemed organizations also spoke at the simulation on issues such as climate refugees, reforestation and ocean health. This year, the simulation was led in part by Mellissa Withers, director of the APRU Global Health Program at USC and associate professor of population and public health sciences at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, and Shannon Gibson, associate professor of environmental studies, political science and international relations at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Gibson first became interested in working on the APRU Student Global Climate Change Simulation years ago, when she experienced an earlier iteration at a summit. She incorporated it into her own classroom, and later, with the help of Withers, “took the model and really expanded it.” “I think as an educator, one of the things that you become aware of is that students learn by doing. They learn by putting themselves in the shoes of a decision-maker. By taking a student who may only have a perspective of the United States when it comes to climate change, having them function as China, or the Philippines, or South Africa really helps them to learn how the thinking varies,” she told USC Global. Preparing for Careers in Global Health The mock exercise ran for three days total — April 11, April 18 and April 25 — and drew students from multiple schools and disciplines within USC, including public health, computer science, business, international relations, environmental studies, global studies, occupational therapy and engineering. Giancarlo Ceja, an international relations and environmental studies undergraduate student, hopes the simulation will impact his future career in environmental policy, using his education to help those living in countries most affected by climate change. “In terms of environmental justice, I grew up in a very low-income, marginalized community in Southern California. My parents immigrated from a rural community in Mexico, and both are being affected in different ways by climate change. Marginalized, low-income communities around the world are most vulnerable to the brunt of the effects of climate change, and I want to help fix that,” he explained. Ceja is also optimistic his fellow participants will end the mock conference more aware of how much work is yet to be done, especially by the world’s most powerful countries. While everyone has a role in combating climate change, some nations — specifically developed countries that have produced the most carbon emissions — have a higher responsibility to contribute to the fight against climate change, he said. “Coming together in the international community and holding up to the commitments that you make is really important. Solving this problem is impossible without international cooperation,” explained Ceja, citing the UN’s common but differentiated responsibilities principle. Like Ceja, environmental science and public health undergraduate student Abeerah Siddiqui was inspired to participate in the simulation to gain a new, universal outlook on today’s critical climate change challenges. “We all have this collective interest in combating climate change, so this way, we can get a more global perspective on the issue. I think oftentimes, as students here, we’re a lot more familiar with how the U.S. handles [climate change]. We’re learning how our local communities are addressing the issues, but not so much how other countries and other parts of the world are tackling it,” she explained. With an aspiring career in public health, Siddiqui believes the mock negotiations will allow her to further grasp international health care systems and policies, as well as come up with public health solutions that prioritize regional perspectives. “The skills and knowledge I take away from this will help me [prepare] when it comes time for me to potentially visit other countries,” Siddiqui said. Multi-Discipline Simulation Promoting a cross-industry response to climate change, the simulation also included Master of Business Administration (MBA) student Kayla Friedman-Barb, who is looking to enhance her education in clean and renewable solutions to pivot to the sustainability sector following graduation. “Understanding other people’s perspectives is a huge part of business and [how we operate],” she said. “We need to understand how other countries think about climate change and what they see as the best ways to combat it, working together in order to have a truly collaborative solution.” Friedman-Barb was particularly eager to learn from students who are based outside of the U.S., as the international negotiations would highlight what the U.S. and other countries are “willing to give up” or refuse to mediate in their respective commitments to tackling climate change. “What’s important for each community and each person will become apparent, especially in younger generations who are participating in this program,” Friedman-Barb explained. For Gibson, these students have perfectly articulated what she hopes they will take away from the process: an effective, international approach to protecting our shared planet. Even if climate change is not a topic brimming with optimism, it’s a crucial one that will directly impact each and every participant — and Gibson is hopeful some students will go on to directly influence the fight against climate change. “Sometimes, I wish it were a bit more hopeful, but it does show them climate mitigation is a political process,” Gibson said. “It’s not just a scientific problem. It is very much a political, social and economic issue, as well as a cultural problem. You need that interdisciplinary approach to understand how to solve this massive problem.” Learn more about APRU and USC’s Department of Population and Public Health Sciences today. Find out more about the Climate Change Simulation here.
May 2, 2023more
UO Students Co-host APRU Global Climate Change Simulation
Original post on Around the O. The University of Oregon is co-hosting the Student Global Climate Change Simulation sponsored by the Association of Pacific Rim Universities. The APRU Student Global Climate Change Simulation is a role-playing exercise in which students will form multicountry, multidisciplinary teams to play the role of delegates to the UN climate change negotiations. Twenty-two universities from around the Pacific Rim are taking part in the exercise, which runs April 11-25. Over three sessions, an online simulation activity will use materials from the World Climate Interactive and the C-ROADS simulation model developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The live sessions will be supplemented with short lectures and other materials developed and curated by the APRU experts, which will be available on a shared Canvas website. To learn more, visit the World Climate Simulation. The APRU Student Global Climate Change Simulation is co-organized by the APRU Sustainable Cities and Landscapes Program housed at the UO and the APRU Global Health Program housed at University of Southern California. Partner universities include Fiji National University, Keio University, Korea University, Monash University, Nagoya University, Nanyang Technological University, National Taiwan University, National University of Singapore, Peking University, Tecnológico de Monterrey, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, The University of Auckland, The University of Melbourne, The University of Sydney, Tohoku University, Universidad de los Andes, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Universiti Malaya and University of Hawaii. Find out more about the Climate Change Simulation 2023 here.
April 10, 2023more
17th Annual APRU Multi-Hazards Symposium Presents New Approaches and Tools to Tackle Future Risks
The 17th Annual APRU Multi-Hazards Symposium was hosted by Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok in late-November, highlighting the importance of innovative approaches for numerous key topics ranging from infrastructure and community resilience to socio-economic and governance challenges. Held under the theme “Innovation toward sustainable growth and disaster risk reduction”, the real-life gathering brought over 120 featured scholars, practitioners, and participants from the APRU network and the United Nations ESCAP across four continents. Prof. Dr. Bundit Eua-arporn, President of Chulalongkorn University, pointed out that Chulalongkorn University is strongly committed to facilitate academic learning, public service, and professional excellence with innovations for multi-hazard management. “Education institutes have a lot of valuable academic resources and innovative research, and we need to work harder with collective efforts and well-planned strategies to mitigate potential risks and use new innovations with systematic management methods to prevent any hazards from happening,” Prof. Dr. Bundit said in his welcome speech. “By doing so, not only people’s life will be safer, but also damages on lives and properties will be reduced,” he added. The multidisciplinary nature of the 17th Annual APRU Multi-Hazards Symposium was illustrated by eleven prominent keynote speakers, such as Prof. Fumihiko Imamura, Director of the International Research Institute of Disaster Science at Tohoku University; Dr. Bhichit Rattakul, , Chairperson of the Thai Network for Disaster Resilience; Dr. Sanjay Srivastava, UNESCAP Chief for Disaster Risk Reduction; and Dr. Aaron Opdyke, Director of Research Training, School of Civil Engineering, Sydney University. Case studies ranged from Seismic Fragility of Selected Public High School Buildings in Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines, to Lessons Learned from COVID-19 Management in Sri Lankan Hospitals. Participants agreed that new approaches and tools based on innovation, science, and technology are indispensable to tackle future risks. “Nowadays, our world has been impacted by multiple hazards, including one of the most severe pandemics, COVID-19, and each time, the affected countries were facing losses based on lives,” said Prof. Supot Teachavorasinskun, Dean of Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University. “As the world is developing, it is our goal to reduce the disaster losses by creating sustainable innovations from our multidisciplinary knowledge,” he added. The 17th Annual APRU Multi-Hazards Symposium featured several Best Presentation and Poster Awards. Students from Monash University and Universitas Indonesia won the prizes by sharing the lessons learned from COVID-19 management in Sri Lankan hospitals and integrating tsunami evacuation route planning in web applications for Disaster Risk Reduction. For more information about the Multi-Hazards Symposium, visit here.
December 8, 2022more
APRU Presents Solutions for New Core Competency- Building at 18th APEC Future Education Forum
The recent annual APEC Future Education Forum (AFEF) served as an opportunity for APRU to share its future-oriented educational experiences in the APEC region. At the hybrid event held in Seoul November 10-11 as part of APEC 2022, APRU Senior Director (Policy and Research Programs) Christina Schönleber presented several APRU case studies related to skills and competencies for the future world of work. Schönleber described how APRU started supporting students and scholars from the start of the pandemic, when students were abruptly confined to their dorms spending much of the day in a virtual world. APRU developed several courses and activities tailored for that unprecedented situation, such as the Teaching in Virtual Environment webinar series; the Quarantunes – Student Competition (which encouraged to jointly create and enter music pieces with the aim to increase wellbeing and combat increasing mental disorders); and the Esports Fellowship. “Fairly quickly we realised that skills and competencies which were very important in a world where we operate mainly face to face had been superceded by new and different aptitudes,” Schönleber said. “Being able to cope quickly and continuously to an increasingly uncertain world required new core competencies, as suddenly the most important skills for students and academics were resilience and the ability to adapt to challenges and overcome these and importantly technical understanding,” she added. Schönleber went on to illustrate that challenges related to Climate Change and the transition to a green economy have also become a focus for students, which APRU responded to by creating the APRU Student Global Climate Change Simulation; APRU Global Sustainability: Waste & The City; the SDG 4 Global Citizens Program; and the Carbon Neutral Society – Action Month. Other panelists and speakers addressed a wide range of questions, including about the competencies that future generations should have and about how human factors, such perception, emotion, and passion, affect the changing educational situation. The 18th APEC Future Education Forum was organized by the Daegu, South Korea-based Institute APEC Collaborative Education (IACE). APRU has close links to IACE Chairman Professor Dong Sung Park, who serves as the Lead Sheepherder of the Human Resource Development Working Group (HRDWG). APRU has been a HRDWG guest member for several years and has recently renewed its guest member status with the HRDWG to the end of 2023. APEC 2022 concluded on November 19 with the APEC University Leaders Forum hosted by Chulalongkorn University in partnership with APRU on the margins of the APEC CEO Summit. The APEC CEO Summit is the APEC premier meeting of business and government leaders in the Asia Pacific.
November 29, 2022more
12th APRU Population Ageing Virtual Conference 2022 Takes on Massive Challenges in Achieving Optimal Outcomes for Older Persons
The 12th APRU Population Aging Conference 2022 recently brought together over 120 international experts and scholars to engage on global aging issues. Co-organized by Zhejiang University and the National University of Singapore (NUS) under the theme Ageing at a time of crisis: understanding needs, navigating new challenges, a central theme of the virtual 2-day conference was to present the importance of collaboration across research, policy, and practice domains to achieve optimal outcomes for older persons. Many countries in the Asia-Pacific region are confronted with the massive challenges associated with aging populations. Nearly 60% of the world’s elderly population live in Asia, creating persistent pressures for governments in the region and emerging as a central issue for research, policy, and practice. “In a recent UN Forum, experts urged us to develop safe, secure and aging-friendly environments as the Asia- Pacific population is ageing faster than any other region,” said Dr Christopher Tremewan, Secretary General of APRU, in his opening remarks. “Given that aging issues such as inequality, income security, and the digital divide are being exacerbated by climate change, digital transformation and the COVID-19 pandemic, it is timely to address together what is clearly a global issue affecting us all,” he added. Angelique Chan, Associate Professor in the Signature Program in Health Services and Systems Research at National University of Singapore’s Duke-NUS Medical School, served as a co-chair of the conference. Chan, who also is the Director of APRU Population Ageing Program, presented an overview of ageing issues and challenges. “We must look more deeply into topics such as the effects of social support on health, caregiver burden, and use of long-term care services,” Chan said. “It is also important to increase social engagement and psychological wellbeing in not only older persons but also their caregivers,” she added. Zhejiang University was represented by Ka Lin, Professor of Social Policy and Social Work. As the conference co-lead, he shared how Zhejiang University leveraged on their network in China to find top presenters, collaborated internally with their international office and senior management, and partnered with NUS to successfully co-host the conference. “Given that previous research has shown that having purpose and meaning at older ages leads to living longer and a higher quality of life, we need to advocate for policies that encourage productive aging, leverage on the ability of older persons to continue to contribute to society,” Lin said. He also highlighted the need to ensure that older adults live with dignity, honour, and respect. Keynotes were held by Prof. John Piggott, Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) at UNSW Sydney and Alan Walker, Professor of Social Policy & Social Gerontology Institution, at the University of Sheffield. The 12th APRU Population Ageing Virtual Conference 2022 served as a highly valuable platform also for abstracts presenters from across the APRU universities. The event furthermore featured the five winners of the student poster submission. Topics spanned from caregivers’ experiences preparing for End-of-Life (EoL) decisions in Singapore to sandwich generation’s caregiving and cognitive health in China. Secretary General of APRU Tremewan took the opportunity to thank National University of Singapore and Zhejiang University for being active and committed APRU members engaged in many of APRU’s programs. To find out more information about the Population Aging Conference 2022, visit here.
November 25, 2022more
APRU SDG4GC orientations kick-start exploration of health & well-being
In early November, two orientation programs successfully marked the start of the APRU SDG Education for Global Citizenship program (APRU SDG4GC), involving representatives from APRU member universities, UN agencies and other experts, interacting online with the program’s first cohort comprised of 60 students from 28 member universities. APRU SDG4GC is an intercultural, transdisciplinary and interactive program that fosters global citizenship among students from 60 universities in 19 economies across the Pacific Rim. Lead by Chulalongkorn University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and co-designed by four other core-partner universities, in collaboration with the United Nations, the program builds knowledge of global issues among students. With the theme of “Shaping the Future of Health and Wellbeing” this year, the program covers a broad range of topics, including mental health, health equity, health care system, ethics, healthy ageing, and global health. Bundhit Eua-arporn, President of Chulalongkorn University (Photo: Chulalongkorn University) “You have already proved yourself to be pioneers ready to lead the way towards a shared vision of global citizenship,” said Bundhit Eua-arporn, President of Chulalongkorn University, in his opening remarks. “Global citizenship is key in these times when the world is undergoing critical transitions that demand resolution of interconnected challenges,” he added. Rocky Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (Photo: Chulalongkorn University) Rocky Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, revealed that the inaugural class of APRU SDG4GC was completely oversubscribed and congratulated the students for being selected. Tuan explained that APRU SDG4GC serves to guide students to create solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges through collaboration. “These challenges have been exacerbated by the pandemic, as the world is faced with an increasingly polarized geopolitical environment which has created all sorts of hindrances for transnational collaboration,” Tuan said. Iwona Spytkowski, Team Leader and Strategic Planner at United Nations in Thailand, provided a snapshot of SDGs progress and explained how the UN system can be leveraged for further improvement. Marisa Panyachiva, Partnership and Development Finance Officer at the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Thailand, provided information about the UN’s structure and the agency’s many funds and programs. Panyachiva explained that the UN draws its unique strengths from working at different levels, from regionally to globally. Elodie Jacquet, Global Citizenship Program Co-designer who is the Knowledge and Practice Manager at Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue, urged the students to have a spirit of curiosity and open-mindedness. “This is an important skill to have when you will be negotiating with other members of society, different levels of government, and other people that you will interact with in your work,” Jacquet said. Natalie Konomi, Global Citizenship Program Co-designer and Professor at Kyushu University, presented the elements of culture, illustrating how complex and interconnected those are. On day 2 of the orientation, the panel session entitled “Shaping the Future of Health and Well-Being” was broadcasted widely and raised the question “How can we build a caring and sustainable global community?” Dr. Andrea Bruni, the WHO’s Regional Advisor, Mental Health, South-East Asia, shared insights about the new WHO Mental Health Action Plan. Jennifer Frances dela Rosa, a Senior Officer affiliated with the Health Division of ASEAN Secretariat’s Human Development Directorate, spoke on social progress and cultural development in the ASEAN region. Hilda Ho, Head of Psychiatry Services, RIPAS Hospital, Ministry of Health, Brunei Darussalam, and Bambang Purwanto, representing the Ministry of Health, Indonesia, spoke on developments regarding mental health in Brunei and Indonesia respectively. Tiffany Chen, Policy Experimentation Expert, Thailand Policy Lab, UNDP, shared findings from an ongoing case study about mental health issues among Thai youth. In the next four months, the students will engage in interactive lectures and workshops on design thinking and cross-cultural communication, receive mentorship from experts from the program’s core partners, and work in teams to develop a solution to address a challenge on this year’s theme. A pitching competition on 20 March 2023 will showcase students’ work and will be judged by a panel of UN experts. The winning team will participate in a week-long visit to Bangkok, with training at Chulalongkorn University’s Innovation Hub, field trips to spin-off companies and start-ups, and an opportunity to join a key UN event in Bangkok. The SDG4GC program is one of many initiatives that APRU is building with its member universities to nurture our youth to make an impact locally and globally to address some of the world’s biggest challenges. Group Photos of the Orientation: For more information about SDG for Global Citizenship, please visit SDG4GC Website.
November 15, 2022more
APRU Sustainable Cities & Landscapes Conference Helps Shifting Toward Well-prepared and Resilient Urban Societies
The APRU Sustainable Cities & Landscapes Conference (SCL) 2022 brought nearly a hundred in-person participants together in Honolulu, USA, September 6-9, making it the first in-person APRU program event after a three-year pandemic hiatus. Held under the theme: Climate Risk and Urban Resilience-Challenges Ahead and hosted by the University of Hawi’i at Manoa (UHM), the SCL engaged eleven inter-disciplinary working groups, including the new working group Pandemics, Humanitarian Emergencies & Health led by APRU Global Health Program Director Dr. Mellissa Withers; and two working group sessions held fully remotely which were Urban Landscape Biodiversity and Children, Youth and Environment groups. An on-site student symposium invited students from all levels to present their work and discuss their research with paired mentors. An exciting field trip to Iolani Palace, Bishop Museum and University of Hawaiʻi Community Design Center gave attendees background and knowledge of Hawaii’s historical stories, civic engagement, and community design. The APRU Sustainable Cities and Landscapes Program was founded in recognition of the fact that more people live in the world’s cities than in rural areas today. Understanding the interconnection between human activity, resource use, biodiversity protection and the interdependence between cities themselves becomes truly essential to solving the critical sustainability issues facing the Pacific Rim societies. “It was very encouraging to see how the SCL 2022 engaged over 80 in-person participants plus more than 20 online participants across Asia, North America, South America and Australasia, with the shared aim of highlighting the importance of sustainability to the Pacific Rim as well to the globe,” said Professor Michael Bruno, Provost, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, in his lightning talk on urban oceans. “UHM will continue to fully support APRU activities aiming towards well-prepared and resilient urban societies,” he added. Among the other key attendants was Prof. Makena Coffman, Director of the UHM’s Institute for Sustainability and Resilience, who served as a key organizer of the SCL 2022. Prof. Michael Richards, Associate Vice-President of Research and Dr. Andréanne Doyon, Director of the Resource and Environmental Planning Program from Simon Fraser University, Canada, joined the SCL conference for the first time. Doyon is now aiming to engage further with the SCL program, including by co-leading a working group. The University of Oregon’s (UO) Dr. Yekang Ko, who is the Director of APRU Sustainable Cities & Landscapes, led a group of UO faculty and students to attend the SCL 2022. Ko served as the lead of two SCL 2022 leadership meetings to curate current and future plans of working groups and discuss the next step for the second 5-year plan of the SCL program. The next SCL annual conference will be in Ecuador led by Universidad San Francisco de Quito. Colleagues who attended the conference presented initial ideas for the SCL 2023. More Information Find out more details about the SCL conference 2022 here. Article on University of Hawai’i News here.
October 20, 2022more
The APRU Climate Change Simulation- Preparing Students to Lobby Leaders for Vital Actions
APRU recently completed its second APRU Climate Change Simulation and is now preparing for next year’s simulation, with a new advisory group soon to be appointed. Co-organized by the APRU Global Health and the APRU Sustainable Cities and Landscapes Programs, the APRU Climate Change Simulation is a role-playing exercise in which students form multi-country, multi-disciplinary teams play the role of delegates to the UN Climate Change Negotiations. The 2022 APRU Climate Change Simulation engaged nearly 170 students from 17 APRU Universities in addition to a student group from Fiji National University. Forty-five experts from APRU universities and external partner organizations supported the delivery of the simulations, which are tasked to show ways to limit global warming to well below 2℃ in line with The Paris Agreement. A post-event survey showed that participating students highly appreciated the amount of diverse information on climate change, interaction with people from different parts of the world and the chance to take a very close look at the problems facing each country. “This simulation exercise has brought me to look at climate change in various perspectives in terms of its causes and the possible mitigation actions that are scientifically proven,” said Pedros Marcol Tabulo, a student from Fiji National University. “I will be so happy to share with my family and friends the importance of managing forests, which involves reducing deforestation and stepping up afforestation efforts,” he added. Students have also been grateful for the input they get from the experts who contribute to the simulations. The 2022 APRU Climate Change Simulation saw Ebru Gencoglu, Head of Sustainable Sourcing of Adidas, sharing insights on Adida’s efforts to lower the carbon footprint with new design and production approaches. Bernhard Barth, Human Settlements Officer of UN-Habitat, described how the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing conflicts both reveal and amplify the escalating impacts of climate change. Important expert contributions were provided by Dr. Rhys Jones (Ngāti Kahungunu), the Public Health Physician and Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland, and Dr. Ralph Chami, the Assistant Director, and Chief of Financial Policies at the International Monetary Fund. Their key insights focused on indigenous perspectives and how to fund the climate crisis respectively. On the facilitator side, the post-event survey showed that the participators of the 2022 APRU Climate Change Simulation were impressed by how close it got to actual negotiations. Facilitators also noted that the students were very motivated despite the event being held online. “The value of this type of experience for students is magnificent, as it allows students to appreciate the values of a wide range of intellectual disciplines and a high degree of intercultural sensitivity, tolerance and a global perspective,” said Vivian Lee of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who served as a facilitator. The 2023 APRU Climate Change Simulation will tentatively run in April 2023. The advisory group will be made up of simulation founding members Mellissa Withers of the University of Southern California and Elly Vandegrift of the University of Oregon. They will be joined by facilitators Vivian Lee, Zhenyu Zhang of Peking University and Christina Schönleber and Tina Lin of the APRU Secretariat. “We urge any interested APRU members who want to get their students engaged in this important activity to reach out to us,” Zhang said. “It is an excellent opportunity for participants to improve their communication skills, which is important when negotiating, lobbying or influencing leaders to take the actions necessary to implement solutions to climate change,” he added. More Information Find the webpage of the Student Global Climate Change Simulation 2022 here. View the program of the simulation 2022 here. Read the news in The Fiji Times about the simulation here. View a blog from UO’s student reporter here. To find out more about the APRU Climate Change Simulation 2023 and how your students can engage please contact [email protected].
October 14, 2022more
Congratulations to the winners of the APRU Digital Art Contest, “Level-Up Our World”
1st Place Jillianne Santos, Doctor of Dental Medicine University of the Philippines Manila “Spectrum” 2nd Place Keaton Chan Ka Han, Graphic Design, University of Melbourne “NETSLINGER HIRO CUSTOM” 3rd Place Jazmin Horio, Exploratory Business, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa “Reseen” Congratulations to the winners of the APRU Digital Art Contest, “Level-Up Our World.” Students across the Asia Pacific submitted their original artwork which features the ability for digital arts to positively influence the gaming industry. Students were asked to submit their original artwork of cast of characters or game bosses which reflect students’ visions to shape an equitable, sustainable, and inclusive world. With 2.7 billion people playing games globally, the gaming sector has the potential to cut across geography and generations for the good of society. Games that have introduced new and diverse characters in the gameplay and feature scenic dystopian landscapes have reached mainstream popularity and raise the need to be more inclusive and sustainable. We thank the partners including: Moon Lab, a blockchain-based startup that specializes in making mass adoption of blockchain technology possible, Cyberport Hong Kong and The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology for their support of the students and this contest. We thank all the students for their participation in this competition and we look forward to a more inclusive and sustainable esports industry landscape of the future. For more information about the design contest, please visit here.
October 3, 2022more
APRU Students Showcase Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills in APRU Global Health Virtual Case Competition
The 7th APRU Global Health Virtual Case Competition 2022 recently concluded, giving a total of 48 teams across 22 universities in 12 economies a platform to present solutions for the challenges the health system of Fiji has been facing. The competing teams had up to 10 weeks to prepare a 10-minute video in English to address a complex hypothetical scenario, for which there is no single “right” plan. Fiji has had 64,221 cases and 834 deaths due to COVID as of March 21, 2022. Despite a relatively successful response to COVID-19, the financial cost to Fiji’s economy has been devastating. In 2019, Fiji’s tourism brought in US$1.3 billion, but passenger arrivals plummeted by 84% in 2020, causing tourism to generate only US$236 million. This dramatic drop illustrates that extended quarantine and lockdown measures are not feasible for highly tourism-dependent countries. The APRU Global Health Virtual Case Competition 2022’s winning team was Fiji Apple from National University of Singapore. The decision, which came along with a prize of US$1,000, was made by an international panel of 16 judges, experts and participants of the Sustainable Cities and Landscape Conference 2022. Fiji Apple’s three-pronged solution consists of FijiReadi!, which strives to improve Fiji’s future pandemic preparedness and response via the use of a bottom-up approach; FijiUniti!, which improves communication between villages and higher administrative units; and FijiXchange!, which is a material goods exchange system to secure essential supplies. “It important for us to consider Fiji’s culture and practices in suggesting solutions that favor local level governance rather than national level ones,” Fiji Apple says in its winning video. “We thus identified the need to promote a bottom-up approach to pandemic detection and response that empowers people living in both urban and rural areas,” they add. Although this challenge was hypothetical, many economies around the world are currently considering how to address identical issues. For more information about the case competition 2022, visit here.
September 23, 2022more
Congratulations to the winners of the APRU Rampage Invitational Tournament
Congratulations to the winners of the APRU Rampage Invitational Tournament. Revisit the tournament finals on YouTube: Students in the Asia Pacific Rim to participate in the Rampage Invitational Tournament to build community and connectivity through competition. In a 5v5 Valorant title, students were inspired to connect and support for one another. APRU Rampage Invitational Tournament gave students an opportunity to build community across borders and universities to participate in competitive and exclusive tournament series. We thank the partners including: adidas, Planet9, a global esports community platform for gamers and launched by Acer in early 2020, Cyberport Hong Kong and Nexten for their support of the students and this tournament. We thank all the 70 students, 14 teams, from 8 universities for their participation in this tournament and we look forward to providing more opportunities for working together across borders. Winners: Asia region: Puffy Gang from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Latin America region: eSports Uchile from Universidad de Chile, Chile North America region: UHEsports from University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, USA List of Students from Winner Teams 1st Place of Asia: Puffy Gang Nanyang Technological University Singapore Gavin Wong Tan Wei Ang Japhet Tan Edan Kang Ivan Goh Lee Keat Wee 2nd Place of Asia: HKU SPACE Hong Kong SAR 1st Place of Latin America: eSports Uchile Universidad de Chile Chile Nicolás Alexander Figueroa Tangol Alexis Miguel Garcia Valdés Pedro Antonio Quevedo Villalobos Alfredo Alejandro Castillo Gutiérrez Clemente Ignacio Pizarro Schwerter Jorge Alexsander de beró Droguett Vargas 2nd Place of Latin America: Borregos GDL Tecnológico de Monterrey Mexico Jaime Yael Carillo Bejar Pedro Mariscal Parrilla Carlo Eduardo Renteria Toussaint Jorge David Limón Otañez Eric Oswaldo Valencia de los Cobos Santiago Mercado Acosta 1st of North America: UHEsports University of Hawai’i at Mānoa USA Cody Oshiro Kodi Young Michael Johnson Tate Tamaye Kaveh Esfahani 2nd of North America: UBC Blue The University of British Columbia Canada Arjun Arunprakash Arnold Ying Charles Guo Adam Kwok Matthew Ng For more information about the tournament, please visit the event webpage.
August 29, 2022more
Students from Tongji School of Medicine Enrolled in the Top 10 Entries of the APRU Global Health Virtual Case Competition 2022
Recently, the “Global Health Virtual Case Competition 2022” hosted by the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) proceeded to its final stage. Team “Arete” from Tongji University advanced to the top 10 of the competition, receiving the great honor of being the only team from China’s mainland in the final this year. Six Tongji University students, namely WANG Kaitao, MIAO Yongen, YAN Le and LIU Tong from School of Medicine (TUSM), and CHEN Yixian and PAN Kunwei from the School of Foreign Languages, made up the “Arete” team. The internationally and annually APRU-hosted Global Health Virtual Case Competition has provided APRU students with an opportunity to practice critical thinking and problem-solving skills through cases and scenarios to help solve global health challenges. The challenge of the case competition 2022 was to build and strengthen the capacity of the health systems in Fiji to better respond to future public health threats, focusing on vulnerable populations. The participating teams were obliged to propose a realistic, well-designed, and innovative solution. A total of 48 teams from 12 major Pacific Rim economies participated in the case competition 2022. Three Tongji University teams (Arete, Tongji Youth Team, Small Jin), made up of twelve students from TUSM (Clinical Medicine, Nursing and Physical Therapy) and four students from other majors (SFL, CAUP, CEIE), registered for the challenging competition to compete against other teams from top leading research universities around the Pacific Rim. By the time these participating teams started to prepare for their entries, they had been confronted with various difficulties and challenges such as stringent containment measures during the worst period of the COVID outbreak in Shanghai, despite which they still managed to do a literature search, completed interview schedules with Fijian students and local transportation workers, conducted liaison meetings on a regular basis, and worked out a wrap-up of the case solution through video shooting and editing. Through uninterrupted efforts in balancing online learning and a non-stop fight against COVID, they completed their proposal on schedule. During that period, they received intensified concerns and support, including guidance from CHEN haibin, Deputy Party Chief of TUSM, who shared the first-hand experience of pandemic prevention and control on West Campus. The International Students Office of Tongji University assisted in contacting Fijian students whilst the School of Design and Innovation, along with the Sino-Italian Institute, gave support for video-making. The Association of Pacific Rim Universities, or APRU, set up in 1997, is a consortium of top leading research universities from various economies of the Pacific Rim. Currently, it has a membership of 60 top research universities around the world, among which 12 universities are from China’s mainland, including Peking University, Tsinghua University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Fudan University, Nanjing University, Xi’an Jiaotong University, University of Science and Technology of China, Zhejiang University, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Harbin Institute of Technology, Sun Yat-sen University and Tongji University. Tongji University has been taking an active part in consortium activities with its commitment to promoting cultural integration and resource sharing, close-knit and deep-rooted partnerships, and further development of an inclusive and efficient platform for international collaboration. View the Chinese version here. Find out more about the Global Health Virtual Case Competition 2022 here.
August 25, 2022more
Graduation Ceremony and Final Presentations of Esports Fellowship Program 2nd Cohort leaves participants in awe
The successful completion of the Esports Fellowship Program 2nd Cohort was marked in late-June with final presentations and a graduation ceremony that left a deep impression on participating students, educators, and professionals. Led by Tecnológico de Monterrey in partnership with Cyberport, the APRU Esports Fellowship Program is an international network of student leaders engaged in next-generation learning experiences that support the growth of healthy, vibrant Esports communities. The Esports Fellowship Program 2nd Cohort was comprised of six monthly workshops from January-June 2022. Workshops were student led and ranged in topic from Marketing, Promoting, Sponsorship, and Broadcasting / Streaming, to Game Design. “Cooperation has been so visible and so amazing, with such as level of commitment and professionalism,” said Pille Kustala, Professor for International Business at Tecnológico de Monterrey, in her graduation address. “I have no doubt that all of the student participants will have a great future in professional esporting,” she added. Christopher Tremewan, Secretary General of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU, congratulated students on their deepening leadership in their universities and across the region. “And we find that you, the students, are already leading as innovators and gamechangers in creating the esports ecosystem. We thank you for sharing your insights on the ecosystem in this program with your peers from around the world. We hope this leads you to understand the ecosystem broadly and the many social implications and its potential use for social health, problem-solving global challenges, and diversity and educational pathways to other careers. APRU is privileged to have Tec de Monterrey, Mexico as the host for this fellowship program, with it’s global reputation in pedagogical leadership and educational technology we are able to make significant strides.,” Tremewan . Paula Cánepa, International Business Development Director at Spain’s Esports league LVP – Liga de Videojuegos Profesional, shared her impressions when witnessing the students being proud of their projects and investing a great deal of commitment. “For us from the industry, this is exactly what is needed, so please keep going,” Cánepa said. Mark Candella, Director of Student & Education Programs at Twitch Student program, which fosters sustainability and increase professionalism in Esports, was also visibly impressed by the success of the Esports Fellowship Program2nd Cohort. “I am humbled, I am inspired, and I have goosebumps thinking about the beautiful future that educators, students and educational institutions are creating,” Candella said. “And this is not just feeding into Esports but into the many different industries that are upgraded through tapping into creative content developed by the Esports sector,” he added. Cyberport, owned by the Hong Kong SAR Government, is an innovative digital community with over 1,500 start-ups and technology companies. Participating Universities were: Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), Vladivostok, Russia Keio University, Tokyo, Japan National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore Tecnológico de Monterrey, Monterrey (TEC), Mexico University of British Colombia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, United States Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Honolulu, United States University of Washington (UW), Seattle, United States Zhejiang University (ZJU), Zhejiang, China For more information about APRU Esports Program, please visit here. For more information about APRU Esports Fellowship Program 2nd Cohort, please visit here.
June 30, 2022more
Congratulations to the Winners of the APRU VSE Earth Day Challenge!
Original Post on APRU VSE The APRU Virtual Student Exchange (VSE) Program commemorated Earth Day 2022 by challenging students across the Pacific Rim to share their creativity through art to highlight the Earth Day theme, “Invest in Our Planet.” Congratulations to the winners: Ng Hei Yi (The Chinese University of Hong Kong), Daniela Álvarez (Universidad de Chile), and Leung Pui Yee (The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology). Twenty-four students across 13 APRU universities submitted inspiring entries ranging from poetry, videography, to graphic design. The winning entries and four other featured entries are showcased on this page. The APRU VSE Program has invested in planting 30 trees for every entry we received and together, we’ve planted 720 trees in Asia-Pacific communities most at-risk from climate change and environmental degradation. Adding 10% more green cover in cities and towns could potentially reduce the surface temperature of the area by 2.2 °C. As an essential part of the global economy, our efforts in improving the livelihood of our forests have cumulative effects as they provide tens of millions of jobs that are a vital part of the food chain, and are the source of over 28,000 species of plants used in medicines. The pressing needs of our planet require much more than money to reverse the effects of climate change and environmental hazards. As a network of universities we believe we have a great potential to shape the future healthy planet through high quality research innovation and educating the next generation of students which have the last chance to save the planet. We thank all the students for their contributions, please find the winning entries below. The VSE Central Office will contact the winners shortly for prize collection. The APRU Virtual Student Exchange (VSE) Program, led by The Chinese University of Hong Kong, makes international education accessible by allowing students to take academic courses and participate in co-curricular programs without the need to leave home. It opens up international education for all students by providing an immersive virtual student exchange experience through digital technologies and platforms and creating encounters with new ideas, cultures, experts, academics and students from around the world. For more information about the winning and featured Entries, please visit here.
June 17, 2022more
APRU on The Fiji Times: FNU Students Join Global Climate Change Simulation
Original The Fiji Times Twelve students from the Fiji National University’s (FNU) College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (CMNHS) were part of the Climate Change Simulation Conference in collaboration with the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU). APRU is a non-profit network of about 60 universities in the Asia-Pacific, with the Secretariat based in Hong Kong. This activity is organized by the APRU Global Health Programme at University of Southern California (US) and the APRU Sustainable Cities and Landscapes Program at University of Oregon (US). The APRU Student Global Climate Change Simulation is a role-playing exercise in which students will form multi-country, multidisciplinary teams to play the role of delegates to the UN Climate Change Negotiations. CMNHS Acting Dean, Dr Donald Wilson, said the conference allowed the students to participate and learn with the students from different countries on Climate Change. “The global engagement of our students links well with the strategic goal of the university for student experience and also creates an awareness for our students and staff of the international instruments that are critical to demonstrating the importance of staying connected to the global changes in climate,” Dr Wilson said. “We look forward to more conferences where our students can be part of and contribute towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 13 to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.” The aim of the conference was to describe what contributes to climate change, explain global climate change efforts, such as the Paris Agreement, the UNCCC and the COP, identify adaptation and mitigation strategies and which will have the most impact on global temperatures, explain how/why climate change affects the most vulnerable populations and why it is an issue of social justice. The conference also discussed the practice of global teamwork and cross-cultural collaboration and communication skills, the complexity involved in countries’ decisions, including consideration of factors such as economic impact, negotiating power and the challenges of negotiations among countries on issues such as climate change and the importance of global collaboration. The CMNHS Head of the School of Public Health and Primary Care (SPHPC), Dr Timaima Tuiketei said the University was grateful to be part of the conference. “We are happy to be part of a global initiative to build the capacities of our students and future leaders in addressing Climate Change. At the same time, the SPHPC is committed to strengthening its Climate Change and Health Programme to the overall university contribution to the national and regional Climate Change Agenda,” she said. Third year Public Health student, Margaret Biliki said she became more knowledgeable after attending the conference. “I am privileged to be joining my fellow colleagues for the APRU Simulation on Climate Change this year as an FNU rep, as Climate change is a global issue affecting our environment and our health,” she said. “I am enthusiastic to be learning from a group of diverse disciplines and experts from across the globe in interactive and informative zoom sessions and discussions on causes, effects, and solutions to address climate change issues. “The event will also help me to learn negotiation skills and to enhance my knowledge on climate change issues, a critically important issue for us, as Pacific Islanders. I am looking forward to learning and interacting with students from other universities as well.” The conference had Guest Speakers who spoke on coastal habitats, deforestation, clean energy, trading and offsets, and diplomacy and negotiation skills. Find out more about the Student Climate Change Simulation here.
June 16, 2022more
APRU Carbon Neutral Society Action Month Opens New Doors for Early Career Researchers
The APRU Carbon Neutral Society Action Month which concluded in mid-June confirmed that climate change is too big a problem for nations to be addressed alone, instead requiring partnership across regions, disciplines, and stakeholders with a view towards long term collaborative efforts. Developed and implemented by Kyushu University, the action month events sessions targeted specifically early career researchers (ECRs) from various disciplines as a first step to support ECRs in expanding their professional networks across disciplines, research institutions, and borders. The APRU Carbon Neutral Society Action Month also served as a pilot for a longer-term program that will focus on interdisciplinary ECR collaboration, including skill set training, collaboration methods, and joint grant applications. Research related to zero carbon technology and societal change is a focus area for Kyushu University, as is the aim to actively contribute to advancing climate change mitigation and adaptation. “Providing global collaboration opportunities for early-career researchers through attractive APRU programs is critical for promoting a carbon-neutral society and climate action,” said Toshiyuki Kono, Distinguished Professor and Executive Vice President of Kyushu University & Honorary President of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), in a webinar series that was part of the APRU Carbon Neutral Society Action Month. “I believe that these events will encourage the exchange of ideas, lead to discussions of potential cross-disciplinary approaches, and support the collaborative development of solutions,” he added. Similarly, Hao Zhang, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, labeled the webinar series as “eye-opening”, because participants were focusing on different specific areas under their single working banner of carbon neutrality. Zhang pointed out that the second major take away for all participants is about linking theoretical research to the actual issues, which, he said, is highly relevant, given that much of the research is theoretical. “The third major take away is that technologies are a core issue that we have to understand from a range of different perspectives as well,” Zhang said. “Sometimes new technologies generate a lot of radical issues, and regulations and laws have then to catch up, even though we don’t really have much time left to tackle climate change,” he added. According to Ru Guo, Professor, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, the integration of technology and policy innovation is crucial, especially for the local governments in developing countries, whose recent priority is not achieving carbon neutrality, but rather stimulating economic growth. “Especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, the global economy has been in crisis, and many people are struggling for survival,” Guo said. “We need action on the local level, as local governors need to strike the difficult balance between social welfare, economic growth, and carbon targets,” she added. Adrian Kuah, Director, Futures Office, National University of Singapore, held a presentation under the theme How to Educate in a Planetary Crisis. Kuah explained that universities are already deeply involved in social innovation, either directly due to active research or indirectly through their graduates. “In this era of climate crisis, we are seeing universities being part of the solutions, but I’d like to ask whether universities are also part of the problem,” Kuah said. “We tend to talk about the future of ‘the university’ in abstract ways. This is interesting but can be unhelpful. We have to re-imagine universities given our current and particular context, because after pandemic and war, we do not know what is going to come next,” he added. Patchanita Thamyongkit, Professor at Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Assistant to the President for R&I, Chulalongkorn University, pointed out that scientists keep developing new technologies, leaving her wonder why some of it will never be used. Thamyongkit illustrated that in terms of climate change mitigation, the big challenge now is not only to invent ways to de-carbonize, but also to make society adopt to the new idea of electrifying a very wide range of processes and devices. “Many countries, including my native Thailand, need a lot of new infrastructure, with society actually being the biggest infrastructure we have,” Thamyongkit said. “If we help people see what the opportunities are, we pave the way to giving the people the idea of using new energy,” she added. Shigenori Fujikawa, Professor, International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research, Kyushu University, explained that he is a technology-focused scientist, and as technology-focused scientists tend to focus on forecasts, methodologies and mechanisms, it is usually difficult for him to communicate with totally different research areas. “However, climate change is a topic that urgently requires interdisciplinary research, involving many different viewpoints from economics and social aspects,” Fujikawa said. “The APRU Carbon Neutral Society Action Month is providing ECRs and students with a good chance of widening their own viewpoints,” he added. More information Find out the details of the APRU Carbon Neutral Society Action Month here. Read a news article published by Kyushu University here Contact Christina Schönleber for further inquiries (Email: policyprograms [at] apru.org)
June 9, 2022more
Congratulations to the winners of the APRU Student Esports Paper Competition
Congratulations to the winners of the APRU Student Esports Paper Competition, please see their names, entries, and video presentations below. The APRU Student Esports Paper Competition welcomed papers from undergraduate students across the Asia Pacific Region in three categories, Business Models for the Esports Industry, Esports for Social Good and Health/Wellness in Esports. The purpose of the paper competition was to support Esports as an academic area of study. We encouraged students to have innovative and quality research in the Esports field, as well as, promote the long-term investment of Esports research which will enrich students’ and universities’ resources and knowledge sources in an emerging field. Winning students have won a $3,000 USD Scholarship and the runner-up in each category has won a $1,000 USD Scholarship as well as being published in a special edition of the International Journal of Esports. We thank Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited for their support of the competition and look forward to enriching students’ experiences in esports now and in the future. Please find the special issue available at: Papers were presented at the APRU Metagame Conference 2021 on the second day of the DELF (Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum). Winners were chosen by a panel of judges and a live audience vote. Our deepest gratitude goes to the judges for their contributions to the development of this competition for giving their time to review papers.Winners were chosen by our panel of judges and a live audience vote. Our deepest gratitude goes to the judges for their contributions to the development of this competition for giving their time to review papers. Mr Tom Dore, Head of Education, British Esports Association Mr Terence Leung, Senior Manager (Esports and Youth Team), Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited Mr Timothy Shen, Founder and Investor, Yesports Media Limited Dr Aaron Koshy, Chief Editor, International Journal of Esports Mr Sherman Cheng, APRU Secretariat Winner Entries Business Models for the Esports Industry 1st Place Title: Paving the Road: Exploring Esports Models and Marketing Opportunities in University Student: Zachary McKay University: The University of British Columbia (CANADA) 2nd Place Title: Two Islands in the Pacific Student: Reyn Seki University: University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (USA) Esports for Social Good 1st Place Title: Esport’s Legacy of Social Good Student: Kaden MacKay University: The University of British Columbia (CANADA) 2nd Place Title: Women’s experience of sexism and objectification in the eSports and gaming community Student: Gabdulkhaeva Leysan, Suprun Elizaveta, Malenkova Elizaveta University: Far Eastern Federal University (RUSSIA) Health/Wellness in Esports 1st Place Title: The Psychological Impacts of eSports Gaming: A Detriment or a Lifeline in Disguise? Student: Rosarita Ridhwan De Cruz University: National University of Singapore (SINGAPORE) 2nd Place Title: E-Sports: Motivations and Life Goals Student: Liaw Yan Xin, Seah Kia Luck, Mah Kim Chuan, James University: National University of Singapore (SINGAPORE) More information about the competition at here Revisit the student paper competition presentation on YouTube:
May 28, 2022more
APRU Global Sustainability: Waste & The City Seminar Course Helps Graduate Students Shape Green Leadership Concepts
APRU successfully concluded its APRU Global Sustainability: Waste & The City seminar course, providing APRU graduate students an opportunity to gain insights how industry and academic leaders from around the world work with key stakeholders in implementing sustainability in their organizations. Delivered via videoconferencing in February-May in a seminar-lecture/ student peer-to-peer session mix, the course investigated a range of topics related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG), Environmental, Social, Corporate Governance (ESG), the linear/circular economy, and urban development. The course was a collaboration between Nanyang Technological University Singapore; the APRU Sustainable Cities & Landscapes Program (led by University of Oregon); and the APRU Sustainable Waste Management Program (led by Korea University). Its format has been closely aligned with the APRU Global Health Distance Education Courses that have been running very successfully for over five years. “As shared in the class, we know that more people want businesses to take concrete actions to address climate change, with the rise of eco-awakening starting to push leaders and organizations to move rapidly toward environmentally sustainable business outcomes,” said Amit Midha, Dell Technologies’s President Asia Pacific, one of the industry expert speakers participating in the course. “Indeed, sustainability and the impact it must have for generations to come is a topic I get often asked about by my children,” he added. Other industry expert speakers were Kirsty Salmon, Vice President Advanced Bio and Physical Sciences for Low Carbon Energy at BP; Clint Navales, P&G’s VP Communications Asia Pacific; and Seung Jin Kim, Project Sourcing and Development Lead of Alliance to End Plastic Waste. “It will take a multi-stakeholder approach to address global challenges such as the circular economy,” said Salmon. She shared that “bp’s ambition is to become a net zero energy company by 2050 or sooner, and to help the world to do the same. This can only happen by working with current and future stakeholders, suppliers, consumers and policy-makers to make this happen”. Subject experts from within APRU included David Wardle, NTU Professor and Co-Chair APRU Sustainable Waste Management; Yekang Ko, University of Oregon Professor and Director of the APRU Sustainable Cities and Landscapes Program; and Yong Sik OK, Korea University Professor and Director of the APRU Sustainable Waste Management Program. Student feedback about the course was very good specifically highlighting the valuable learning experience it offers participants. Academic lead for the development and implementation of the course was provided by Sierin Lim, Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Global Partnerships at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Lim stressed the importance of students across all disciplines gaining green knowledge through active discussions as part of their studies. “Our course aims to equip students with not only the knowledge on sustainability but also the thinking process and implementation in the industry. Offering this course within an international platform such as that on the APRU provides the students with the opportunity to hone their analytical and intercultural communication skills. We are looking forward to develop the course together with our partner universities for the next cohort to bring in new perspectives on sustainability,” Lim said. Find out the previous course description and speakers here. Contact the APRU Program Team ([email protected]) if you are interested to bring your students to the next iteration of the course.
May 20, 2022more
APRU Supports Collaborations with UNFCCC University Partnership Programme, Actively Develops Member Information Sessions
The Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) has supported the development of two successful information sessions to promote the UN Climate Change and Universities Partnership Programme and explore the possibility of developing further engagement sessions with its members. The UN Climate Change and Universities Partnership Programme, launched at the United Nations Climate Dialogues 2020 to strengthen collaboration between the UNFCCC and research institutions, aims to address knowledge gaps that remain a critical barrier to countries implementing climate change adaptation measures. The two APRU information sessions were hosted by the University of Auckland and UNSW Sydney. Attending academics represented a wide range of research areas, including Environmental Law, Science, Maori Studies, Climate, Urban Planning and Architecture. “The UN Climate Change and Universities Partnership Programme offers students the unique opportunity to partner with local and regional organizations to conduct a capstone or Master’s project that will fill identified knowledge gaps in the region on key sustainability issues,” said Professor Leanne Piggott, Director of Experience, in the Pro-Vice Chancellor, Education and Student Experience Portfolio at UNSW. “Not only will this enhance the scientific and professional capacity of students, but the projects will also provide tangible outputs addressing needs of local and regional partners,” she added. All attendees expressed their keenness to be kept in the loop and involved in discussions going forward. “The UN Climate Change and Universities Partnership Programme allows universities/ research institutions to develop strong collaboration with UNFCCC, local and regional organizations, and to gain a better understanding of research needs. This new knowledge will further inform and ultimately support future research to address regional climate change adaptation needs’ emphazised Deborah McAllister, Interim Deputy Director, International Partnerships & Services at the University of Auckland the multifaceted benefits of such a collaboration. University partners are welcome to share proposal ideas with the UN Climate Change and Universities Partnership Programme. These will be reviewed by the UNFCCC team with the aim to co-develop the project proposal, including definition of target users, and identification of expert organizations to involve in the defining of expected outputs. The UN Climate Change and Universities Partnership Programme focuses on: Closing knowledge gaps under the Lima Adaptation Knowledge Initiative (LAKI) Addressing the gaps and needs relating to the formulation and implementation of national adaptation plans (NAPs); UNFCCC thematic work areas, including biodiversity, ecosystems and water resources, human settlements, oceans, health, private sector initiative, gender sensitive approaches, local indigenous and traditional knowledge. Find out more information about the UN Climate Change and Universities Partnership Programme here.
April 29, 2022more
APRU on SJTU News: Shanghai Jiao Tong University Successfully Held the "Resilient Urban Landscape – APRU SCL Webinar & Landscape Architects’Forum"
Original post on SJTU News On April 8, 2022, the “Resilient Urban Landscape – APRU SCL Webinar & Landscape Architects’Forum” jointly organized by Shanghai Jiaotong University, the Alliance of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), and the Shanghai Landscape Architecture Society was successfully held online. The event is held in celebration of the 126th anniversary of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, as well as a member of APRU. It is intended to align with universities, professional associations and practices to call for global attention to environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss may bring significant influences on urban ecological civilization, and suggests to seek innovative solutions with international perspective and local characteristics through international cooperation and communication. The webinar was broadcasted simultaneously on the School of Design official Bilibili account, attracting approximately thousand viewers during peak hours. The event was chaired by Ruan Xing, Dean of the School of Design, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Bart Johnson, Professor of the University of Oregon, James Hayter, the president of International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA), Professor of the University of Adelaide, and Che Shengquan, Professor and Deputy Dean of the School of Design, Shanghai Jiao Tong University delivered academic lectures with a Q&A session afterwards. Luo Peng, Professor, Director of the International Affair Division of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, delieverd an opening speech. He mentioned that after Shanghai Jiaotong University officially joined the APRU in 2019, we participated in various international events and activities, as well as promoting students’ global engagement during covid and other scientific cooperations. Jackie Agnello Wong, director of APRU network and student programs, introduced the background of APRU. It is composed of 61 outstanding academic institutions in the North America, Asia and the Asia-Pacific region. It has a history of nearly 25 years and aims to bring together experts from multiple backgrounds such as leaders, researchers, and policy makers to efficiently solve the problems faced by sustainable development in the 21st century. Her further expressed their heartfelt thanks to Shanghai Jiao Tong University for actively organizing this activity on the theme of resilient urban landscape. Professor Bart Johnson focuses on “Creating and Maintaining Climate Resilient Cities”, calling for active response to the climate crisis to predict future changes and take action before it occurs, explores various strategies to adapt cities to rapid climate change within the framework.With the title of “At the Frontline of Change – 17 Ways Landscape Architects are Contributing Towards Landscape Resilience”, Professor James Hayter proposed 17 corresponding approaches to resilient landscape design, corresponding to the 17 goals of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and encouraged everyone use the power of design to participate in the contribution of urban resilient landscape. Professor Che Shengquan introduced the framework of sponge city theory and practice through the cases Shanghai Jiao Tong University was involved. The current situation of urban stormwater management in China proposed a stormwater management plan and formed a technical system. At the same time, it was demonstrated and promoted in some cities in China. At the end of the webinar, Zhu Xiangming, President of the Shanghai Landscape Architecture Society, delivered a concluding speech. He believes that many cities in China and the world are facing the challenge of how to deal with the various environmental problems mentioned in today’s lectures. This seminar discussed how landscape architecture planning and design can deal with important issues such as climate change, sustainable development and ecological design, and called on professionals to work towards urban environmental issues, In the future, the society will also strengthen cooperation with universities, jointly promote the integration of production, education and research in design disciplines, provide more high-quality professional resources, and jointly contribute a more resilient and attractive global city of Shanghai.
April 19, 2022more
UBC News: 2 UBC Esports undergrads win industry research scholarships
Original post on UBC News Gamers often get a bad rap. Critics argue that online gaming is a time waster, exclusionary and male-dominated, even leading to aggression and addiction. In practice, though, virtual games and tournaments connect people across the globe over shared interests, says Zachary McKay, Co-President of UBC Esports Association, an initiative and club. With the motto “where gamers meet UBC,” it is the university’s largest club with nearly 4,000 members, compared to others which average in the hundreds or dozens. UBC Esports aims to build a community of students with no borders, and engage with colleagues and peers worldwide through online video game competitions, social events, tournaments, celebrity meet-ups and their crown jewel, the Legion Lounge where students can play games on campus. Not only does the club want to reverse negative perceptions and attract new people from all walks of life, it is investing in its student members. Case in point: the club and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) recently awarded scholarships to two UBC students through a research paper competition. The Legion Lounge is the crown jewel of the UBC Esports Association and a place for members of the UBC community to connect and play games on campus (video: UBC Esports Association) “The competition is about supporting Esports as an academic area of study, and encouraging students to have innovative and quality research in the field, as well as promote long-term investment in Esports research to enrich students’ and universities’ resources in an emerging field,” says Matthew Tan, UBC Athletics and Recreation Associate Director of Partnerships, and Senator at UBC Vancouver Senate and UBC Council of Senates. Tan collaborates regularly with UBC Esports. At the 2021 APRU Student Esports Paper Competition and Awards, McKay came in first for his piece on Business Models for the Esports Industry, taking home a USD $3,000 scholarship. He is in a fifth and final year at UBC, earning a philosophy degree with a minor in creative writing. Another undergraduate, Kaden MacKay, also won USD $3,000 for first place in the category Esports for Social Good, “writing about different countries and cultures,” MacKay says. “For example, Pakistan winning the biggest tournament ever held: these success stories show that you can’t judge anyone as an Esports player by where they come from – it’s just so diverse.” A club finance executive, MacKay is in year two at UBC, focusing on cognitive systems. Both winning papers will be published in the International Journal of Esports. The students plan to use the scholarship money to pay for university tuition and, because he is in his last term, McKay will use $1,000 of his winnings to establish the first UBC Esports leadership award. UBC Esports is a non-profit, volunteer, student-led organization under the UBC Alma Mater Society umbrella. The club runs as seamlessly as a well-oiled corporate enterprise. And anyone who thinks gamers might be lacking in smarts and motivation need only listen to McKay detail the start-up structure model, workings of its HR department and foundational principles in a manner far more articulate than many CEOs twice his age. Founded 11 years ago, today UBC Esports is internationally recognized – and popular. More than 1,000 entrants have signed up so far for June’s upcoming Smash Tournament “Battle of BC 4,” for example. Club executives of the UBC Esports Association, led by Co-Presidents Zach McKay and Branson Chan, at the UBC Esports Icebreaker event held in person (photo: UBC Esports Association, October 2021) Members can get involved as much, or as little, as they like, McKay says. The action ranges from laidback and leisurely to competitive tournaments in a high-stakes environment, and no prior experience is necessary. The only agenda is getting people excited about and enjoying video games, trying new things and making friends, he says. Some of the most popular games include League of Legends, Valorant and Super Smash Brothers. “We are incredibly approachable,” McKay says. “For myself, I’m not very good at games. I do it for the fun of it. What motivates me is that I’ve been able to make lifelong friendships with people through the club. Our community is really vibrant and the social aspect is a unifying feature.” Busting misconceptions is also part of the club mandate, in particular, leading by example to be diverse, secure and inclusive. Half of the club’s several vice presidents were women in 2021. UBC Esports hosts a women’s night for female-only competitions and boasts a team culture that prioritizes a safe atmosphere for women and marginalized communities. The association also puts on professional development workshops centered on Esports with the goal of preparing students for careers in the video game industry. Topics cover everything from partnerships, project management and event logistics to human resources and graphic design. Prospective students learn more about the UBC Esports Association at their booth on Clubs Day (photo: UBC Esports Association, 2021) APRU decided to get involved when UBC President and Vice-Chancellor Santa Ono first flagged the opportunity back in 2018. Noting the almost 3 billion gamers worldwide, and 2.5 million college and university students likely involved in esports in APRU alone, President Ono voiced his support for UBC to get involved. UBC then became one of 11 founding partners in the APRU Esports Fellowship Initiative, which brought in consultants to advise on what universities could do collectively and individually. An international Esports fellowship and greater support for the club topped the list of recommendations. Along with UBC, founding members of the initiative are Far Eastern Federal University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Keio University, Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore, Tecnológico de Monterrey, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Southern California, University of Washington and Yonsei University. And the movement is growing. Connecting with others from all over the map is at the core, says MacKay. “How rare is it to talk to someone in Chile and Australia at the same time?” he says. “It’s usually very country- or continent-specific, so it’s so cool to do this globally. Everyone who does this is very passionate about what they think Esports can be – and it’s about sharing ideas across the world.” Find out more about the UBC Esports club. Read more about the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU). Read the winning APRU Esports research papers. See the recent Ubyssey feature story on UBC Esports.
March 29, 2022more
APRU on UNESCO News: New report “Moving minds: Opportunities and challenges for virtual student mobility in a post-pandemic world”
February 27, 2022more
APRU on SCMP: Covid-19 wrecks exchange programme plans, as record low number of Hong Kong university students went overseas in last academic year
Written by William Yiu Original post on South China Morning Post Students walk past Widener Library at Harvard University in 2019. Photo: AP A record low of only 280 Hong Kong university students went on exchange programmes overseas or to mainland China in the last academic year, as Covid-19 travel restrictions wrecked plans for these much sought-after trips. That was 95 per cent fewer than the 5,391 students who spent time away in 2019-20 and the record high of nearly 6,700 in 2018-19. Although Hong Kong universities worked with institutions elsewhere to provide virtual exchange programmes, students said these paled in comparison with visiting a new destination and getting to know the people and culture there. A board at Hong Kong International Airport shows flights being cancelled in January. Photo: Dickson Lee Some universities have begun restarting their exchange trips, with more students likely to go this year even though strict travel restrictions remain. The latest figures for exchange students were announced in December by the University Grants Committee, which funds public institutions of higher education. Hong Kong universities have been expanding opportunities for undergraduates to spend a semester or a full academic year at another university, while continuing to pay the local tuition fee. Students apply to universities all over the world, especially in the United States, Britain, Japan and mainland China, which have exchange partnerships with local institutions. For many, the time away allows them to learn to be more independent, improve their language proficiency, make new friends and experience the culture of the place they are visiting. But the pandemic has continued to disrupt travel for everyone since 2020, particularly with Hong Kong’s strict requirement for arrivals from most places to undergo 21 days of quarantine. Most universities switched to virtual exchange programmes, which meant students remained in Hong Kong but attended online lectures and seminars at institutions elsewhere. Various other activities on culture, social skills, leadership and career development enabled them to make friends despite being separated by long distances. Chinese University (CUHK) said 1,400 of its undergraduates enrolled in its Virtual Student Exchange programme, organised since August 2020 and involving 61 institutions belonging to the Association of Pacific Rim Universities. Chinese University says 1,400 of its undergraduates have enrolled for its Virtual Student Exchange programme. Photo: Winson Wong In an opinion piece published in the Post last month, CUHK president Rocky Tuan Sung-chi said the virtual programme had the potential to make global education accessible to anyone with an internet connection, “rather than merely to those privileged few with financial means to jump on a plane and spend up to a year in a foreign land”. Competition is keen for exchange trips, as applicants must have a good academic track record and meet the language requirements at the universities they hope to go to. Not everyone can afford an exchange either. Students have to cover the cost of their air tickets, accommodation, meals, insurance and visa fees themselves. For those who choose universities in the US, the most expensive choice, this can add up to about HK$100,000 (US$12,840) per semester. Kristen Cheung, a fourth-year English major at CUHK, considered herself fortunate enough to attend a two-week exchange programme at Yale University in the US in 2020, before it was suspended because of Covid-19. She did not think a virtual programme could compare. “Students joining an exchange programme aim not only to study, but also to visit the host country and get to know people from different backgrounds. All these experiences cannot be provided in a virtual programme,” she said. Cheung said some students she knew who joined the virtual programme did so only to polish their resume and were not serious during the online classes. Residents in Nagoya, Japan. The country is among popular destinations for students wishing to go on exchange programmes overseas. Photo: Kyodo Alex Lau, a second-year sociology major at CUHK, took part in a two-month summer virtual exchange programme with a Japanese university and had mixed feelings about it. There were online lectures twice a week, from 11am to 3pm, with optional cultural activities in small group sessions. He said the programme helped him meet more people from Taiwan, mainland China, North America and Japan, but he missed out on experiencing the country and the social environment. “If you just want to get to know people from different places and join something for free, you could go for it,” he said. Now he is counting on travelling to Britain next year for an exchange programme at University College London, so that he can soak up the atmosphere and join in various activities. Some universities said their students were beginning to make plans for exchange trips this year. A spokesman for Education University said fully vaccinated students could go on these trips, but it would still offer virtual exchange programmes that included online immersion programmes, online courses, seminars and cultural exchange activities. For its students preparing to teach English and Chinese language, attending a course overseas or on the mainland was compulsory to help them improve their language proficiency and learn about the culture and education system there. The University of Science and Technology and Lingnan University said they had resumed sending students on exchange programmes since the second term this year. Both also offer virtual programmes as an alternative. City University also said it had resumed the physical programme in the 2020-21 academic year “under safe conditions”. Polytechnic University said its students were able to go on exchange trips to limited destinations such as the mainland, Australia or New Zealand during the earlier stages of the pandemic, or opt for the virtual programme.
February 20, 2022more
APRU Esports Fellowship Program Welcomes the 2nd Cohort of Student Leaders
The APRU Esports Fellowship Program completed the orientation session for its 2nd Cohort on January 22, readying participants for the cohort’s first workshop in March. Led by Tecnológico de Monterrey and in partnership with Cyberport, the APRU Esports Fellowship Program is an international network of student leaders engaged in next-generation learning experiences that support the growth of healthy, vibrant Esports communities. The program places students in internships and jobs and cultivates an alumni network that is accretive to both the fellowship and APRU Esports participating universities. Cyberport, owned by the Hong Kong SAR Government, is an innovative digital community with over 1,500 start-ups and technology companies. “Whereas the program’s 1st Cohort involved seven universities and 38 students, the 2nd Cohort is today welcoming eleven universities and 69 students, reflecting that universities and people are keen to come aboard,” said Pille Kustala, Director of International Business at Tecnológico de Monterrey. “Having completed six workshops and five capsule projects during the 1st Cohort, students have become familiar with each other and everybody is excitedly anticipating the 2nd Cohort,” she added. Terence Leung, Senior Manager of Esports and Youth Team of Cyberport, pointed out that Cyberport and APRU have since 2020 been cooperating to promote the esports industries to students and nurture talents. Leung noted that Cyperport and APRU have jointly conducted two metagame conferences, APRU’s 1st global esports tournament, an esports paper award as well as the APRU Esports Fellowship Program. “Although Hong Kong is relatively new to esports development, we have many advantages, such as good infrastructure and experience in hosting largescale events, and the Hong Kong government has identified esports as an economic sector with good growth potential,” Leung said. “We are very confident that our joint efforts can maximize impact in fostering this promising industry together,” he added. Motohiro Tsuchiya, a professor of Graduate School of Media and Governance at Keio University in Japan and Deputy Director at Keio University Global Research Institute (KGRI), shared that although he is not an esports player, he clearly sees the need to make students familiar with the industry. “Japan is game-friendly country, as reflected by the esports population keeping growing despite the overall population declining every single day,” Tsuchiya said. The Fellowship Program’s 2nd Cohort features student-led workshops on topics such as, marketing, promoting and sponsorship, broadcasting, streaming, and game design. It features informal networking sessions to support students in developing an international network of next generation leaders. The program will also bring in esports experts and leaders to share their experiences in the industry and provide their expertise. Finally, the program will also feature a tournament to further university esports clubs’ international recognition. The 2nd Cohort’s Graduation Ceremony and Final Presentations are scheduled for June. More information about APRU Esports Fellowship Program 2nd Cohort at here.
February 16, 2022more
UP hosts the first virtual APRU Undergraduate Leaders’ Program
Download and view the post-event report here. The University of the Philippines (UP) successfully hosted the first virtual APRU Undergraduate Leaders’ Program 2021 with the theme, “Sahaya: Science and Arts, Harnessing the Youth’s Advocacies” from 18 – 29 October 2021. A total of 29 undergraduate students from 13 participating universities located in the Asia and the Pacific participated in the 12-day program. The Opening Ceremony was graced with Hon. Loren Legarda, 3-term Senator, Deputy Speaker, and Representative, Lone District of Antique and Dr. Howarth Bouis, Director of HarvestPlus (2003 – 2016) as the keynote speakers along with UP Officials, President Danilo Concepcion, and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maria Cynthia Rose Banzon Bautista and APRU Secretary General, Dr. Christopher Tremewan. The UP Concert Chorus also gave a heartwarming performance of “I’ll Be There” and at the end of the program, participants were able to have a glimpse of the University of the Philippines and its constituent units through a virtual campus tour. For the succeeding days, different academic units of the university facilitated workshops and activities with topics on Digital Literacy and Critical Digital Literacy, Producing Vlogs, Holistic Habitation, Flourishing Life through Creativity and the Arts, Ensuring Food Security through Sustainable Production and Good Nutrition, Role of Biodiversity in Resilient Development, and Policy and Governance. Aside from the insightful workshops, a Global Cultural Activity entitled Sahaya Saya! was also held wherein the participants were able to showcase their own culture and interesting facts about their home country. The participants were grouped into four as they create their vlog as an output for the program. Workshops on production including pre- and post-production were facilitated by TVUP and they have assisted the participants in finalizing their respective outputs. A panel was also invited to provide comments and suggestions on the vlog concepts of the participants. During the closing ceremony, participants were able to witness performances highlighting the Philippine Culture from the UP Concert Chorus for their rendition of “Kruhay”, “Hamon ng Kasalukuyan” by Kontra-GaPi, and a special performance by Asst. Prof. Eman Jamisolamin of the College of Music of the University of the Philippines Diliman. Aside from these performances, the vlogs made by the participants were also presented. As the last day of the program, Mr. Jonas Angelo Abadilla of the University of the Philippines Diliman and Mr. Kun Woo Park of Korea University delivered the response on behalf of the participants of Sahaya 2021. Sahaya 2021 was then formally closed with a message from Dr. Grace Javier Alfonso, Executive Director of TVUP and the Chair of the Local Organizing Committee along with a highlights video that wrapped up all the workshops and activities for the past 12 days. The APRU ULP 2021 Sahaya will not be possible without the support of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), the APRU ULP 2021 Local Organizing Committee, TVUP, and the UP Office of International Linkages. To view more information about the program and to watch replays of the sessions, you may visit https://apru-ulp.org/. Resources (Student vlogs) GROUP 1 – THE CHAMPIONS Topic: Are you overconsuming your planet? GROUP 2 – THE YOUTH ADVOCATES Topic: Taking the First Step GROUP 3 – AvocaDO! Topic: Youth Volunteers for Edu-e-Work GROUP 4 – MMACAS Topic: Happy Land For more information about the program, please visit Undergraduate Leaders’ Program. For more information about ULP 2021, please visit the event webpage.
January 24, 2022more
Global MOOC and Online Education Conference 2021 highlights APRU Virtual Student Exchange (VSE) Program
On December 7, APRU co-hosted the Sub-Forum 4: “Virtual Mobility and Cocurricular Programming” of the Global MOOC and Online Education Conference 2021 hosted by Tsinghua University in collaboration with UNESCO IITE. The event featured keynote speeches and case studies from six APRU member universities who all made international education accessible under the APRU Virtual Student Exchange (VSE) Program, which allows students to take academic courses and participate in co-curricular programs without physically leaving home. The audience was comprised of instructors, researchers, experts, policy makers, and practitioners in the field of Massive Open Online Courses and online education from around the world. The Global MOOC Alliance is a diverse group of 17 world-leading universities and 3 online education platforms from across 14 countries in all 6 continents led by Tsinghua University. “The APRU VSE Program was launched with the unique preposition to create co-curriculum activities, and its strong focus on cultural leadership, careers and social aspects of study abroad experience in virtual delivery is precisely the focus we will need in the post-pandemic era,” said APRU Secretary General Christopher Tremewan, who chaired the session. Alan Chan, Provost, J.S. Lee Professor of Chinese Culture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), in his keynote speech recalled how the pandemic has compelled CUHK to renew its commitment to internationalization. “When all of a sudden the campus became so quiet, then all of a sudden we realized that things we had taken for granted in the past are so central to what we do as a knowledge enterprise,” Chan said. “We realized that global learning and international student exchanges are not peripheral to what we do here at CUHK but are part of our DNA,” he added. Other keynote speeches were delivered by Dr. Xuemin Xu, Vice President (Education and International Affairs), Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Professor Eduardo Vera Sobrino, Director of International Affairs, University of Chile. Xu explained that the new technologies that were developed for teaching and learning as a response to the pandemic will in a post-pandemic era allow students to become global citizens and contribute to UN Sustainable Development goals. Vera Sobrino described how IT-based research sped up in-house internationalization and broadened the global perspective of local problems. “In the APRU exchange program, most exchange students in our classes spoke English as second language, which helped our own students to feel much more confident in using English as the medium of instruction,” Vera Sobrino said. “Clearly, the advantages of diversity in the classroom really surpassed the barrier of using language other than the native language,” he added. Shally Fan, Director of Academic Links, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, illustrated how the APRU VSE Program gave the students a holistic exchange experience just like they would have had when traveling abroad. Fan cited the results of a survey CUHK conducted among the exchange students. “Students said that it inspired them and explained that their minds were able to access the partner universities abroad without physically being there,” Fan said. Seung Hyun Yang, Manager, International Mobility & Cooperation Team, Office of International Affairs, Korea University (KU), reported on the virtual KU experience that enabled exchange students to take a deep dive into K Pop from the historical development to recent issues, as well as into KU’s “Tiger Pride” cheerleading culture. Wang Xiaoxiao, Director of Online Education Center, Tsinghua University, reported on Tsinghua University’s global open course, which has attracted 2.3 million learners since its launch in October. Voraprapa Nakavachara, Assistant to the President for Global Engagement, Chulalongkorn University, pointed out that the pandemic experience proved that cross registration and credit transfer is possible, opening the doors to “a bigger thing” in the future. “The virtual student exchange program proved that you can be a global citizen and attend universities anywhere,” Nakavachara said. “We as faculty must be able to adopt to change and be open minded to new technology,” she added. Revisit the Sub-Forum 4 here
January 15, 2022more
APRU on SCMP: Virtual foreign exchange allowing students to ‘study abroad’ without leaving home will outlast Covid-19
Written by Professor Rocky S. Tuan Original post on SCMP A lecturer at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University leads an online class on March 17, 2020. Photo: Xiaomei Chen Knowledge has no boundaries. This is especially true in a global society, with more and more students crossing borders to access overseas education. Going abroad to study or on exchange has become a rite of passage for millions of young people around the world. According to an OECD report published in 2020, the number of tertiary students pursuing education in a foreign country reached 5.6 million in 2018, more than doubling over the last 20 years. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development also projected that the international student population is likely to reach 8 million by 2025. This phenomenal growth is attributed to the rise of the middle class in developing economies as well as a shortage of high-quality institutions in much of the developing world. The relative affordability and accessibility of international air travel, as well as the rapid development of communication technology, means students can be increasingly mobile while remaining connected to friends and family in their home countries. But the emergence of Covid-19 changed all this. As with so many areas of our lives, the pandemic has massively disrupted the traditional approach to international education; it threatened to erase decades of progress as the world retreated into quarantine almost two years ago. Travel restrictions, border closures, public health measures and pandemic politics have led to a significant decline in international student enrolment levels in most leading host countries. International students in Sydney, Australia, return to China following the outbreak of Covid-19, on August 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters Short-term exchange programmes, which are the backbone of the internationalisation agenda for so many universities, have seen a particularly sharp drop. Short-term overseas experiences are critical for fostering people-to-people links across nations, and provide students with the cultural smarts to forge global careers. Their absence is a potential tragedy for globalisation. Demand for full-degree programmes in top host countries has declined by as much as 20 per cent, but short-term programmes have fallen even further, with demand in many cases evaporating altogether. As universities and analysts think about recovery, it is forecast to take at least five years for international student mobility to return to pre-pandemic levels. What are universities doing about this, and where does a place like Hong Kong fit in? Far from passively waiting for borders to reopen, universities have been reimagining their approach to student mobility and harnessing the power of technology to deliver immersive international student experiences. This is much bigger than putting everything on Zoom or other virtual platforms. The novel approach has the potential to revolutionise access to international experiences and make global education accessible to anyone with an internet connection, rather than merely to those privileged few with financial means to jump on a plane and spend up to a year in a foreign land. According to a survey by the International Association of Universities in 2020, 60 per cent of universities have replaced physical student mobility with virtual mobility or collaborative online learning. Hong Kong is a global city, and its openness to international talent has underwritten much of its development and prosperity – the territory was simply not built to be isolated from the rest of the world. The pandemic could have been catastrophic to its educational exchanges, and indeed to the very fabric of Hong Kong’s people-to-people links with mainland China and overseas. Home to four top-100 global universities and the headquarters of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), an alliance of 61 leading universities from four continents on both sides of the Pacific, Hong Kong has taken a leadership role in developing innovative solutions which allow crucial international student exchange to thrive despite the headwinds of a once-in-a-century global health crisis. One prime example is the Virtual Student Exchange (VSE) programme conceptualised and managed by the Chinese University of Hong Kong under the auspices of APRU. Launched in August 2020, the exchange programme enables students of APRU member universities to take online academic courses on a plethora of topics and participate in culturally enriched co-curricular programmes as well as establish social peer networks, without needing to leave their home countries. Tech-driven and highly immersive, the programme received a commendation at the Times Higher Education’s prestigious Asia awards in 2021. Today, thousands of students from around the world have completed an exchange via the Virtual Student Exchange, and such virtual international experiences look set to endure post pandemic. Students of Chinese University of Hong Kong celebrate their graduation on November 4 last year. Even as we recover from the pandemic, the virtual student exchange platform pioneered during the pandemic is likely to endure. Photo: K. Y. Cheng This has got to be a good thing for expanding access to high-quality university education and achieving one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals – to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Academic studies show that students who undertake international exchange outperform their peers in areas such as teamwork, empathy, work ethic and communication – areas essential for the future of work and economies everywhere. It is clear that, as much as we all yearn for the return of quarantine-free international travel, a simple return to physical overseas experiences would mean only those with adequate economic means can benefit from them. As the world thinks about navigating a new normal at the other side of this seemingly endless pandemic, it is fitting that Hong Kong – Asia’s World City – is blazing a new trail for the future of international education.
January 12, 2022more
UH News: Esports fellowship creates global opportunities for UH students
Written by Marc Arakaki Original post on University of Hawai’i News University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa esports has solidified its standing as one of the top 10 university esports programs in the nation. Now, five students have been chosen for an international fellowship, which will bring more experience and knowledge back to the program. The Association of Pacific Rim Universities is a consortium of 61 universities across the Pacific region, including North America, Asia, Oceania and South America. The second cohort of its esports fellowship program will bring together dozens of students from its member institutions to discuss, share and collaborate on growing opportunities in the esports industry, with a special focus on the Asia region. Students were selected based on a nomination process by their advisors. They will attend monthly meetings virtually with other participants throughout the spring semester. “I’m most looking forward to getting a more global perspective on esports,” said UH Mānoa student Kwan Ho Cheung. “I think my current perspective is all about franchising and less so about what goes on behind the scenes of an esports broadcast, and all the intricate parts required to pull off some of the international events, the pinnacle of esports.” Lana Kawauchi added, “This is such an amazing opportunity and unlike anything I have ever participated in before. I’m looking forward to networking with students from all across Asia and working with them to create healthy environments in the esports community. I’m also looking forward to being placed in jobs and internships with companies that will help us achieve these goals.” The other UH Mānoa participants are Kelsy Padilla, Alohi Tolentino and Micah Tossey. “The fellowship will provide the selected students with an understanding of how the esports industry in Asia (Hong Kong, Japan and Korea) works, with educational, networking, business and internship opportunities. I am excited by the development of the academic and curricular component of our esports program at UH Mānoa,” said Nyle Sky Kauweloa—a communication and information sciences PhD student, head of the UH Mānoa Esports Task Force in the College of Social Sciences and instructor. UH’s position within the Asia esports market is crucial as the State of Hawaiʻi is in a prime location that bridges the East and West. One of the reasons why UH was selected as a host site for the Overwatch League’s summer tournaments, playoffs and grand finals was to improve the online latency difference as teams from North America and Asia competed virtually head-to-head in real-time. Visit the UH esports team’s Twitter and Discord pages. More stories on UH’s esports program. This program is an example of UH Mānoa’s goal of Enhancing Student Success (PDF), one of four goals identified in the 2015–25 Strategic Plan (PDF), updated in December 2020. More info about APRU Esports Fellowship Program 2nd Cohort
January 11, 2022more
Times Higher Education Awards Asia 2021: winners announced
By THE reporters Original Post on Times Higher Education Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology gets leadership prize for ‘volume and range’ of Covid-19 contributions The management team of the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) has taken the top accolade in a year of record submissions for Times Higher Education’s awards for Asian institutions. KIIT bagged the prize for Asia’s Leadership and Management Team of the Year category at 2021’s THE Awards Asia, whose winners were announced in a digital ceremony on 14 December. The event, which is now in its third year, builds on the success of THE’s long-running UK-focused awards, known as the “Oscars of higher education”. The judges praised the Indian institution, which they said stood out “for the volume and range of its contributions”, including developing free Covid-19 hospitals, “its widespread distribution of masks and sanitisers, and the provision of free higher education for children of parents lost in the pandemic”. In other categories too, universities showed their mettle in tackling Covid-19 challenges. The winner in the Technological or Digital Innovation of the Year category, India’s O.P. Jindal Global University, created a free, cloud-based application to help schools and universities manage data – especially useful given India’s digital divide. Saint Joseph University of Beirut, which is based in Lebanon, received the award for Workplace of the Year for its initiatives responding to two crises: the pandemic and the catastrophic explosion in Beirut’s port in August 2020. THE’s chief knowledge officer Phil Baty praised all the 2021 winners, who faced stiff competition with dozens of universities submitting entries. “We at THE and our distinguished group of guest experts found it a genuine privilege to immerse ourselves in these first-hand reports from all corners of the continent, detailing how universities responded speedily and ingeniously, deploying their resources to support students, staff and local communities,” he said. Times Higher Education Awards Asia 2021 winners Leadership and Management Team of the Year Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) Workplace of the Year Saint Joseph University of Beirut International Strategy of the Year Hangzhou Dianzi University Highly commended: Chinese University of Hong Kong Teaching and Learning Strategy of the Year National University of Singapore Highly commended: Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Centre for Applied Learning and Multimedia THE Datapoints Social Impact Award Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember THE Datapoints Improved Performance Award Universiti Utara Malaysia Excellence and Innovation in the Arts Hong Kong Baptist University Technological or Digital Innovation of the Year O.P. Jindal Global University Outstanding Support for Students Universiti Teknologi Petronas Student Recruitment Campaign of the Year Hanoi University of Science and Technology Highly commended: Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences Visit APRU Virtual Student Exchange Program Webpage
December 23, 2021more
APRU Global Health Conference Focuses on Urban Health and Infodemics
The APRU Global Health Conference 2021 was held virtually on November 16-18, hosted by the School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong. The event, which took three years of preparation due to the pandemic, focused on global urban health and featured the announcements of the student winners of the APRU Virtual Global Health Case Competition and the Global Health Student Poster Contest. Urbanization and expansion of cities are inexorable global trends. Over 55% of the world’s population now lives in urban cities, and this proportion is expected to increase to 66% by 2050. The health consequences of such population changes are increasingly recognized as a key issues for sustainable human development. Cities present opportunities and challenges, which holds the key to citizens’ health and well-being. “Cross-sectoral partnerships offer the chance to develop integrated responses connecting environment and health,” said Gabrielle Fitzgerald, the founder and CEO of US-based Panorama, a platform for visionary leaders to develop solutions and bold action for social change, in a keynote speech. “How we catalyze the coalition in a fluid system is the key to address global challenges,” she added. Keynotes and plenary speakers shared insights on the built environment and its effects on human well-being under climate change and rapid urbanization. The panels’ topics ranged from mental health among adolescents to digital technologies and from health risk behaviour to active lifestyles. The APRU Virtual Global Health Case Competition 2021 awarded the winning prize to the short-listed teams at the conference. Participating teams were challenged young talents to develop technology-driven solutions to the COVID-19 Infodemic. There is a pressing need to address the massive amount of misinformation that has quickly spread throughout the world during the pandemic, with dramatic negative personal and societal consequences. This year the competition was conceived and hosted by the APRU Global Health Program in partnership with Amazon Web Services. ‘Amazon and AWS have made an upskilling commitment, to make it easier for people to have access to the skills they need to grow their careers. The APRU Global Health Case Competition encourages young talents and future leaders to address global challenges with technologies mindful of social impact, equity of access and equality to learning. This synchronises perfectly with AWS’ commitment.’ said by Dr. Julian Sham, Head of Health Business, Asia Pacific & Japan, AWS. 121 teams from 37 universities in 17 economies submitted the entries this year. The winning team is UP Mediasina, a team of six medical students from the University of the Philippines, who were awarded US$1,000. The two runners-up are from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Nanyang Technological University. “Although the Philippines is the social media capital of the world with 89 million active users, it lacks a dedicated information crisis response,” the UP Mediasina team said in their video introducing their Project Dinig for systemized communication strategies. “The Philippines is facing a perfect storm and our health system is under crisis, but it need not be for long, as Filipinos could benefit from social listening facilitated by Project Dinig,” they added. The global health poster contest, for its part, invited current undergraduate and graduate students to submit their works related to global health research and studies to enter the competition. The contest received 64 submissions from 27 universities across 12 economies. The winning teams of the undergraduate category and graduate category are from the University of Santo Tomas and The University of Hong Kong respectively. The two winners were each awarded US$500. Find out more about the conference and the student case competition here.
December 10, 2021more
Congratulations to the 1st Cohort of the APRU Esports Fellowship Program Participants
November 20, 2021more
2021 CIEE International Education & Exchange Summit
The 2021 CIEE International Education & Exchange Summit was held online the week of November 1-5, 2021. After the successful cross-pollination of ideas that came out of 2020’s inaugural CIEE International Education & Exchange Summit, we again used this opportunity to bring together colleagues from around the world who worked not just in study abroad, but in cultural exchange programs of all kinds. We discussed topics among a diverse group of attendees, including students, universities and colleges, employers, providers, agents, governments, NGO’s, and more. (Panel Discussion) International Exchanges Unbound: Creating Cultural and Social Virtual Exchange Experiences APRU (Association of Pacific Rim Universities) came together in August 2020 to launch the APRU Virtual Student Exchange Program, led by the Chinese University of Hong Kong with a unique proposition: co-curricular activities which focus on cultural, leadership, career, and social aspects of study abroad experiences in virtual delivery. For the first year of the program, it included 26 universities, 229 academic courses, 1100+ students enrolled, and 41 co-curricular programs, bringing students from across the network in 14 economies of the Pacific Rim for free. In this panel, case study presentations from APRU universities will provide lessons on running engaging virtual programs. Revisit the recording here. Speakers Jacqueline Wong, Director (Network Programs), Association of Pacific Rim Universities Shally Fan, Director of Academic Links, The Chinese University of Hong Kong Kimberly Bellows, Program Coordinator, Intercultural Programs, UC Davis Global Affairs Alex Rendon, Director of International Programs, Universidad San Francisco e Quito Jeffrey Measelle, Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Oregon Download Presentation here
November 15, 2021more
APRU Student Global Climate Change Simulation Tackling Climate Change Head-On
In time for the upcoming COP26 meetings, 120 dedicated APRU students from across the Asia Pacific region and close on 40 expert speakers and facilitators from within and outside the APRU network contributed to and concluded the first APRU Climate Change Simulation. The 3-session is a role-playing exercise in which students formed multi-country, multi-disciplinary teams to slip intothe roles of delegates to the UN Climate Change Negotiations. The APRU Student Global Climate Change Simulation uses materials from Climate Interactive and the EN-ROADS simulation model developed by MIT. Live sessions and breakout room-discussions were supplemented with keynote presentations by experts from the IMF, adidas, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, short lectures from key experts across the network and other materials developed and curated by the APRU expert team. On the long list of intriguing topics were indigenous knowledge, planetary health, public health, coastal habitats, deforestation, clean energy, trading and offsets, as well as diplomacy and negotiation skills. APRU envisions the event to be the first of many activities to develop a network of committed citizens who tackle climate change head-on. “The opportunity to work across different disciplines, places and perspectives as part of this negotiation simulation wasa rare chance for students to learn about the complexities of developing solutions to urgent global challenges, the largest of which is climate change,” said Kathryn Bowen, Deputy Director of Melbourne Climate Future, University of Melbourne. Kristie Ebi, Professor at the Center for Health and the Global Environment, University of Washington, also one of the sixteen participating APRU experts actively facilitating the negotiations and discussions, added that “the APRU Student Global Climate Change Simulation represented a call to taking collective action against global warming.” The APRU Student Global Climate Change Simulation was co-organized by the APRU Sustainable Cities and Landscapes Program housed at the University of Oregon and the APRU Global Health Program housed at the University of Southern California. External partners include Adidas, Rebalance Earth, Smart Energy Connect-CLP, Tuvalu Mo Te Atua, UN Habitat and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The participating students gave their thumbs up. For instance, Annette Benger, who studies Masters of Environment at Melbourne University, shared that the event has taken her understanding to the next level. “In my lectures on Sustainability and Behaviour Change, we are discussing the role of selfishness and altruism in human nature,” Benger said. “It is so easy to see so much selfishness, until you come across something like this, and we are all planning to keep in touch in our WhatsApp group,” she added. The APRU Student Global Climate Change Simulation also impressed its facilitators, with Tze Kwan, Research Associate, Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions, National University of Singapore, labelling the event “super”successful. “I am honoured to be part of this and to have had the opportunity to share my interests with the participants,” Kwan said. “This event was such a valuable learning opportunity, making me hope more students will get to attend and be inspired to act in face of climate change,” she added. The APRU Partner Universities involved in the Student Global Climate Change Simulation are Monash University, Nanyang Technological University, Peking University, Tecnológico de Monterrey, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, The University of Auckland, The University of Melbourne, Tohoku University, Universidad San Francisco De Quito, Universiti Malaya, and University of Washington. Find out a featured article from University of Southern California, here. Find out a post-activity report from University of Oregon here. Read students’ feedback from a CUHK article here.
September 16, 2021more
Esports Webinar Series by YESPORTS and APRU helps exploring career opportunities
Global esports career development platform YESPORTS and APRU recently convened five Asia Pacific Esports leaders in webinar series to empower students, administrators, and university leaders to make the most informed decisions about participation in Esports and assist in exploring students’ career opportunities for the future. On the 3-session agenda held July 7-28 were Career Plan For Young Gamers; Esports Player Contracts: Common Clauses And Potential Legal Issues; and Marketing Strategies in Esports. The Esports Industry Requires a Multi-disciplinary Skillset Speakers at Session 1, Dr. Baro Hyun, founder of an unprecedented Esports advisory practice at KPMG Consulting, Japan; and Joe Jacko, the League of Legends Head Coach at the University of Southern California, shared their Esports career pathway and gave suggestions on personal Esports career development. Jacko recalled how he started his Esports carreer with winning over US$20,000 in sponsorships with teams he had created. “That helped me to sort out coaching positions in universities across the country, from Delaware to California,” Jacko said. “It allowed me to take a dive into all the important issues and to directly tie my academic pursuits to gaming and Esports,” he added. Inequalities in Esports and Unionization of Players Speaker at Session 2, Mathew Jessep, Senior Fellow, The University of Melbourne, and Principal Lawyer, Game Legal, informed the contractual relationship between Esports teams and players and gave an idea on how these contracts can take shape and be implemented. Jessep shared his experiences of building his own career from a sports lawyer and expanding to esports. “Seeing esports through a sports law lens, I saw many cross issues, such as sports governance and sports integrity,” Jessep said. “But I also identified some gaps, which I have since been trying to address,” he added. Jessep provided a summary of notable judgements which provide a basis for players’ rights. While the outcomes of such judgements have a long way to go with regard to adopting practice into policy reform, Jessep offered examples where governments and players’ unions and associations have opportunities to take on a bigger role in providing support and services to players across the spectrum of the industry. Marketing Strategies in Esports Session 3 focused on marketing strategies. Aiman Arabain, Founder, NAJIN ESPORTS Streamer Content Creator; and Kamilla M. Sumagui, Team Owner of The Refuge Esports and formerly PH Bandits Management of UCLA PH, spoke at Session 3, provided first-hand experiences, as industry professionals, about building careers in Esports. “When I first got into the Esports business I had been the manager of the National Federation of Cycling [of the Philippines] and found that there were a lot of hindrances in the Esports scene, such as lack of knowledge in marketing and business management,” Sumagui said in Session 3. “People saw a lot of potential in my expertise, and now I am sitting here and am happy to share my expertise with a larger international audience,” she added. Summary of the Webinar Series The Esports Webinar Series involved YESPORTS and APRU pointing out that with an average retirement age of 25 for professional gamers, a career in Esports has been long stigmatized. However, with much more robust career offerings throughout the entire ecosystem, players can now see beyond the gamer role as viable career pathway. More information about the webinar series and Revisit the webinar recordings >>
August 23, 2021more
APRU Joins Solve Climate by 2030 Project
APRU is proud to have joined Solve Climate by 2030, a trailblazing global education project organized by Bard College and the Open Society University Network. The project harnesses the power of climate-concerned universities and high schools worldwide to facilitate ambitious Green Recovery action that can put us on the way to solving climate change by 2030. Dr. Eban Goodstein, economist and Director of the Solve Climate project at Bard College urges climate-concerned teachers at the college, university and high school level to assign the APRU university webinars as homework– either live or recorded– and then engage students in this critical dialog. APRU contributed to the Solve Climate by 2030 project by working with 13 APRU universities to host 14 webinars. With more than 21 hours of discussion and knowledge exchange, together we engaged over 3,000 students, experts, and climate leaders. On the long list of stakeholders engaged by APRU are 60 climate experts; national governmental offices of environment and business; two city government leaders (Tokyo and Sydney); as well as representatives of the United Nations Development Program, the Asian Development Bank, the World Green Organization, ARUP, ESI Energy, and the World Resources Institute. “APRU is eager to mobilize its vast network of academics, students, and public leaders to strengthen Solve Climate’s virtual imprint,” said Jackie Wong, APRU’s Director (Network Programs) and organizer for Solve Climate by 2030 at APRU. Solve Climate by 2030’s Global Dialogue on Green Recovery, Climate Solutions, and a Just Transition started on April 6 with a resounding success thanks to over 10,000 viewers tuning in. Webinars were streamed from Argentina, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Palestine, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Rwanda, South Africa, Serbia, Singapore, Taiwan, UK, the US, and Uruguay. Solve Climate by 2030 is expected to expand well beyond webinars as COVID-19 recedes. Why Now? Because the world’s top climate scientists have told us we have a ten-year window to make rapid reductions in the carbon pollution causing global warming. If we don’t, we will severely destabilize the global climate, leading to extreme weather, droughts, floods, and sea-level rise that will be increasingly hard for humans to manage. APRU recommends that public leadership builds partnerships to reduce the use of water, energy, resources in the food industry. APRU calls onto students to listen and include the climate change topic in all their academic conversations, from the legal field to art. In terms of climate justice, APRU stresses the need for equal access to energy efficient equipment and infrastructure for all social groups, especially underrepresented communities. “Universities can do a great deal to contribute to solving our global climate crisis. They will educate the leaders of tomorrow to become active community-engaged citizens who volunteer, make informed consumer choices, and energize efforts to solve climate challenges. As the powerhouses of knowledge and innovation, universities worldwide have a great deal of power to inform policies discussions which will change our lives for the foreseeable future.” Wong said. APRU Introduction Video here More information about the event here YouTube playlist of 14 webinars from thirteen APRU member universities here
June 3, 2021more
Cyberport Brings Together Hong Kong and Pacific Rim Youth for Esports Exchange
Original by Cyberport, Media OutReach Workshop Organised with APRU Teaches How to Win Heavyweight Brand Sponsorships for Esports Development HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 30 April 2021 – Hong Kong Cyberport and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), a consortium of 58 leading universities in the Pacific Rim region, today held the APRU Esports Fellowship Workshop on the Cyberport campus and online. Talon Esports, a Cyberport incubatee and well-known organiser of esports leagues, shared its perspective on the esports business ecosystem and how marketing and business sponsorship can benefit the industry’s development. 30 students from universities in Hong Kong and the Pacific Rim, including the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the School of Professional and Continuing Education of the University of Hong Kong (HKU SPACE) and the Open University of Hong Kong, joined the workshop and exchanged views with fellow students who share their passion for esports. Participating students conducted a mock sponsor pitch to enhance their knowledge of the esports ecosystem. Eric Chan, Chief Public Mission Officer of Cyberport, said, “Cyberport is committed to cultivating local young talent and providing them with diversified entrepreneurship and career opportunities. As a high-growth emerging industry, esports and digital entertainment present younger generations with a rich array of opportunities, from content development to team management and training, and from event planning to brand marketing. Through this workshop, participants learned about the esports industry’s business models and the unique advantages of Hong Kong’s esports companies. Those aspiring to a career in esports could also broaden their horizons and enjoy fruitful exchanges via the APRU network with their counterparts from other universities in the Pacific Rim.” Industry Leader Shares Tips on Winning Sponsorships According to the latest forecast from industry research institute Newzoo, the global esports market’s value will reach USD1.084 billion in 2021, representing year-on-year growth of 14.5%. Business sponsorship will account for USD641 million, close to 60% of the total value. This demonstrates that business sponsorship is the esports industry’s bread and butter. As a Cyberport incubatee, Talon Esports is well-known for its League of Legends team, PSG Talon, as well as for the successful esports events it has staged, such as the VALORANT competitions in Hong Kong and Taiwan which have attracted lucrative sponsorships from a wide variety of businesses including sportswear company Nike, KFC Thailand, Hong Kong virtual bank Mox and gaming seat developer Recaro. Today’s workshop tutor, Sean Zhang, CEO and Co-founder of Talon Esports, noted: “Everything begins with the fans. Esports fans typically represent a very valuable consumer segment for many brands, but they are also notoriously difficult to reach through traditional channels. So the most important thing for us to understand from a partnership perspective is what our partners are looking to achieve, from both a business and a branding standpoint, and then our job is to work out how we can best help them bridge that gap between them and the gaming community in a way that is authentic and adds value for our fans too.” Sponsor Pitch Simulations Each participating university, including the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, HKU SPACE, the Open University of Hong Kong, the Far Eastern Federal University, the National Taiwan University, the National University of Singapore, the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, the University of British Columbia, the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Washington, arranged for two to three representatives to join the workshop. Grouped into five teams, the students were required to conduct a sponsor pitch for a popular esports league. To enhance their knowledge of the esports ecosystem, feedback and suggestions were provided by the tutor. Organising inter-university tournaments and academic competitions Dr Christopher Tremewan, APRU Secretary General, said, “Empowering future Esports leaders in the Pacific Rim brought APRU and Cyberport together to create the APRU Esports Fellowship Program. Through Cyberport, the new generation will have access to the resources they need to develop skills and build networks for careers in the thriving Esports industry, including access to over 140 Esports start-ups. A perk of our program is that students will have the exclusive opportunity to pitch to industry leaders after learning about sponsorship relations and insider tips that cannot be found in textbooks. Going forward, we will forge ahead with this partnership and offer more opportunities for students to learn through student-led inter-university tournaments, academic competitions and fellowships.” APRU is a premier alliance of research universities, established in Los Angeles in 1997 by the presidents of UCLA, Berkeley, Caltech and the University of Southern California. It aims to foster collaboration between member universities to promote economic, scientific and cultural advancement in the Pacific Rim. APRU now has a membership of more than 50 leading research universities. Organised by Cyberport in partnership with APRU and the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, the APRU Esports Fellowship Program is a one-year programme dedicated to the esports industry. Cyberport’s session in Hong Kong is the programme’s third workshop, with the first two hosted by the National University of Singapore and the University of California, Los Angeles. The next workshop is planned for May, and will be hosted by the University of British Columbia. In addition to workshops, the programme also includes competitions which aim to boost the student’s esports skills and techniques. About Cyberport Cyberport is an innovative digital community with over 1,650 start-ups and technology companies. It is managed by Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited, which is wholly owned by the Hong Kong SAR Government. With a vision to be the hub for digital technology thereby creating a new economic driver for Hong Kong, Cyberport is committed to nurturing a vibrant tech ecosystem by cultivating talent, promoting entrepreneurship among youth, supporting start-ups on their growth journey, fostering industry development by promoting strategic collaboration with local and international partners, and integrating new and traditional economies by accelerating digital transformation in the public and private sectors. For more information, please visit www.cyberport.hk.
May 3, 2021more
Workshop Shows Ways Forward for Virtual Student Exchange
APRU Co-curricular programs have proven a valuable and accessible resource for international exchange during Covid-19 distancing restrictions. By offering virtual student exchange experiences not typically found in a virtual learning environment, such as, Sake Tasting, Music Jam, Tour of the Galapagos Islands, Career workshops, K-pop music history, Global Leadership, Cooking classes, (and much more) the APRU VSE demonstrates the value of the program by giving students an entryway to study abroad experiences and giving all students a chance to study abroad regardless of their economic resources. First-hand lessons which universities have drawn from hosting co-curricular courses in the APRU Virtual Student Exchange program was highlighted at a webinar hosted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong on April 16th entitled, International Exchanges Unbound: Developing Co-curricular Programs to Support Virtual Mobility. The webinar came against the backdrop of COVID-19 persistently restricting travel between campuses, with the presenters explaining how virtual student exchanges (VSE) can best be conducted. “The program allows students to keep benefitting from the very extensive academic courses in our network despite all the travel restrictions,” said Professor Suk-ying Wong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Associate Vice-President, in her opening remarks. “Students are able to experience how virtual visits of other campuses can be done meaningfully and how they can take home the same kind of cultural experiences they would have when physically visiting,” she added. Lessons from Leading Universities The webinar involved presentations by The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Korea University, Tohoku University, Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), and University of California, Davis. The case studies illustrated that a mix of live and pre-recordings works well, that dividing participants into smaller groups encourages more active engagement, and it is worth the investment of different technologies (Slido, etc). The presenters found it particularly important for organizers to consider how content might be relevant in different cultural contexts. Presenters furthermore pointed out that it is important to find ways to engage students after an event, and that an event should always be built on to increase relevance, including by creating a sequence of events with other APRU members and hosting programs in partnership with other universities. The APRU Virtual Student Exchange program was launched in August 2020 with two offerings available, academic courses and co-curricular activities. With co-curricular offerings focus on cultural, leadership, career, and social aspects of study abroad experiences in virtual delivery the VSE program is able to provide a well-rounded virtual exchange experience. Reflecting the program’s significance, 42 co-curricular VSE programs have been offered by 13 universities by March this year, attracting more than 900 participants. The latest webinar, for its part, drew over one hundred concurrent views from over a dozen of economies. “We have clearly seen that the the APRU Virtual Student Exchange program allows the sharing of experts knowledge, so that we can keep up with the time, especially during the pandemic,” said Raewyn Tan, the University of Auckland’s International Adviser, at the webinar’s Report Back session. “This is obviously very helpful for students planning for their carriers, and we will strive to make participation rates remain high,” she added. Revisit the workshop recording: More Workshop Article: Tohoku University Be Global: APRU Virtual Student Exchange Workshop (from Tohoku University)
April 28, 2021more
YESPORTS ESPORTS APPRENTICESHIP Recipient Announced
Original from Yesports Grooming and supporting the next esports generations of all parts of the world, Yesports announces its recipient for its FIRST Yesports Esports Apprenticeship. After reviewing a pool of remarkable applications, we are thrilled to announce that Samuel He from the University of British Columbia of Canada will be awarded the USD$10,000 apprenticeship to support his college education and esports dream. He was selected out of hundreds of applicants around the world after displaying exceptional academic achievement, extra-curricular participation and passion for esports. Samuel is a former professional Starcraft2 player under the premier organization Complexity Gaming. His experience in esports spans over 8 years and has played on the top stages such as Red Bull Detroit and MLG Anaheim. Furthermore, he has trained in the Invictus Gaming team house and was also a student of Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn. He has also been sponsored by NCSoft to compete in England for the Blade and Soul World Championship Qualifiers in 2018. He is studying a Masters of Music under world-famous clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester and is a recipient of the prestigious British Columbia Graduate Scholarship. “Thanks so much to Yesports and APRU for hosting this amazing initiative! I believe that the increased involvement of esports within our educational institutions is a strong step forward in popularizing esports as an industry, legitimizing it as a career path, and integrating it as part of our modern-day culture” Samuel said. Funded by Yesports, the apprenticeship program enables youth to continue their education at the collegiate level while developing their hobbies. The organization has been actively taking part in nurturing all-rounded talents and future leaders in the blooming and dynamic esports communities. This fund helps support those who exhibit the same commitment. Applications were accepted from students who are planning to further pursue their studies in colleges and universities. “Building on that commitment, in the coming year, Samuel will be our ambassador promoting esports and our brand in his local communities and schools by holding various events and networking with different esports societies,” says Yesports’ Apprenticeship Coordinator, Ms. Ariel Chu. “He will as well show up on our social platforms a lot as he will be creating content for us.” On the other hand, the recipient will be offered a 4-6 weeks work term at Yesports office based in Hong Kong, a chance to gain invaluable exposure to the esports industry that can give him a competitive edge. “With Yesports, Samuel will get a taste of how an Asian esports company operates, as well as the chance to help organize both online and offline world-class tournaments and events,” Ms. Chu further commented. Lastly, Yesports welcome all interested students to apply our new series of the Yesports Apprenticeship 2021-2022 which is now opened for application. We want to cater to students of all aspects; therefore, we have created 5 types of scholarships targeting applicants with different talents and skills. Please visit our website for more information. We look forward to seeing more all-round students like Samuel having the opportunity to glow in the esports world. Congratulations! For more information, please visit: https://yesports.asia/ Apply for Apprenticeship: https://www.yesportstalents.com/scholarship https://www.facebook.com/yesports.asia For further enquiry, please contact: Ms. Ariel Chu [email protected] +852 6514 9262 Natalie TT Wong [email protected] +852 5622 4680 About Yesports Yesports, the global O2O hub for talents to meet and connect to international employers and sponsors for unlimited career and business opportunities. Yesports is a global “esports +” social media platform where gamers meet celebrities for fun and opportunities to show their talent! It connects game lovers to a dynamic world of resources and people. Yesports Talent showcases talents from around the world and provides a platform for connecting to the corporates to maximize marketing synergies. Additional Important Information Yesports does not guarantee any of the applications will be successful in attaining the apprenticeship grant nor does the final amount offered. As the apprenticeship grant is provided by Yesports, the recipient(s) maybe subjected to additional terms and conditions, not currently presented in this document, as implemented by Yesports. The University does not have any input nor control over any of the terms and conditions as required by Yesports. The nominated recipient(s) should independently decide his/her acceptance of the apprenticeship grant.
April 14, 2021more
4th SCL Conference mastered shift from face-to-face to virtual, new survey shows
The 4th APRU Sustainable Cities and Landscapes (APRU-SCL) Conference and PhD Symposium held 14th-18th December 2020 received an overwhelmingly positive feedback from academics and students for serving as a highly valuable platform for the exchange of insights between peers from across the Pacific Rim. 91.7% of respondents in a recently completed survey said they would like to continue engagement with their working groups in 2021 while 75% would be interested in joining the 5th APRU-SCL Conference in Hawai’i in person in 2022. The 4th SCL Conference and PhD Symposium were held virtually, with the survey’s stellar approval rates illustrating that the new conceptualization and pioneering approaches to empower attendees to fully engage in many different formats of interactions has worked out very well. For the host institution, the Future Cities Research Hub at the School of Architecture and Planning of the University of Auckland, the event represented the first fully virtual conference of this kind and size. “The strong financial support from the senior management, faculty and school made this successful shift to an online format possible,” said Christina Schönleber, APRU’s Senior Director (Policy and Programs). “It enabled attendees to participate in live panel discussions, set up one-on-one meetings with other attendees, participate in group networking and watch keynotes from presenters, with a total of 56 funded registrations for PhD Students, Early Career Academics, Postdocs and academics from developing countries” added Paola Boarin, Conference Director. The APRU Sustainable Cities and Landscapes Program was launched to address the urgent necessity of understanding and managing the interconnection between cities and their surrounding ecology in the face of unprecedented population growth and climate change. The 4th SCL Conference was structured around eleven working groups, as well as plenaries, keynotes, interactive happy hours and virtual tours, attracting 152 participants from 21 economies. The opening keynote was given by the University of Auckland’s Associate Professor Damon Salesa, followed by keynotes and panel discussions on Indigenous Knowledge and Wisdom (given by Dr Rhys Jones, Senior Lecturer in Māori Health at the University of Auckland) and on SDGs in post-pandemic cities in New Zealand and Across the Pacific (given by Bernhard Barth, Human Settlements Officer at UN-Habitat’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific). The seven panelists — from Māori experts to policy makers — encouraged in-depth thinking on cultural traditions and methods to build back better. A two-days PhD student symposium was offered for the first time this year. The event allowed students to present their research that relates to the topics of the working groups and the SDGs. In total 24 PhD students from across the Pacific Rim were accepted in the Symposium. Yao Ji from Keio University won the best paper award for her paper titled” Remaking the rural: Alternative forms of revitalization in post-growth Japan”. Click here to know more about the conference.
January 11, 2021more
APRU Launches the First Global Inter-University Esports Conference and Fellowship Program
HONG KONG–(BUSINESS WIRE)–APRU launches the first and largest global inter-university Esports MetaGame Conference and Fellowship Program to introduce some of the only international pilot Esports programs with curriculum for students that go beyond technical knowhow. In partnership with Cyberport, the virtual conference consists of 3 elements – gaming, policy discussions and next generation learning – creating a platform for global gamers to compete while inviting Esports scholars and industry leaders to discuss the emergence of Hong Kong in the international Esports landscape and other Esports topics, such as entrepreneurship, diversity and inclusion, and career pathways. From gamers and industry partners to students and governments, the MetaGame Conference incorporates the full Esports ecosystem with an aim to expand the purview of the Esports landscape. With Esports’ high economic potential evidenced by its US$1.1 billion in global revenue in 2019, there is tremendous opportunity for career development. By establishing this program from the Hong Kong headquarters, APRU can facilitate the international collaboration of Esports leaders in the Pacific Rim by connecting students and communities across borders. Hong Kong is the first host city of the MetaGame Conference as an emerging regional Esports hub, future conferences will rotate so that APRU universities can demonstrate their unique capabilities within the Esports ecosystem. Chris Tremewan, Secretary General of APRU said, “Students are leaders in creating the ecosystem of Esports. It is not just a game but a new way of interacting which is changing society (like social media). Esports holds out opportunities in employment, industry development, education and personal development, public policy leadership and cutting-edge research. The Asia-Pacific region is the dynamic core of the development of a global Esports ecosystem and with APRU’s 56 member universities around the region, we can help establish a sustainable and ethical industry with spinoffs for health and social equity as well as economic productivity.” “Working with business and government, we are excited to bring a new Esports learning experience to students that not only builds a more sustainable industry but widens employment opportunities far beyond it: business and management, technology and design, performance and health, and socio-economic well-being and appropriate public policy.” Fellowship Program Tecnológico de Monterrey, APRU and Cyberport joined in partnership to launch the year-long virtual APRU Esports Fellowship Program today which will foster the growth of critical skills for future Esports leaders by contributing to outcomes for students such as internship and job placement opportunities and activities such as hackathons, pitching competitions and industry networking. The curriculum goes beyond the technical training related to Esports and focuses on ethical leadership, industry connections, community building, design thinking, entrepreneurship, and cultural awareness. Students will be deeply connected to the entire Esports industry – publishers, leagues, and its technological advancement – for a greater opportunity to develop their Esports skillset and career.
December 14, 2020more
14th APRU Global Health Conference 2020 records massive virtual reach
November 27, 2020more
APRU Quarantunes Competition Connects and Uplifts Student Communities through Music, Boosting Spirits during Ongoing Pandemic
HONG KONG–(BUSINESS WIRE)–To bring international university students together by sparking creativity and sharing positivity during the pandemic, the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) recently launched its Quarantunes student music competition. Attracting 108 impressive entries by students from 13 economies across Asia-Pacific, the Quarantunes competition was organised by APRU Plus, an online hub launched specifically to address challenges during COVID. The winning teams reflected an incredible breadth of international student talent, with the leading entries emerging from student teams in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mexico, the Philippines, California (USA), Colombia, and South Korea. With virtually no international student mobility and physical classes halted, students are facing unprecedented disruptions to their studies and university experience. A study conducted this past summer by a higher education research consortium that includes APRU member University of California, Berkeley found that 35% of undergraduate students were positive for major depressive disorder, while 39% had generalized anxiety disorder, a much higher rate than years past. With anxiety prevalent across universities worldwide, APRU Plus provides innovative opportunities for collaboration to bridge the gap created by social distancing. Conceived as a way to foster creativity and discussion around the importance of mental wellness during this challenging time, the Quarantunes competition gave students a new way to cope with isolation and come together to produce musical works that spread positivity. Each of the students’ submitted songs tells a unique COVID story that helps us see beyond the current difficulties to inspire hope for the future. “‘Get Down’ is a song that combines dancy, hopeful music and reflective lyrics about the happenings right now. We hope to present an honest yet playful version of the world, inside which people acknowledge the flaws of the society but remain optimistic for a brighter future.” – National Taiwan University and The Chinese University of Hong Kong team View highlight video and winning entries : 1st Prize (Tied) “Get Down” – National Taiwan University and The Chinese University of Hong Kong “Sonos Más” – Tecnológico de Monterrey 3rd Prize “Six Feet Apart” – University of the Philippines Special Prize “Golden Girl” – University of Southern California “Homenaje a Lucho Bermúdez” – Universidad de los Andes “We’re All Heroes” – Yonsei University To further connect students internationally, APRU also offers the APRU Virtual Student Exchange (VSE) Program, an exclusive opportunity to connect with peers from around the world to learn new knowledge and skills, exchange ideas and cultures, and develop connections vital for success. Visit here to learn more. Contacts APRU: Jack Ng [email protected] PLUG: Marisa Lam [email protected]
November 16, 2020more
APRU E-Sports Apprenticeship
September 15, 2020more
Winners of the Global Health Student Activities 2020 Announced
August 17, 2020more
TEC News: Song of Tec students wins 1st place among universities worldwide
Pictures: Archive pictures of Frida Rangel and Rubén Villicaña Written by WENDY GUTIÉRREZ |MEXICO CITY CAMPUS Original post in The news site of Tecnológico de Monterrey With the song “Somos Más”, Frida Rangel and Rubén Villicaña have won first place worldwide in the Quarantunes Music Competition, a virtual event organized by the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU). According to the organizers, the students from Tec de Monterrey’s Mexico City campus were given the prize for the song which revealed the positivity that is needed in these uncertain times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The composition won first place in the national ‘Songs of Peace and Hope’ competition organized by the Tec and tied for the title of global champion with the song “Get Down”, by students from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). “This contest consists of composing songs that express the feelings we have experienced as students, during the pandemic, but also shows how we can inspire others through our song and strengthen the hope that a better future will come,” explained Frida. The students mentioned that they felt very happy and fulfilled in getting first place. “We’re very satisfied with all the work we did and the results that we got. But, mostly, we’re extremely grateful and inspired by all the support we’ve received,” declared the winners. A SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENT Having reached first place in an international composition competition is a significant achievement, as it reaffirms that they are on the right track. According to the songwriters, their participation in the contest inspired them to continue looking for similar opportunities, and to keep entering more contests. “We want to make more music, and to improve more and more. We know that we still have a lot to learn and that excites us a lot,” said Frida, who’s studying Music Production. The prize was a cash sum, which they intend to invest in equipment to improve the quality of their music, and thereby generate new knowledge and opportunities for themselves. The Tec students received the invitation to participate in Quarantunes through the Leadership and Experience (LiFE) department on their campus and decided to compose a song with a positive message. The LiFE program focuses on students’ development through sports, arts, leadership, and includes their nutritional, psychological and emotional well-being. Frida and Ruben shared that the Tec has greatly influenced both their lives and their professional careers. “We’ve both been members of the Contemporary Music Ensemble on our campus, and participated in the National Song Festival, so we’ve acquired many skills and experiences that have influenced the path we want to take both in our careers and our lives. “These experiences have deeply affected us. In fact, it was in the ensemble where we met and, thanks to that, we’ve achieved many things together”, they said. The champions thanked the department of art and culture at the Mexico City campus for all the support they were given during the two weeks of the contest. “We want to thank all the people who shared our video, and who were encouraging and supporting us. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of all these people. We especially want to thank our families, who never gave up. Really, thank you for helping us share our art. You’ve inspired us to keep going,” the winners concluded. Listen to their song by clicking here.
August 7, 2020more
Quarantunes Student Music Competition
APRU is pleased to announce the winners of the Quarantunes Student Music Competition designed to inspire hope for the future. We have received 108 impressive entries, over 400 students from 24 leading research universities and 13 economies of the Asia Pacific participated. The top winners have been selected from a shortlisted of entries by popular vote. Top entries reflect highest responses on Facebook and the voting form. All participants were subject of review according to competition Terms and Conditions. The Quarantunes student music competition offered students a chance to inspire each other and our communities by making music. Students were challenged to help us see beyond current difficulties, come together in mutual support, and strengthen the determination and hope for the future. We thank all of the participants for sharing their talent, creativity, and collaboration which has inspired our communities across the Asia Pacific to have hope for the future even during this uncertain time. 1st Prize (tied): “Get Down” National Taiwan University and The Chinese University of Hong Kong Prize: USD 2500 Team Members: Chaichon Wongkham, The Chinese University of Hong Kong Yen Wei Kuang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong Tsou, Yi-Hsu, National Taiwan University Hsu Tung, National Taiwan University 1st Prize (tied): “Somos Más” Tecnológico de Monterrey Prize: USD 2500 Team Members: José Rubén Villicaña Ibargüengoytia Frida Berenice Rangel García 3rd Prize: “Six Feet Apart” University of the Philippines Manila Prize: USD 2000 Team Members: Alicia Bracamonte Victor Ablan Kyle Delfin Special Prize: “Golden Girl” University of Southern California Prize: USD 1000 Team Members: Ben Ragasa Maddie Wu Special Prize: “Homenaje a Lucho Bermúdez” Universidad de los Andes Prize: USD 1000 Team Members: Gabriel Collazos Didier González Miguel Ángel Hoyos Jhon Jerez Sergio Meneses Ian Middlenton David Pérez Manuel Pinto Santiago Prada Valeria Rocha Andrés Sabogal
August 5, 2020more
APRU-IRIDeS Multi-Hazards Virtual Summer School 2020
Due to the impact of COVID-19, the 8th edition of APRU-IRIDeS Multi-Hazards Summer School had to be held virtually. Through a zoom platform, three sessions were held on July 15, 22, and 29 (JST). The event aimed to share the experiences and lessons learned from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (GEJET), learn from the experiences in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and risk management from various stakeholders, and understand the latest international disaster science research conducted by the researchers globally. Total 842 people worldwide have attended the sessions. View the program and report here. View the speakers’ information here.
August 3, 2020more
Collaboration, technology and global health policy
By By Peggy McInerny, Director of Communications, UCLA A group of Bruins minoring in the global health met during the APRU Global Health Student Case Competition. They are now planning careers in the field. The APRU Global Health Student Case Competition gives students an opportunity to practice critical-thinking and problem-solving skills to help solve global health challenges. The competition has brought together young and creative teams of university students to tackle many pressing global health problems with out-of-the-box ideas in helping to facilitate real changes in society. Originally published by UCLA International Institute. UCLA International Institute, April 9, 2020 — UCLA students today have an enviable capacity to use multiple communication methods simultaneously when collaborating on a project. It is a skill that will serve them well in the coming months, as all UCLA courses continue remotely due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.The “Gamechangers Team,” a group of global health minors who designed a social media–based health intervention and produced a video about it, have a unique view on the value of communications technology in global health. Over the course of roughly six weeks in spring 2019, six undergraduates (two of whom have since graduated) met once a week in person, exchanged ideas regularly via a smart phone chat room and shared research on project components via Google Docs.The students came together to participate in the annual Global Health Case Competition of the APRU (Association of Pacific Rim Universities), whose 2019 challenge was: “Social Networking Intervention to Promote Physical Activity among Young People in Urban Environments.” The team was comprised of Julia Houshmand (UCLA 2020, molecular, cell, and developmental biology), Franklin Leung (UCLA 2019, microbiology, immunology & molecular genetics), Vera Ong (UCLA 2020, psychobiology), Rene Rosas (UCLA 2019, international development studies), Wendy Tang (UCLA 2021, economics) and Sahej Verma (UCLA 2020, global studies). “I remember that [student counselors] Katie Osterkamp and Magda Yamamoto said, ‘You will be competing with medical students and Ph.D. students.’ — And I thought, ‘Great!’” said Julia Houshmand ironically. “I remember watching some of the past videos — we were very intimidated,” said Vera Ong. “But we just gave it our best shot.” That best shot won the Gamechangers team a place among the three finalists — the first time a UCLA team had placed in this APRU competition. (Bruins have won and placed in several APRU health poster competitions in the past). Building on one another’s ideas and skills The team eventually designed a campus-based intervention that would use competitions between individuals, colleges and professional schools of UCLA (and with other universities in Los Angeles) to build community, increase physical activity and encourage healthier eating. One key idea was to showcase star UCLA athletes interested in pursuing careers in fitness by livestreaming their workouts. Although the International Institute was set to cover the students’ travel costs to attend the 13th APRU Global Health Conference last November, the conference was eventually cancelled due to demonstrations in Hong Kong. In the end, the UCLA team came in third. Surprisingly, the students were remarkably upbeat about the outcome, stressing they had learned so much from the collaborative process. “We went into this not to win the competition, but because we wanted to,” said Houshmand. “It sounded like something that was fun and interesting.” “Stressful, but fun!” added Ong, noting that the team developed their case on a compressed timeline that ran into spring quarter finals. “It was interesting how we all came up with the idea. It wasn’t just one person. Honestly, it was all of us sitting on Kerckhoff Patio and using the Socratic Method, asking: ‘What about this?’ ‘No, no, no, no.’ ‘What about this?’” said Ong. As they progressed, the students divided up research and tasks such as budgeting the hypothetical funding. Franklin Leung, a runner, suggested that the intervention use a Strava application to measure physical activity. He also ended up editing the final case video. “We wanted to create an intervention where people would actually have discussions about exercising together, eating healthier foods and so on,” explained Verma. “We set it up in a competition environment so that if, for example, I and Julia were roommates, we could compete with one another to see how we are doing. The goal was to use those friendly elements to live healthier lives.” A shared interest in global health policy The team members are deeply interested in the social determinants of health, equitable access to health care and health policy. Whether pre-med students, future economists or future health activists, their educations and career goals were a great fit with the video project. Houshmand, for example, is a pre-med senior whose interest in global health was sparked by significant travel and the experience of living between France and the United States for most of her life. “The two countries have very different medical systems,” she remarked. “My classmates in both countries came from a lot of different backgrounds, including refugees and people who were undocumented, and on the other hand, people from the highest levels of society,” she continued. “So I saw a lot of these differences, not just at the level of health, but at the level of access to health care.” “Since I became interested in medicine, I’ve always seen it in a global framework,” explained Houshmand. “When I started taking classes in my global health minor, I realized that I love thinking of solutions and interventions for a health issue not just from a biological standpoint, but also taking into account the historical context, the cultural context, the political climate, etc.” Ong also has significant experience in two countries, having been born in the Philippines before moving to Silicon Valley at a young age. She subsequently traveled frequently to see family in the Philippines. “What really got me into global health was growing up watching my uncle, who is a general surgeon there, serve his community,” she remarked. “Similar to Julia [Houshmand],” she adds, “I have experience of different health care systems and have seen that same lack of access to care,” she adds. Both her interest in global health and her volunteer work in the UCLA chapter of Global Medical Training (2018–2020) deepened her intellectual engagement with health policy. For example, she joined the Health Equity Network of the Americas, where she helped organized international conferences that address topics such as universal health, gender inequality in health access and immigrant health. Doctor in provincial hospital in Bulacan, Philippines. (Photo: ILO Asia-Pacific via Flickr). CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. Ong, who plans to become a doctor, eventually came to evaluate potential medical schools partly on the basis of whether they incorporated courses on global and public health in their curricula. “That is a big factor for me in choosing a medical school and in what I want to do in the future,” she said. Houshmand, who is also going to medical school, shook her head in agreement. Verma approaches health policy from a social development perspective, but with insider knowledge of health care — he comes from a family of doctors. An internship for a pharmaceutical lobbying group in Geneva, plus subsequent biotech work experience, helped him define a health policy career direction. Specifically, he seeks to combine health policy with new therapeutic and diagnostic technologies to achieve better health outcomes. To do so successfully, however, requires effective communication. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with a few health economists in the Fielding School of Public Health,” he said, “and I’ve seen how they work to communicate the value of therapeutics and life sciences products to different policy makers to help them devise solutions that will both improve people’s lives and health outcomes.” COVID-19 and its impacts The COVID-19 pandemic has, if anything, increased the interest of the Gamechangers team in global health policy. The race to develop a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infections, for example, directly bears on Verma’s senior thesis. The global studies senior, now an undergraduate research fellow, is researching the role of Indian pharmaceutical manufacturers in developing vaccines against diseases of poverty that are prevalent in low- and middle-income countries. Verma may, in fact, temporarily delay plans to pursue a Ph.D. in health policy and economics so that he can work for the Indian ministry of health as it develops the regulatory infrastructure to speed the development of safe, efficacious and affordable pharmaceuticals. The pandemic is a wake-up call for the United States, said Verma. “Whether it is the inequitable distribution of materials — think therapeutic tools (vaccines), sanitary equipment (masks), life-saving infrastructure (protocols for medical staff in hospitals) or social rigidities (young people not following social distancing norms, while older folks are scared to shop for essential groceries and medicines) — America needs to rethink where its priorities lie as a society,” he continued. An image of the global pandemic in the shape of a COVID-19 molecule. (Image by Miroslava Chrienova courtesy of Pixabay.) “Post–COVID-19 will be a time not only to reconstruct infrastructure, but also to reconcile a communal attitude with productivity arguments,” he remarked. The UCLA student believes that the pandemic will lead many young people to study health policy in order “to challenge existing rationales about mechanisms of healthcare in the USA.” Ong has been struck by how much the pandemic has highlighted pre-existing flaws in public and global health policy. “It exposed just how much our current systems were unprepared for a pandemic such as this, and how much we need to improve as global and local communities,” she commented. “COVID-19 definitely shows the importance of global communication, teamwork and transparency, as well as the importance of forming pre-planned protocols to minimize potential consequences,” she said. Ong, who is currently working with the UCLA Learning Assistants Program to help professors navigate Zoom and better engage their students remotely, is seeing firsthand how time-efficient and useful such interactions can be. “With an increased focus on telemedicine, I can see similar benefits within the medical field,” she said. “By decreasing overall waiting time and providing more scheduling flexibility, telehealth could encourage patients to be more active in consulting physicians overall, increasing doctor-patient interaction and treating illnesses early.” Verma also believes that one outcome of the pandemic will be a revival of doctor-patient interaction. Yet the barriers to effective telemedicine remain significant, with equitable access to communications technologies at the top of the list. “The COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting the gaps in communications infrastructure, with restricted broadband speeds amid increased usage,” he pointed out. How regulators and the government support the adoption of these technologies will be the true litmus test of their efficacy in serving community health needs, insisted Verma. Ong points to additional barriers that must be addressed before telehealth can become a reality, including lack of technological literacy among physicians and patients, hacking dangers and lack of a robust protocol. As for the immediate future, Ong — like Houshmand — heads off to medical school in the fall. Verma will begin working as a research assistant at University of Michigan’s Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation. Expect these Bruins to make their mark on global health policy in the coming decades. Published: Thursday, April 9, 2020
May 18, 2020more
Cities and Refugees – 2019 Global Student Design Ideas Competition
By the end of 2017, around 68.5 million people were forcibly displaced, about half of which were children. Of this figure, over 25 million people escape to other countries, and as a result become refugees. Most refugees do not live in camps – forced displacement is now an urban phenomenon which creates a range of challenges. To address this global challenge, the Cities and Refugee Student Design Competition was hosted by the Rapid Urbanisation Grand Challenge at UNSW Sydney, with Australian Red Cross, ARUP International Development, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the APRU – Sustainable Cities and Landscapes Program Hub (APRU SCL). The opening night of the APRU SCL Conference 2019 at UNSW Sydney featured a public keynote address from Brett Moore, Head of Shelter and Settlements at UNHCR. His talk titled “Cities & Refugees: Complexity and Conflict: how can we deliver inclusive and sustainable urban development in challenging contexts?” served as a prelude for the announcement of the competition winners. Twenty-eight entries from fifteen economies took the challenge. We thank all judges for the incredibly difficult task of choosing the winners. Prize winners 1st place (AUS$5000) Merapatkan Selayang: A Bridging Intervention for Social Integration Yale-NUS College Lucy Madeline Davis, Sharan Kaur Sambhi, Ernest Tan Sze Shen, and Nguyen Ngoc Luu Ly Physical Sciences (Chemistry), Anthropology, Urban Studies, and Urban Studies 2nd place (AUS$2500) Welcome to the Agora Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture et de Paysage de Bordeaux & Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Strasbourg Cécile Elbel & Ipek Erker 3rd place (AUS$1000) Threshold Conditions UNSW Sydney Samuel Jones Masters of Architecture Honorable mentions University of Auckland Dennis Byun, Angela Lai, Harry Tse, Todd Min, Sungoh Choi, John Woo, Scott Ma, and Jingyuan Huang Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) representing Portal Studio Project title: Train-sition Shahid Beheshti University Solmaz Arzhangi, Sara Arzhangi, and Narges Rajaeipour Post-disaster reconstruction in architecture and urban study, Master of Architectural engineering and Master of Architectural engineering Project title: Towards a New Life University of Technology Sydney Allan Soo Project title: Case Study: Sydney
September 10, 2019more
APRU Inaugural Sustainable Cities and Landscapes Design Field School
Thirteen selected international students from APRU’s member universities participated in a two-week design field school in Indonesia led by HKU faculty staff and local partners, from August 27 to September 9, prior to the commencement of 2018 APRU Sustainable Cities and Landscapes Conference. The school explored the uncertain landscape complexities, caused by urbanization, through examining a recent study that focused on the rapid modernization of landscapes and communities in East Java. A group presentation was given by the students during the conference’s dinner, addressing topics on eco-tourism, Gundih village, and marine debris in Indonesia. See travel blogs from Stuart and Mayeesha who just came back from the trip. Find out more about the field school here.
September 27, 2018more
Winners of 2018 Global Health Student Poster Contest
The winners of the APRU Global Health Program Conference Student Poster Contest 2018 emerged from 36 excellent submissions from students from 10 economies. They were judged by APRU Global Health Advisory Group members. The winners are: UNDERGRADUATE 1st Place: Anak Agung Diyananda Paramita (Warmadewa University) 2nd Place: Bonardo Hasiholan (University of Indonesia) 3rd Place: Megan Ren, Jason Zhang, Rishi Makkar, Nicolas Gonzalez, Mili Patel (University of California, Los Angeles) GRADUATE 1st Place: Mengge Han (Fudan University) 2nd Place: Jocelyn Dracakis (The University of Sydney) 3rd Place: Sarah Lawrence, Betty Nguyen, Jacqueline Pei (University of California, Los Angeles) The 1st prize winners in each category will receive a USD$100 gift card during the awards ceremony at the annual APRU Global Health conference 2018 which is going to be hosted by University of Malaya on October 28-30, 2018. All student posters will also be presented at the conference.
September 3, 2018more