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University Presidents Roundtable at UESTC

published: 2016-10-10 14:22:30       hits: 

How to cultivate innovative talents in the context of globalization? University Presidents Roundtable was held amid UESTC 60th Anniversary celebrations in the afternoon of September 29th in the university library. This meeting brought together Presidents of 23 universities as well as the Directors from Southwest Electronic Telecommunication Technology Institute and Huawei Chengdu Research Institute to discuss university education in context of globalization.

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Prof. Li Yanrong, President of UESTC, Prof. Xiong Caidong, Vice President of UESTC, Academician Liu Shenggang, Prof. Vito Antonio Muscatelli, President of University of Glasgow, Prof. Luís Reto, President of ISCTE Lisbon University Institute, Prof. Heinz Meisel, President of Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, Dr. Stephen Hanson, Vice President of College of William and Marry, Prof. ER Meng Hwa, Vice President of Nanyang Technological University, Prof. Atsushi Nishida, Vice President of Chiba University, Prof. Scott MacGregor, Vice President of Christopher Newport University, Prof. Xie Hanping, Vice President of National Chiao Tung University, Prof. Makoto Kajitani, former President of University of Electro-Communications (UEC) and Kazushi Nakano, Vice President of UEC, Prof. Mah Wee Beng, Vice President of Ngee Ann Polytechnic, and representatives from University of California, Los Angeles, San Diego and Santa Barbara, Dublin Institute of Techlology, Israel Institute of Technology, University of Michigan - Dearborn, the City University of Hongkong, Sister Cities of Newport News, Prof. Song Yonghua, Executive Vice President of Zhejiang University, and Prof. Li Lin , President of Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications as well as representatives from Southwest Electronic Telecommunication Technology Institute and Huawei Chengdu Research Institute. A total of 25 universities from both at home and abroad and institutes attended the Roundtable, hosted by Prof. Xiong Caidong.

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On behalf of UESTC, Prof. Li extended his greatest welcome to distinguished guests present at the Roundtable. He briefed them that UESTC has grown into one of the top universities featuring electronic information and science technology in China after 60 years of endeavor and trained 160,000 talents who have contributed a lot to information construction of the world and of China in particular. Prof. Li expressed that, in the context of information technology still being the major drive of global economic growth and China’s economic restructuring, UESTC, as an engineering-based characteristic university, faces 3 major challenges to grow and expand. First, how to meet expectations and requirements from society and the country? Second, how to fulfill the mission of being a top university with top disciplines? Third, how to transform from technical engineer cultivation to elite development? Furthermore, UESTC hopes that her graduates not only master expertise and skills in its traditional strong fields, but also know how to lead, according to Prof. Li. Therefore, UESTC will work harder to develop general education. By doing so, the university can boost students’ capabilities including human spirit, thinking and expression, leadership, knowledge integration and global vision. Prof. Li hoped that universities across the world took this opportunity to strengthen communication and cooperation. In addition, Prof. Li raised 4 suggestions for cooperation. First, to continue expanding student exchanges and exploring new models for exchanges; second, to strengthen cooperation in education and teaching, academic research, faculty exchange and development in terms of human spirit as well as philosophy and social science; third, to boost cooperation among universities and cultivate innovative talents together; and forth, to improve innovation and basic research in UESTC through cooperation between scientific research teams.

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In the context of globalization, connectivity, cooperation and win-win outcome are what makes a world-class university rather than isolation from others, said Prof. Li. UESTC will be more open and practical in pushing forward cooperation with scientific research centers and the business community. On top of that, UESTC will train students who not only lead in the electronic information field, but also act as citizens with cultural literacy and communication skills in the global community, thus making a difference in global technological and social development. To achieve that end and advance human society, Prof. Li invited representatives present at the Roundtable to make joint efforts with UESTC.

 

Afterwards, the following representatives also shared their reports: Prof. Vito Antonio Muscatelli, President of the University of Glasgow, Dr. Stephen Hanson, Vice President of College of William and Marry, Prof. Scott MacGregor, Vice President of Christopher Newport University, Prof. ER Meng Hwa, Vice President of Nanyang Technological University, Prof. Atsushi Nishida, Vice President of Chiba University and Prof. Song Yonghua, Executive Vice President of Zhejiang University.

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Prof. Vito Antonio Muscatelli introduced the vision and approach for the University of Glasgow to cultivate innovative talents. He also talked about the development of undergraduate and postgraduate communities, inter-disciplines and cross-division activities, and cooperation among the university, enterprises and the local government. Cooperation with other institutions of higher learning, industries and cities plays a great part in improving scientific research and talent quality as it enables both faculty and students to master multidisciplinary knowledge and enjoy an enabling multicultural environment created for them. This also explains why the University of Glasgow conducts strategic cooperation with UESTC.

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Dr. Stephen E. Hanson analyzed the practical significance of international education. Amid the development of globalization and uncertainty in geopolitics, to strengthen cooperation among universities and to promote cross-cultural communication show their importance, according to him. Moreover, better communication between university teachers, students and managers will boost public communication. For this reason, the College of William and Mary sustains globalization as its core strategy to drive cooperation in scientific research and talent cultivation with other universities. He also hoped universities to establish rules and procedures for sustainable international academic cooperation on the basis of mutual benefits, said Dr. Stephen E. Hanson.

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Prof. Scott MacGregor shared the innovation strategy carried out by Christopher Newport University. CNU has entered into partnership with both the private and the public departments and established innovation centers including R&D, tests and experiments in key areas of Glasgow. On top of that, CNU supports start-ups and small and medium enterprises. It also utilizes its international and domestic networks to attract talents, investment and support.

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Prof. ER Meng Hwa analyzed new challenges and opportunities brought by the new global community to global universities. With transformation of global society, rapid progress and innovation in technology, uncertainty in world economy and geopolitics, Universities need to meet new requirements to grow. In 2011, Nanyang Technological University raised a syllabus proposal for undergraduates to the Blue Ribbon Commission, supporting innovation in talent cultivation, international talents in particular and satisfying new requirements set for 21st talents. Currently, 70% of students of the university have enjoyed international education and overseas exchanges. And that number is expected to increase to 80% by 2020.

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Prof. Atsushi Nishida introduced the general profile of Chiba University and fruits achieved through cooperation with UESTC. According to him, a lack of international talents has brought great challenges to universities’ talent cultivation in Japan. Therefore, universities in Japan feel urged to conduct more cooperation projects in order to provide more talents in the context of globalization. 2014 saw Chiba University included in the “Top Global University” project. In April, 2016, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences was set up in the university, providing better education combining humanities and sciences and focus on improving students’ international communication capabilities. He believed that the goal of a university is to develop talents who can address diverse challenges.

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Prof. Song Yonghua introduced the strategic arrangements of Zhejiang University to develop “world-class university” and “world-class disciplines”. China’s society and higher education have benefited a lot from reform and opening up policy. Since the launch of the policy, universities in China has been improving international education. As a result, many key universities including Zhejiang University have already make great progress. Now, Developing “double first-rate university”, the strategic goal proposed by the country, requires universities to further grow and expand international education and to produce better outcomes in scientific research and talent cultivation. Prof. Song Yonghua hoped that there would be more strategic cooperation between China’s universities and overseas universities, and he expressed his welcome for representatives present at the meeting to visit Zhejiang University.

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In the session of free talk, Presidents from University of California, Santa Barbara and National Chiao Tung University introduced their strategies of international education along with hopes of strengthened bilateral cooperation. Academician Liu Shenggang shared his own overseas experience including communication, exchange and visits. Moreover, he expressed appreciation for UESTC’s internationalized education. It corresponds with the growth trend of modern higher education to take “internationalization” as one of the three core strategies, according to him. Academician Liu felt honored to be part of UESTC and to have devoted his life to her. He believed that UESTC will see greater achievements in the next 60 years.

Translator: Wen Huan