The Declaration of the 2022 Westlake Higher Education Forum was released

President Shi Yigong made a speech Courtesy of Westlake University

2022 Westlake Higher Education Forum Photo courtesy of Westlake University

On November 19, the 2022 Westlake Higher Education Forum hosted by Westlake University was held at Yungu Campus, where presidents and representatives from 23 universities at home and abroad jointly reviewed the mission of the university and explored the path to the future through online and offline exchanges and sharing.

Shi Yigong, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and president of Westlake University, introduced in his opening speech that since its inception, Westlake University has been actively building a bridge for the exchange of scientific and technological civilizations between the East and the West, and at the same time actively building a top-notch innovative talent training system with characteristics internally, hoping that students can learn cross-cultural communication, interdisciplinary thinking, master the ability to analyze and solve unknown problems, and become a “capital person” who is responsible for society and empathetic to others.

“Universities should stand in the perspective of a community with a shared future for mankind, embrace the vision of making the world a better place, shape the next generation that can quickly respond to rapid global changes, lead the way in the innovation process, and lead the trend in the times.” Shi Yigong said.

President of University of California, Davis, Cornell University, George Washington University, University of Queensland, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou), University of California, San Diego, University of Macau, Princeton University, Rice University, Fudan University, National University of Singapore, Peking University, New York University, University of Warwick, University of Nottingham Ningbo China, Tsinghua University, Duke Kunshan University, Oriental Institute for Advanced Study of Technology, Southern University of Science and Technology, Zhejiang University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, etc. The Provost and representatives of the university expressed their insights and collided with diverse ideas around innovative research, talent cultivation, and international dialogue and cooperation.

Gong Qihuang, President of Peking University, proposed to seize the new opportunities brought by the digital intelligence era to higher education; HKUST President Nancy Ip shared her views on how to shape the unique culture of research universities and promote high-level research and talent introduction. Gary S. May, president of the University of California, Davis, and Deborah Terry, president of the University of Queensland, offered constructive suggestions on how to strengthen international dialogue between universities in the current situation…

In this 10-hour dialogue and discussion, the participating universities agreed that universities should shoulder unique responsibilities and missions, and only through extensive cooperation can we overcome the global crisis and dilemma. At the end of the forum, the Declaration of the 2022 Westlake Higher Education Forum was officially released, with the following text:

All mankind is a community with a shared destiny, and mutual support and harmony are the eternal direction. Universities have an irreplaceable responsibility and mission to work together to cultivate future leaders and prepare humanity for change. 

We believe that universities should work together in the following aspects: 1. enhance understanding and mutual trust, participate in and promote cross-border and cross-cultural exchanges, and seek win-win results in open cooperation; 2. Encourage cooperation in scientific research and jointly expand the boundaries of human cognition; 3. Focus on common crises and long-term challenges facing humanity and advocate for more sustainable values; 4. Adhere to their own characteristics, respect each other’s differences, and achieve development while appreciating diversity.

We believe that global universities should establish closer partnerships, cultivate future-oriented talents, and promote more impactful innovation, which will surely have a more positive and far-reaching impact on human society.

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