Global University Presidents Forum. Photo courtesy of Hua Xuan
The Guangzhou Declaration of the Alliance of Universities of Excellence 2022 was released. Photo courtesy of Hua Xuan
On December 17, the Global University Presidents Forum was held at South China University of Technology. Presidents and other representatives from 17 universities around the world attended the conference in a combination of online and offline mode. The presidents of the 17 participating universities gave reports on the theme of “Future-oriented Higher Education: Opportunities and Challenges”, sharing their university development experience and talking freely about the future of higher education.
Jonathan Mitch, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, presented the title of “The Three Missions of the University”, and proposed that universities generally have three major missions of teaching, research and service to society, which are very important to students and rely on extensive international exchanges and cooperation.
Mike Brown, Provost of the University of California, proposed that universities should mobilize extensive knowledge and material support to address major challenges with the title of “Innovation and Entrepreneurship University: Exploration of the Reform of the University of California’s School-running Model”, and shared the UC innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, which has important references for innovation and entrepreneurship education.
President of Chinese University of Hong Kong, Duan Chongzhi, shared the 2025 Strategic Plan of Hong Kong Chinese University with a focus on “The Mission and Responsibility of Universities in the New Era”, emphasizing that in the future, universities should coexist with the world and create a good ecosystem conducive to human prosperity and development, creation, dissemination, exchange and application of knowledge.
Gao Song, President of Sun Yat-sen University, proposed that universities should strive to explore effective ways to promote interdisciplinary education and research, providing new ideas for cultivating more compound high-level talents.
Chancellor of HKUST(GZ) Ming Xuan Ni shared HKUST(GZ)’s philosophy on the theme of “The Mission of a University in a Century of Change”, arguing that adaptation and innovation have become a global theme, and that higher education needs to adopt a disruptive approach to respond to the needs of the times, society, students and the future.
Long Teng, President of Beijing Institute of Technology, shared the vivid practice of smart education in Beijing Institute of Technology, which is of great significance for how to cultivate top-notch innovative talents who meet the development needs of the times. He proposed to promote the development of knowledge-driven smart education and improve the effectiveness of smart education in full-person training.
Zhang Liqun, President of South China University of Technology, with the title of “The Mission and Responsibility of a First-class University in a World Crisis”, proposed that first-class universities should be the disseminators of human civilization, practitioners of openness and cooperation, leaders of original innovation, and leaders of future talents, find a form of coexistence and integration for the future of human society, become a solid backbone supporting national development, and make positive contributions to building a community with a shared future for mankind.
At the meeting, the universities of the Alliance of Universities jointly released the Guangzhou Declaration of the Alliance of Universities of Excellence 2022. The Alliance of Outstanding Universities, also known as E9 Universities, is a consortium of 9 world-class universities directly under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Education. The member universities of the alliance have distinctive engineering characteristics, including Beijing Institute of Technology, Chongqing University, Dalian University of Technology, Southeast University, Harbin Institute of Technology, South China University of Technology, Tianjin University, Tongji University, and Northwestern Polytechnical University.