Luisa's World of España ＆ Hispanoamérica
Lauded as“ the Voice of Knowledge and Innovation,” the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) is a consortium of leading research universities around the Pacific Rim. One of its highlights every year – the Annual Presidents’ Meeting (APM), a major education summit of the world – was hosted by NTU this year. Held during June 24-26, the meeting was attended by 111 eminent higher education leaders and administrators, including 27 presidents and 40 executive vice presidents and vice presidents for international affairs, from 39 universities based in 14 countries, who gathered in Taipei to discuss the global challenges posed by our fast-changing information society.
NTU secured the honor of hosting the 22nd APRU APM (2018) three years ago and selected“ Our Digital Future in a Divided World” as the main theme of this year’s event. The participants gathered for three days to discuss new challenges facing higher education in the rapidly-evolving digital era, such as applying knowledge to practice and policy in education and research and strengthening institutional capacity to tackle complex global concerns. During the meeting, 16 speakers presented overviews of the technoscape now increasingly dominated by artificial intelligence and big data. The common hope is that higher education will provide students with the latest capabilities and skills required for professional development, smart adaptation to social change, and greater civic engagement to become the positive intellectual leaders and agents of change that our world desperately needs.
“We are delighted that our APM is a platform where overviews of critical developments are provided, and the urgent questions framed,” said APRU Secretary General Christopher Tremewan“. The APM aims to ensure that the benefits of automation, big data, and information and communications technology are shared among all in society, and that powerful new technologies are used to address global challenges, such as climate change, human health, and sustaining the ecosystem,” he added.
In his opening address, NTU Interim President Tei-Wei Kuo described universities as the cradle of knowledge, talent, innovation, exchange, and social justice, as well as the symbol of a nation’s intellectual prowess in modern society, highlighting their social obligation to feed back to society and improve human existence. However, the challenges we are presently facing, such as global warming, environmental deterioration, among others, are daunting global issues that universities worldwide must work in concert to address. That said, NTU’s primary goal of hosting the APRU APM was to identify solutions to current challenges and policy directions for future development through cooperation among world-leading universities.
The 2018 APRU APM was opened by NTU Interim President Kuo and APRU Chair, Chancellor Gene D. Block, UCLA on June 25. The first session after the opening featured a keynote speech by NTU’s former President Pan-Chyr Yang, who presented new cutting-edge research efforts and clinical translational medicine powered by Taiwan’s advancements in medical technology, and the goal of using precision medicine to achieve precision health.
Themed“ Diverse Voices, Shared Commitment,” the NAFSA 2018 Annual Conference & Expo took place during May 29 to June 1 in Philadelphia. Representing a top-ranking university committed to the core values of international education, NTU leaders gave presentations in two thought-provoking sessions at the conference. NTU also arranged over 50 meetings to ensure more international collaboration opportunities.
The first of the two sessions“, Impacts of Political and Global Trends on Student Mobility in the United States, Korea, and Taiwan,” featured presentations by Prof. Luisa Shu-Ying Chang, session chair and Vice President for International Affairs at NTU; Dr. Jane Gatewood, Vice Provost for Global Engagement at the University of Rochester; and Dr. Sunhyuk Kim, Vice President for International Affairs at Korea University. The trio of presenters explored how geopolitical issues in a country can affect international students’ interests and their recruitment, and how international enrollment management could address these concerns.
The other session featured presentations by Ms. Linda Chang, Director for Global Alliances at NTU; Dr. Paul Allen Miller, Vice Provost and Director of International Programs at the University of South Carolina; and Mr. David Huerta, Director of Short Term Academic Programs at Tecnológico de Monterrey. The audience was fascinated by the speakers’ proposals about how institutions of higher education can establish effective character-driven, sustainable, and globalized entrepreneurial ecosystems to advance intercultural learning.
The two sessions with presentations by NTU leaders inspired a flurry of discussions among attendees from Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Many of the attendees sought out NTU presenters after the sessions to build networks with them. The NTU presenters effectively promoted the adaptability and innovation agendas of Taiwan’s higher education community.
NAFSA is noted for the rich networking opportunities it provides to engage global educators and encourage them to build communities. Besides sessions, roundtables, workshops, and exhibitions, it offers campus tours and “Partner Days.” NTU delegates participated in the“ Partner Day” hosted by its partner university, Temple University (TU), and visited its acclaimed campus of gardens. NTU also joined Universität Hamburg, Ewha Woman’s University, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong to discuss trilateral collaboration with TU.
Besides student exchange programs, NTU also joined TU’s Dual Bachelor’s Master’s Degree Program; one of NTU’s students will complete this program in 2018. This program combines undergraduate study at the student’s home institution with graduate coursework at TU, leading to a bachelor’s degree from the home institution and a master’s degree from TU, all within five years.