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Presidents Forum of University Alliance of the Silk Road Forum 2023 kicks off

October 10, 2023
  L M S


The Presidents Forum of the University Alliance of the Silk Road Forum 2023 kicks off on Oct 8.

On the afternoon of Oct 8, the Presidents Forum of the University Alliance of the Silk Road Forum 2023 was held in the lecture hall of the Western China Science and Technology Innovation Harbour.

A total of 50 university presidents and representatives from 36 universities around the world engaged in in-depth discussions and workshops revolving around the theme of "Developments and Innovations in Higher Education in an Era of New Technological Revolution," and some delivered keynote speeches.

Wang Shuguo, president of Xi'an Jiaotong University (XJTU), said in his speech that the Fourth Industrial Revolution has had a profound impact on the world and poses significant challenges to higher education in three main respects: the tremendous impact brought by new technologies represented by artificial intelligence, issues related to energy crises and the environment, and the coexistence of cultural integration and conflicts.

The establishment of the University Alliance of the Silk Road is rooted in the principles of peace, cooperation, and mutual learning. Wang expressed his hope that the universities within the alliance can join hands and collectively move towards the future.

Song Yonghua, rector of University of Macau, discussed the topic of talent cultivation innovation in higher education in the digital era. He stated that the future of higher education in talent development necessitates addressing changes such as the implementation of online courses, the governance of smart campuses, and the integration of various disciplines.

Ewan McKendrick, former registrar of University of Oxford, made his speech online, saying that one of the increasingly-important characteristics of modern universities is their ability to address the challenges faced by the world and promote innovative developments.

Other presidents made their speeches as well and expressed the same hope that more cooperation and technological progress will be achieved by the University Alliance of the Silk Road.

Subsequently, the conference attendees were engaged in in-depth discussions on five subtopics, including education-industry connection and innovative talents cultivation, digital technology and innovative practices in higher education, and interdisciplinary studies and the knowledge system reconstruction.

The closing ceremony was presided over by Shan Wenhua, assistant president of XJTU. At the ceremony, Xi Guang, vice president of XJTU, delivered the closing speech and hosted the flag handover ceremony for the rotating chairmanship.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University was designated as the next rotating chair of the alliance. Dr Laura Lo Shuen, associate vice president of the university, expressed their commitment to undertaking the related work to promote the healthy and sustainable development of the alliance.

A total of 160 participants, including 58 university presidents and representatives from 23 countries and regions, comprising 38 from overseas and 20 from within China, as well as senior officials from the World Trade Organization and renowned scholars from around the world, took part in the Silk Road Forum 2023.