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University President Forum Held on the Commemoration of the Harbin Engineering University (HEU) 70th-Anniversary

date: Sep 02, 23views: 1138

On September 1st 2023, the Harbin Engineering University (HEU) 70th-Anniversary University President Forum was successfully held on the campus of HEU. University presidents and academicians from nearly 40 universities from various countries (including China, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Portugal, Brazil, Peru, Thailand, and Pakistan, etc.) participated in the discussion of “The Mission and Responsibility of Universities for the Future”. The forum served as an official platform for profound discussions on the future development of global higher education.

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Professor Yao Yu, vice president of HEU, attended the forum and delivered a speech. He expressed that over the past 70 years, the development strategies and educational philosophies shared by global partners had consistently inspired the continuous growth of Harbin Engineering University. Looking ahead, the university was willing to collaborate with global partners to address global issues and challenges, actively participate in global educational governance, create a new opportunity of win-win development, and actively contribute to the sustainable development of higher education, the exchange and mutual learning of human civilizations and the building of a community with a shared future for humankind.

During the presentation session of the forum, 10 presidents from various universities shared their experiences and visions for the future development of higher education.

The President of Tianjin University, Professor Jin Donghan, elaborated on the challenges and opportunities faced by new engineering education in the current era of accelerating technological revolution. He shared Tianjin University’s explorations and practices in the field of new engineering education.

Vice-president JENS-UWE SCHRÖDER-HINRICHS of the World Maritime University in Sweden analyzed the challenges faced by the maritime sector. From the perspective of industry development, he explained how universities can cultivate future leaders in the maritime industry and contribute to the sustainable development of the shipbuilding industry.

Anna Barney, assistant to the president of the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, focused on the skills that future engineers need to develop. She introduced the mission and strategy of the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute in cultivating independent learners, along with the role transformation of teachers in this process.

President Yao Yu of Harbin Engineering University shared the university’s practical experience in innovative talent development. He covered aspects such as the construction of new engineering disciplines, international joint education, the establishment of student communities, academic-oriented graduate education, professional graduate education, and the cultivation of international students.

President Shan Hongjun of Dalian Maritime University discussed strategic leadership in university development and talent cultivation. He emphasized the strategic value derived from considering changes and reforms, outlining a strategic vision rooted in the industry. His presentation anchored strategic focal points in maritime education and blue transportation.

Thailand’s Mahidol University president Banchong Mahaisavariya emphasized the need for universities to respond with agility (AGILE) to the rapidly changing world. He proposed reshaping the education model from five aspects: Academic (A), Globalization (G), Industry (I), Lifelong Learning (L), and Entrepreneurship (E).

Speeches were also delivered by presidents of universities from Pakistan, UK and other countries.

During the open discussion session, experts and scholars from the University of Edinburgh, the Royal Institution of Naval Architects in the UK, the University of Lisbon in Portugal, City, University of London, Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, the University of Aberdeen in the UK, the University of East Anglia in the UK, the Islamabad Institute of Information Technology in Pakistan, the National University of Engineering in Peru, as well as fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK, fellows of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, and recipients of the Fields Medal, engaged in in-depth discussions on topics such as University Development Strategies and Implementation, Opportunities and Challenges in Talent Cultivation, and The Role of Universities in Civilizational Exchange and Mutual Learning. Consensus was reached on issues including soft skills development, interdisciplinary collaboration, the balance between fundamental and engineering research, and strengthening university-industry cooperation.

The forum, a key event in commemoration of Harbin Engineering University’s 70th anniversary, stands as a pivotal platform for high-level dialogue with global partners. Intended to foster interaction among higher education leaders and scholars around the world, the forum aims to share theoretical insights and practical experiences in higher education. Its overarching goal is to contribute to the future development of higher education, facilitate the exchange of advanced global experiences, expand collaborations with international institutions, drive reforms in talent cultivation, advance international education practices, and collectively elevate governance standards in higher education. The successful organization of the forum underscores the commitment to promoting global exchange and cooperation, facilitating deeper reforms, and enhancing the overall quality of higher education governance.