Conference looks at internationalisation of Chinese universities

Jo Kam

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City University of Hong Kong (CityU) organised a conference on the Internationalisation of Chinese Universities from 17 July to 19 July. Professor Way Kuo, CityU President, and more than 40 representatives from mainland, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong universities and government sectors discussed the definition, strategies and objectives of internationalisation for higher education. They also shared insights and experiences in implementing the relevant measures in a bid to further promote the internationalisation of universities.

The opening ceremony was held on 18 July. Mr Li Gang, Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR, Ms Ding Yuqiu, Administrative Deputy Director of the Office for Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs of Ministry of Education, Mr Wong Hung-chiu, JP, Permanent Secretary for Education, Professor Huang Boyun, President of Central South University, and Professor Kuo comprised the officiating guests.

Mr Li indicated that the relationship between Hong Kong and the mainland had become closer since the reunion of the territory with its motherland 11 years ago. “The Ministry of Science and Technology has set up five state key laboratories in Hong Kong and more than 20,000 mainland students are receiving higher education in Hong Kong universities,” he said. “We appreciate Professor Kuo’s efforts in establishing a platform to foster communication between the mainland, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong. I hope and trust all parties will benefit from closer cooperation and advancement as a result of this conference.”

Ms Ding, delivering a speech on behalf of Mr Yuan Guiren, Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Education, said she hoped the conference would enhance communication and cooperation between the participating parties and contribute to further development of higher education.

Mr Wong pointed out that the HKSAR Government had introduced a series of measures to enhance the internationalisation of tertiary education in Hong Kong and to subsequently boost the overall competitiveness of Hong Kong students. “We believe you will uphold the communication and cooperation objectives of today’s conference and make an effort to improve collaboration so that our next generation can enjoy a better education,” said Mr Wong.

“This conference provides a precious opportunity for an exchange of views and experiences that will have a profound impact on the development of Chinese universities,” said Professor Huang.

Professor Kuo said higher education institutes have a responsibility to nurture future leaders, so they should therefore review their strategies and meet the challenges posed by globalisation trends. “We are honoured to have higher education policy makers, senior university management and education experts from the mainland, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong attend today’s conference and share their views on promoting internationalisation,” said Professor Kuo. In addition, Professor Kuo suggested Chinese universities should learn from successful universities worldwide and at the same time promote the value of Chinese culture to the world.

The conference was divided into three sessions: reports, speeches and discussions. The themes of the three speeches were “Internationalisation of Higher Education: Definition, Major Issues and Consensus”, “Internationalising the Campus: Strategies, the Way Forward and Objectives” and “Enhancing the Influence of Chinese Culture World-wide and Strengthening Cooperation and Advancement of the Chinese Universities in the Context of Internationlisation.”

Professor Tu Weiming of Harvard University, and Professor Chang Chun-yen of National Chiao Tung University, delivered speeches during lunch and dinner respectively. Professor Tu is the professor of Chinese History and Philosophy at Harvard University, and a chair professor of Humanity at Peking University. Professor Chang was the President of National Chiao Tung University, and is the founding Director of National Nano-Device Labs.

The Peiyang Chorus of Tianjin University performed some beautiful songs during the lunch gathering.

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