President discusses university autonomy at Times Higher Education Summit

Eva Choy

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President Kuo (second from right) attends the THE Young Universities Summit.
President Kuo (second from right) attends the THE Young Universities Summit.

 

Professor Way Kuo, President of City University of Hong Kong (CityU), was invited to speak at a panel discussion at the Times Higher Education (THE) Young Universities Summit in Surrey, UK. He also led a delegation to Berlin for a talent search in late June.

The Summit gathered senior management in higher education, industry and government to explore the benefits of embracing risk and creating opportunities for young universities.

The panel discussion that President Kuo joined was titled “Opportunities for growth”, and covered issues such as the priorities for higher education development in varied political and economic contexts around the world, and a common model for higher education growth.

President Kuo stressed the importance of university autonomy, which he discusses in his new book Soulware: The American Way in China’s Higher Education. “We need to stress that university teaching and research is a serious profession, so politics should not be mixed with education,” he said.

He also commented on the common phenomenon of overvaluing a degree, and ignoring knowledge and learning outcome. “Many successful people and even Nobel Laureates do not have a degree. The purpose of education is to achieve something useful. I like to challenge myself and my colleagues to make a degree more valuable.”

President Kuo (right) and Professor Kunst exchange souvenirs at HU Berlin.
President Kuo (right) and Professor Kunst exchange souvenirs at HU Berlin.

 

In addition, President Kuo led a delegation to Humboldt University of Berlin (HU Berlin), one of the most prestigious universities in the world for the arts and humanities. They met Professor Sabine Kunst, President of HU Berlin, and senior management to discuss strengthening academic and research collaboration.

The delegation also held a reception for a talent search in Berlin, which was attended by around 100 managers, faculty members, researchers and students from various institutions in Germany.

Members of the CityU delegation included Professor Ma Yue, Yeung Kin Man Chair Professor of Finance and Head of the Department of Economics and Finance, Professor Jia Xiaohua, Chair Professor and Head of the Department of Computer Science, Professor Liu Meichun, Head of the Department of Linguistics and Translation, and Dr David Cheng Xing, Director of the Global Engagement Office.

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