[Academic Anniversary] Presidents’ Forum on the 90th Anniversary of Chongqing University held
On October 12, 2019, the Presidents’ Forum on the 90th Anniversary of Chongqing University themed “higher education innovation and development in the era of revolution of new science and technology” was held in the Multi-function Hall on the third floor of the Main Building, Campus A, Chongqing University.
Presidents of tens of well-known universities from the USA, the UK, Australia, Italy, China Macau, and China Taiwan arrived at Chongqing University to discuss talent cultivation measures and offer advices and suggestions on innovation and development of higher education. Neville Pinto, president of the University of Cincinnati, John Dewar, President of La Trobe University, Pam Thomas, vice chancellor of Warwick University, Mark Price, vice chancellor of Queen's University Belfast, Johannes J.Britz, academic dean and vice chancellor of University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Zhang Jun, president of Beijing Institute of Technology, Jin Donghan, president of Tianjin University, Guo Dongming, president of Dalian University of Technology, Wang Shuguo, president of Xi’an Jiaotong University, Gao Song, president of South China University of Technology, Zhang Zongyi, president of Chongqing University, Ding Xuemei, vice president of Harbin Institute of Technology, Li Bingqian, president of Peng Chia University, and Wu Jiexin, vice president of Taipei Medical University, all attended the Forum and delivered keynote speeches. Zhou Xun, secretary of CPC Chongqing University Committee, addressed the Forum. Ming Ju, vice president of Chongqing University, presided at the Forum.
Zhou Xun extended his gratitude towards the guests from domestic and foreign colleges and universities and all sectors of the society for their presence at the Presidents’ Forum and other anniversary events of Chongqing University. In his speech, Zhou pointed out that universities played a substantial role in talent cultivation, scientific research, social service and cultural heritage. Facing the trend of revolution of new science and technology and industrial adjustment, countries across the world were expediting adjustment of national strategies. As such, science and technology, education and talents were becoming increasingly important, and the role of universities was being enriched and expanded. Innovation and development has become the mission of the times for universities. The purpose of this Forum was to pool wisdoms and to solicit advices and suggestions and seek for better development of higher education in this new era.
The 14 presidents shared their opinions, ideas and experiences and exchanged experience in reform and innovation with respect to areas and topics including engineering education reform, nurturing of innovative talents, construction of first-rate universities, the fourth industrial revolution and reform of higher education.
Guo Dongming, president of Dalian University of Technology, delivered a keynote speech titled About Innovation of Profound Knowledge: Driving a Close Combination of Scientific and Technological Reform and Higher Education Reform. Guo stated that “profound knowledge” was the key to understanding of higher knowledge, and to the understanding of scientific and technological revolution from the perspective of higher education. Scientific and technological revolution posed a profound impact on the preservation and dissemination of knowledge, knowledge content and knowledge production. The essential connection between scientific and technological revolution and universities lies in the innovation and dissemination of “profound knowledge”. Universities should concentrate efforts on seeking for close combination of scientific and technological revolution and reform of higher education with innovation of profound knowledge as the focus.
Neville Pinto, president of the University of Cincinnati, delivered a keynote speech titled Next Lives Here: The University of Cincinnati’s Trajectory to the Future. In his speech, Neville Pinto discussed the way to develop students’ ability to face challenges and integrate into the society given the rapid development of modern science and technology from the perspective of future development path. He pointed out that “integration” was the development trend of both technology and society and education was no isolated. In the future, university education should shift its focus to cooperation and joint development, so as to create an open and cooperative environment and more practice opportunities for students.
Academician Zhang Jun, president of Beijing Institute of Technology, delivered a keynote speech titled Undertaking Mission of the Times and Nurturing Innovative Talents. Zhang pointed out in his speech that the new round of scientific and technological revolution, economic globalization and world multi-polarization had resulted in a remarkable change of the world situation, and new requirements for talent nurturing in the new era. As such, we should promote global cooperative and open higher education, build up communities of higher education talent nurturing and cultivate top-notch innovative talents.
Ding Xuemei, vice president of Harbin Institute of Technology, delivered a keynote speech titled Development and Innovation of First-rate-talent Nurturing System. Ding stated in her speech that from the view of social=economic development, scientific and technological development or development of teaching mode or human development, higher education was facing new opportunities and challenges. Higher education should adapt to the trend of social-economic development through reform and development, and should serve the sustainable development of economy, society, environment and individuals. To this end, a first-rate nurturing system of innovative talents should be built up.
Li Bingqian, president of Peng Chia University delivered a keynote speech titled Innovation and Development of Higher Education in the Era of Revolution of New Science and Technology. Li pointed out that the information technology was already quite advanced nowadays and the world was undergoing constant changes. The “21st Century Rainbow of Knowledge and Ability” was right in front of the talent nurturing in universities. Higher education should extend to a wider area and serve as the hub to drive social operation, and provide innovative talents able to participate in upgrading and transformation of the society and the industry.
Wang Shuguo, president of Xi’an Jiaotong University delivered a speech titled the Fourth Industrial Revolution and China’s Higher Education. He pointed out that in the face of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the new mission of China’s higher education was to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, implement open education and integrate its development with the social development, and ultimately guide the social development. Universities should keep in line with front line of world science and technology and respond to major needs of China, and play an important role in national economy by building first-rate research platforms, creating talent gathering highlands and providing the supply source of independent innovation achievements that was open to the society.
John Dewar, president of La Trobe University, delivered a keynote speech titled University 4.0. In the speech, John Dewar pointed out that a university should keep its value and significance in order to survive and development, and named this as “University 4.0”. University 4.0 was different from a university of the 20th Century. Its effective operation was increasingly reliant on its ability to reward the society. In-depth enterprise-university cooperation was urgently needed to strengthen the scientific research and achievement application.
Academician Jin Donghan, president of Tianjin University, delivered a keynote speech titled Taking Deep Root in China: Building a First-rate Research University. Jin Donghan stated that the number and level of world first-rate universities were closely related to the economic-social development level of a country. A university became a world first-rate university while serving its country. The research universities of China should take deep root in China and stick to the original intention to cultivate talents and disseminate morality, and promote education and revitalize the country, so as to stimulate reform and innovation, nurture first-rate talents, solve key problems of science and technology and better serve the national strategic needs and local economic-social development.
Pam Thomas, vice-chancellor of Warwick University, delivered a keynote speech titled Developing higher education for the 4th Industrial Revolution. She pointed out that the Fourth Industrial Revolution would lead to a more extensive productivity revolution, and higher education played an important role in serving the social development need. Universities should undertake talent cultivation by improving the interdisciplinary cultivation mode and strengthening support for innovation and entrepreneurship, so as to provide talent resources in line with the future development trend for the society.
Academician Gao Song, president of South China University of Technology, delivered a keynote speech titled Implementing “New Engineering F Plan”: Cultivating Leading Engineering Talents. Gao stated that universities should keep up with the development of future and cultivate leading talents for the future. Efforts should be concentrated on cultivating outstanding engineering talents that were able to shape the future, and this was the only way to enhance China’s comprehensive strength and international competitiveness and realize the great rejuvenation of Chinese nation. In the face of the Fourth Industrial Revolution featuring intelligence and informationization, South China University of Technology was implementing the New Engineering F Plan in an effort to cultivate leading engineering talents of the “three-innovation type” with instrumental rationality and value rationality, compound knowledge, learning ability, thinking ability and execution ability, and deep affection to the country and a global view.
Mark Price, vice-chancellor of the Queen’s University Belfast, delivered a keynote speech titled Hands on or Hands off? Lectures, private study, laboratory work and design-build-test in tomorrow’s engineering education. He stated that the technical revolution did not only implicate challenges for higher education, it also provided solutions. Universities needed transformation, including full utilization of new techniques, adoption of a looser and more relaxed classroom teaching mode, strengthening students’ autonomous learning ability to allow them to be choose the desired disciplines, topics and subjects, and develop their skills needed for their future career. Universities should also concentrate efforts on cooperation with enterprises and come up with degree programs to tackle technical challenges, so as to ensure graduates are competent for their job immediately after graduation.
Chieh-Hsi Wu, vice president of Taipei Medical University, delivered a keynote speech titled Social Influence of Innovation of Higher Education and Entrepreneurship on Scientific-Technological Progress. He pointed out that urban universities were engines that drive the innovation and development and the innovation efforts they made boosted urban development, resulting in significant social influence. Elements facilitating innovation included leadership, culture, capital, policy and education. Universities should take into full account the above five elements in order to expedite innovation and entrepreneurship education.
Johannes J.Britz, academic dean and vice chancellor of University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, delivered a keynote speech titled the 4th industrial revolution: is there a future for higher education. Johannes J.Britz pointed out that colleges and universities were increasingly expected to cultivate technical and practical talents, Development of colleges and universities should respond to the development of the times and China, and they should keep up with the social needs and changes by constantly updating the talent cultivation ideas and teaching mode, and devoting to reform and transformation. In addition, colleges and universities should focus on scientific and technological front, and play a driving role in technical innovation based on a close combination of higher education and enterprises, so as to cultivate highly skilled talents.
Zhang Zongyi, president of Chongqing University, delivered a keynote speech titled Practice of Engineering Education Reform in the Era of Revolution of New Science and Technology. Zhang pointed out that inter-disciplinary engineering talents with global view, ethnical awareness of engineering, innovation awareness, teamwork awareness, development awareness and service awareness, as well as interdisciplinary abilities, were needed in the future. Colleges and universities should concentrate efforts on innovation of the cultivation mode, system and path of international engineering talent. Specific approaches included integration of disciplines and knowledge and internationalization of cultivation scheme, cultivation process and evaluation scheme, and establishment of academic communities and their platforms, so as to provide all-round new paths for cultivation of innovative international talents.
Chinese and foreign experts shared their ideas and wisdoms at the Forum and presidents of colleges and universities exchanged their theory on school management and shared practice and exploration of first-rate university construction. The Forum will further facilitate mutual exchange and learning between colleges and universities at home and abroad, and strengthen innovation and development of higher education in the era of scientific and technological revolution. This way, higher education will better adapt to and lead the social development while building the community with shared future for mankind.
More than 700 people have attended the Forum, including officials, scholars and experts from some colleges and universities of China, related government bodies and enterprises and public institutions and some cadres, teachers and students of Chongqing University.