On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of SCNU, the 2023 Sino-Foreign University Presidents Forum was held on November 5 in the International Conference Hall, at SCNU. More than 120 representatives and scholars from 54 universities from home and abroad, as well as over 300 SCNU's teachers and students gathered together to investigate the new mission and vision of higher education in a changing world.

Centered on the theme of "Vision & Mission of Universities in a Changing World", participants agreed that they should communicate more in education and promote cooperation between Chinese and foreign universities, to contribute to higher education in the world and develop a Global educational community.

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 The forum is themed "Vision & Mission of Universities in a Changing World".

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Professor Wang Enke, President of SCNU, delivers a speech.

Professor Wang Enke, president of SCNU, pointed out that the world today is undergoing major changes unseen in a century. As a point of convergence of education, technology and talent, universities are the main force in promoting the integrated development of technological innovation, talent cultivation, and cultural development. This forum is of significance for universities in China and other countries and regions to exchange experiences in running schools, explore paths of reform and development, collaboratively improve the level of running schools, form a closer and more dynamic global community of higher education, better meeting changes of the new era and needs of the society.

In light of the educational practice at SCNU, president Wang put forward four points of thought. Firstly, universities should remain true to their original aspiration. SCNU has adhered to the principle of running school for teacher training from its establishment and has maintained this original aspiration, cultivating over 900,000 teachers and various talents for China. 

Secondly, universities should encourage reform and innovation. SCNU takes reform as its driving force, innovation as the source of vitality, and fostering virtue through education as the fundamental task. In recent years, SCNU has implemented measures for cultivating and attracting high-level talents from within and without, cultivating and building high-end platforms, while striving for internationalization, and informatization. In all these areas SCNU has accomplished remarkable achievements. Thirdly, universities should promote openness and cooperation. SCNU has always adhered to an open-to-the-world policy and promoted high-quality development of international exchange and cooperation. 

Finally, universities should shoulder their missions and responsibilities. SCNU took the lead in going to Hong Kong and Macao to run schools and cultivated 70% of teachers of basic education in Macao. SCNU also promoted the Vocational Educational Group Running School, providing more than 160,000 quality degrees for society. Within less than a year, SCNU successfully recruited students at the Shanwei campus and made due contributions to the balanced and high-quality development of education in eastern, western, and northern Guangdong province.

During the forum, the guests delivered keynote speeches around the theme.

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Professor Qian Xuhong, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and President of East China Normal University, delivers a speech.

Professor Qian Xuhong, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and president of East China Normal University, delivered a speech entitled "Beyond Limits: Concepts and Practice Leading Educational Innovation". The speech focused on four parts, nl. the times, changing your thinking, surpassing the discipline, exceeding limits and transition. He analyzed the difficulties of cultivating top-notch innovative personnel and the importance of "Beyond Limits". He also introduced the exploration of cultivating people at East China Normal University, looking forward to the future of the university.

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Professor John Lee Chi-Kin of the Education University of Hong Kong delivers a speech.

Professor John Lee Chi-Kin, President of the Education University of Hong Kong, delivered a keynote speech entitled "Teacher Education with Chinese Characteristics and High-quality Development of Normal Universities". He said that universities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), which comprises the two Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao, and the nine municipalities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing in Guangdong Province should deepen cooperation, promote resource sharing, and jointly train educational talents to further develop the Greater Bay Area.

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Professor Song Xianzhong of Jinan University delivers a speech.

Professor Song Xianzhong, president of Jinan University, delivered a speech on the theme of "Activating Jinan University's Diverse Educational Elements and Training All-round Top-rated Talents Based on the Integration of Education, Technology, and Talent". He said that education, technology, and talent are an indivisible unity, and universities should cultivate talents "that the future needs".

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Professor Peter Edwards of the University of Aberdeen delivers a speech.

Professor Peter Edwards, vice-principal of Regional Engagement of the University of Aberdeen, delivered a speech on the topic of "The University of Aberdeen: From 1495 to 2040". With "Aberdeen 2040", he explained the persistence and vision of universities under the changing of higher education in the 21st century.

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 Professor Emmanuelle Huver of the University of Tours delivers a speech.

Professor Emmanuelle Huver, vice-president of the University of Tours, delivered a speech entitled "Universities Long Term Development in Europe: Some Trends for the Future". She pointed out that today the dominant trend of higher education in the world is based on standard quantitative ratings. Europe is designing a more qualitative evaluation system through strengthening cooperation between regional universities. She also introduced the European Universities' alliance NEOLAiA.

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 Professor Zhang Weiguo, president of Southwest University, delivers a speech.

Professor Zhang Weiguo, president of Southwest University, delivered a keynote speech entitled "The Path of Integrating Education, Technology, and Talent in the Development of Higher Education in the New Era". He pointed out that it is necessary to grasp the relationship between education, technology and talent in universities, and closely link their function, to make universities a demonstration of the integration of education, technology, and talents.

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 Professor Li Hongfei of Central China Normal University delivers a speech.

Professor Li Hongfei, vice-president of Central China Normal University, delivered a keynote speech on "Data-driven Integrated Innovation: Embarking on a New Journey of Digital Transformation of Education". He mentioned that Central China Normal University implemented the digital transformation of education with the goal of "data-driven integrated innovation", and built a new pattern of coordinated development of digital teaching, research and management.

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 Professor Ge Wei of the University of Macau delivers a speech.

Professor Ge Wei, vice-president of the University of Macau, delivered a speech titled "University and City: A Macau Historical Story of Twin Engine for Co-development". He said that the influence of top universities is reflected in the talent hubs, knowledge innovation, talent cultivation, economic and social impact and public services. Later, he introduced the outstanding achievements of the University of Macau in running schools.

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 Professor Zhang Xiaotian of Curtin University delivers a speech.

Professor Zhang Xiaotian, associate deputy vice-chancellor of Curtin University, delivered a speech on "A Global Entrepreneurial University for a Sustainable Future". He introduced the efforts of Curtin University to develop a global educational community, as a representative of a global entrepreneurial university. He then declared that Curtin University is eager to make changes to the world through cooperation with other universities.

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 Professor Wang Zuankai of Hong Kong Polytechnic University delivers a speech.

Professor Wang Zuankai, associate vice-president of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, delivered a speech entitled "Enhancing 'Hardware, Software, and Firmware' for the Overall Development of Universities". He said that the "firmware" to promote the overall development of universities, is to encourage people to release their ability and potential and create an atmosphere of research and innovation.

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The participants are listening to a speech attentively.

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Professor Yang draws conclusions for the forum.

Yang Zhongmin, vice-president of SCNU, made the closing summary for the forum. He said that the forum is of great significance for in-depth thought on the pursuit of values, strategic positioning, development of objectives, development paths, and reform measures in higher education.

Source from SCNU News Center

Translated by Peng Ying, Deng Lan, Tan Haotian

Proofread by Edwin Baak

Edited by Li Jianru

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