On November 30, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS) hosted the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian University Presidents Forum (AUPF) online and offline with the theme of "Cooperation and Development of Asian Higher Education in the New Circumstances". Forty-six colleges and universities from 12 countries and regions, such as Dongseo University in South Korea, Petra Christian University in Indonesia, and Daffodil International University in Blangladesh participated in the opening ceremony of the forum on ZOOM. Nearly 200 people attended the forum online and offline.
The opening ceremony was presided over by Jiao Fangtai, vice president of GDUFS and 14 distinguished guests delivered speeches, including Zhu Chaohua, deputy director of the Department of Education of Guangdong Province, Dr. Jekuk Chang, president of Dongseo University in South Korea, Dr. Mathana Santiwat, vice chairman of the board of directors of Bangkok University, Thailand, Dr. MD. SABUR KHAN, president of Daffodil International University in Blangladesh, and Dr. Bert J Tuga, president of Philippine Normal University. Zhu Chaohua, deputy director of the Department of Education of Guangdong Province, pointed out that education is the foundation of a hundred years' plan. Through the establishment of higher education that keeps pace with the times, opens up to the outside world and integrates innovation, colleges and universities all across the world have strengthened collaborative innovation, built an academic community, and jointly promoted the construction of think tanks for emergency management and scientific researches on major global issues. Sui Guangjun, chairman of University Board, said, “In the new era, how to better play the role of education as a bridge is the focus of this forum and also the original intention of the forum.” Since its inception, the forum has witnessed great achievements in the development of higher education in Asia.
Plenary Session of Opening Ceremony
Some Representatives Attending the Forum Online
Keynote speeches were delivered by Shi Youqi, president of GDUFS, Mehri Madarshahi, member of the Advisory Committee of the UNESCO International Centre for International Creativity and Sustainable Development, and Osanai Masaru, president of Soka University in Japan. Shi Youqi, president of GDUFS, put forward five initiatives on integrating high-quality higher education resources and promoting the cooperative development of Asian colleges and universities, namely to recognize development laws and trends of higher education and build an Asian higher education community; to uphold the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits and fully carry forward the Silk Road Spirit of openness, inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual appreciation; to strengthen cooperation and actively innovate higher education cooperation models; to actively deepen higher education cooperation on the basis of equal consultation, solidarity and collaboration; and to actively improve the quality and efficiency of higher education cooperation on the premise of excellence and win-win cooperation.
Mehri Madarshahi, member of the advisory committee of UNESCO International Centre for Creativity and Sustainable Development delivered a speech titled college and Universities in the Future, a Better World, pointing out that as the world is facing three major challenges today, namely COVID-19, economic recession and climate change, according to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, education plays an increasingly critical role. Under new circumstances, education is facing new opportunities and challenges. In the future, colleges and universities will play a key role in changing the way we perceive our interdependent world. We should promote ecological well-being by teaching students the art of living in a respectful and responsible manner. She suggested that colleges and universities should strengthen cooperation and exchanges. Besides, they should also strengthen cooperation with the government and enterprises, so as to provide steady power for the innovation and progress of education and the realization of sustainable development. Osanai Masaru, president of Soka University in Japan, praised the efforts Soka University has made in globalization and international exchanges in Asia. In 2014, Soka University was listed as a Global Top University to set a good example for global education, which is precisely the result of the cooperative development of higher education in Asia.
Mehri Madarshahi, Member of the Advisory Committee of UNESCO International Centre for Creativity and Sustainable Development Delivered a Keynote Speech
The forum has set up a standing committee and three sub-forums. The Standing Committee Meeting was held on the morning of December 1 online. Representatives from the standing committee of some colleges and universities, such as Bangkok University in Thailand, Dongseo University in South Korea, Universiti Malaysia Perlis in Malaysia, Petra Christian University in Indonesia, Daffodil International University in Blangladesh, Philippine Normal University in the Philippines, Chaoshan Vocational and Technical College, Zhejiang Yuexiu University, and GDUFS participated in the meeting. They discussed preparations for the next forum, the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the forum, as well as proposals for the 2021 Asia Summer Program (ASP) and Asian Faculty Workshop (AFW). The meeting confirmed that the 20th AUPF will be held from October 28 to 30, 2021, and the 2021 ASP and AFW will be hosted by Universiti Malaysia Perlis in Malaysia online. Entrusted by president Shi Youqi of GDUFS, vice president Jiao Fangtai presided over the meeting.
Standing Committee Meeting
On the afternoon of November 30, three sub-forums were organized respectively by Dongseo University, Petra Christian University, and Daffodil International University, whose themes were respectively "The Age of Artificial Intelligence: Transformation and Development of Higher Education in Asia", "The Epidemic and the Post-Epidemic Era: Opportunities and Challenges in Higher Education in Asia", and "Colleges and Universities in the Future: A Better World". A total of 23 experts and scholars from various colleges and universities shared their opinions on these three themes. Representatives from colleges and universities, based on the topic they got, discussed and exchanged their opinions on the development trend of higher education in Asia and opportunities and challenges faced by Asian colleges and universities. They interpreted the original intention of the forum, that is, "connect with each other, communicate information, exchange experience and develop together" with their concrete actions.
Sub-Forum A: Online Discussion of Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education
This sub-forum was hosted by Dongseo University. Fourteen representatives from seven countries and regions, including China, Korea, Japan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines and Lithuania, had a heated and in-depth discussion on "The Age of Artificial Intelligence: Transformation and Development of Higher Education in Asia".
Professor Ke Xiaohua, director of the International Exchange and Cooperation Department of GDUFS, starting from indicators and optimization of machine translation quality assessment, proposed that AI should be deeply integrated into machine translation through the application of voice translation and AI+ machine translation, combined with the study of image recognition, audio transcription and knowledge mapping, so as to promote international communication and cooperation and jointly cultivate professional talents. Professor Lin Jinbo of the International Exchange and Cooperation Center of Chaotao Vocational and Technical College cut into the theme from the perspective of cross-border e-commerce education, and discussed how to develop practical teaching mode for cross-border e-commerce intelligent operation in the era of artificial intelligence, and how to train high-quality cross-border e-commerce talents. Noriko Hanakawa, dean of the Graduate School of Hannan University in Japan, gave a lecture on artificial intelligence technology in social science research. He shared the experience of the Graduate School of Hannan University of using artificial intelligence technology in teaching programs and experiments and proposed the teaching goal of making artificial intelligence technology accessible for all students. Professor Williams of Macao Polytechnic Institute pointed out that students of humanities and social sciences also need to learn about artificial intelligence. AI-related education involves not only the accomplishment required to use AI but also the learning of AI programs. Professor Nazru of the University of Northern Bangladesh proposed that a new round of industrial revolution would stimulate the attention of colleges and universities to artificial intelligence, cloud computing and other related technical education, but from the perspective of students' long-term development, the importance of emotional education and the cultivation of interpersonal skills should not be ignored.
Sub-Forum B: Opportunities and Challenges Faced by Higher Education in Asia in the COVID-19 and Post-COVID-19 Era
This sub-forum was hosted by Petra Christian University in Indonesia, with participants from 17 universities in 8 countries including China, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Japan, Lithuania, the Philippines and Thailand. Ten experts, such as Professor Aditya from Petra Christian University in Indonesia, gave speeches on "The Epidemic and the Post-Epidemic Era: Opportunities and Challenges in Higher Education in Asia". Attending experts had an in-depth discussion on the development of higher education in Asia from different perspectives. the development of higher education in Asia in the epidemic and the post-epidemic era from different perspectives.
Professor Aditya Nugraha of Petra Christian University presented and analyzed five key issues in Petra Christian University's current online classroom and proposed his vision for dual-track classroom after the epidemic, encouraging colleges and universities to innovate in teaching in the face of the epidemic. Professor Abu Yousuf Md. Abdullah of the University of Northern Bangladesh expressed his optimism about the development of higher education under COVID-19, believing that the epidemic would promote the efficient integration of global resources for better international cooperation. Professor Yu Haifeng of Guangdong University of Finance and Economics suggested that colleges and universities should use emerging science and technology to innovate research and cooperation methods, improve the quality of international exchange programs, and establish a platform for sharing academic resources in Asia. Professor Liu Xiaojun of Kyoto Women's University analyzed the impact of COVID-19 on the implementation of international exchange programs. She also summarized and shared her experience in the innovative development of language exchange programs. Professor Jennie Jocson of the Philippines Normal University shared in detail the university's innovative flexible learning model and its development and operation after the epidemic. Based on the status quo of exchange learning between the university and Thailand under the epidemic, Professor Liu Ying of Kunming University of Science and Technology suggested that international exchanges between colleges and universities should be more pragmatic and innovative, and that they should make breakthroughs in key areas. Dr. Lidia Sandra of Krida Wacana Christian University presented the university's "Autonomous Learning - Autonomous Campus" campaign after the epidemic, emphasizing equal importance of knowledge and skills. Dr. Rhodora C. Mendoza of East Samar State University, based on the popularity of the Internet among Filipino students, proposed solutions for online learning at low popularity rates and introduced ARADMAN, a learning platform developed by the university. Dr. Siriwan Ratanakarn, Dr. Panadda Unyapho and Mr. Atthasith Chaunpipatpong of Bangkok University shared information on educational and teaching activities at Bangkok University under the influence of the epidemic and made recommendations on how colleges and universities should respond to environmental change. Dr. Ribut Basuki of Petra Christian University emphasized that education should be future-oriented, and Shared Community Outreach Program for the Education 5.0 Era, so as to enhance the social competitiveness of students. During two discussion sessions, experts and scholars attending the sub-forum exchanged views on teaching and heutagogy of colleges and universities in the post-epidemic era heatedly.
Attendants at Sub-Forum B
Sub-Forum C: Colleges and Universities in the Future: A Better World
Sub-Forum C was hosted byDaffodil International University in Bangladesh, which was divided into keynote speeches and open discussions. Thirty-six representatives from 18 colleges and universities from China, Bangladesh, Japan, Lithuania, Poland, the United Kingdom and so on gathered online to engage in the active discussion on the theme "Colleges and Universities in the Future: A Better World" and jointly discuss how colleges and universities can adapt to educational internationalization, popularization and virtualization and make reform. Dean Mao Yinhui, Professor Albert Wolfe and Professor Will Hickey of the Faculty of European Languages and Cultures of GDUFS also made a keynote speech at this sub-forum.
Md. Sabur Khan, president of Daffodil International University in Bangladesh shared with participants how to achieve sustainable development of colleges and universities through virtual mobile network and online education to adapt to the new normal of higher education operation under the epidemic. For example, we should introduce smart education, integrated learning center and other online initiatives and work together with international colleges and universities to build international open colleges and universities.
Mao Yinhui, deputy dean of the Faculty of European Languages and Cultures of GDUFS, discussed the exploration of the diversified and characteristic talent training model of the Faculty of European Languages and Cultures of GDUFS. He summarized three major trends in the development of higher education, introduced the international running philosophy of the Faculty of European Languages and Cultures of GDUFS, advocated student-based talent training program, discussed new trends of teaching forms of higher education and looked at the future.
Professor Albert Wolfe of GDUFS mainly analyzed 3Ms of colleges and universities in the future from the perspective of communities, colleges and universities, and students, emphasizing that colleges and universities should work closely with communities to solve practical problems. He also advocated that colleges and universities should focus on cultivating talents with micro-skills, and emphasized the importance of the teacher-friend program for students. Professor Will Hickey, also from GDUFS, analyzed global challenges for international higher education in the new century and their causes combining his own experience and conveyed his innovative ideas for improving students' skills and promoting their employment and development. Inna Zaleniene, president of Mkolas Romeris University in Lithuania, expressed to the participants his sincere desire for imperative higher education reform in a video and put forward concrete measures for reform from the perspective of sustainable development of colleges and universities, educational digitalization, and management of college and university leaders. Professor Janusz Szpytko of AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow, delivered a speech titled New Modes of colleges and Universities under COVID-19, which focused on concrete measures for sustainable development through science and technology such as artificial intelligence under the background of commercialization and digitalization of higher education, and training programs for managers at all levels and multi-skilled students at colleges and universities. Professor Fred Parker of the University of Coventry in the UK shared COIL, a Sino-UK cooperation program between the University of Coventry and GDUFS, so as to analyze how to successfully develop students' global perspectives and to illustrate the feasibility of COIL as a reference model for future higher education development by introducing the practical significance and four characteristics of COIL. Professor Fredrik Marcowitz, also from the University of Coventry in the UK, delved into the 2+2 Transnational Talent Training Program, a new normal supported by the University of Coventry and GDUFS during the epidemic, and shared with participants the successful experience of new teaching tools such as Zoom(an online teaching tool), Socrative(an online teaching tool), flipped classroom(an online teaching method), Open Moodle(an online teacher-student communication platform) and AULA(smartphone software).
Attendants at Sub-Forum C
During open discussion, representatives of colleges and universities had a heated discussion on challenges faced by colleges and universities under COVID-19 and response measures and shared a series of successful cases with participants, which are extremely inspiring.
Live Broadcast of Closing Ceremony
The closing ceremony of the forum was held on the morning of December 1 via live online broadcast, which was watched by more than 1,000 people from colleges and universities across Asia. At the closing ceremony, Shi Youqi, president of GDUFS, reviewed the two-day forum. He proposed that Asia colleges and universities should work together in three areas. First, we should build a new model of the education community. Second, we should establish a new exchange mechanism. Third, we should innovate new paths of educational cooperation. At the forum flag handover session subsequently, Shi Youqi handed over the flag of AUPF Wei Xiaolin, vice president of Zhejiang Yuexiu University which would host the next AUPF. Wei Xiaolin expressed in her speech that she hoped to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the forum together with other member colleges and universities in Zhejiang next year. At this point, after two days of heated online discussions, the 19th Asian University Presidents Forum was successfully concluded.
At this forum, Asian University Presidents Forum for the first time in the history was held online and offline, realizing cloud exchanges. For the first time, campus video display zone was set up on the forum website, realizing cloud display. For the first time, the online signing system was developed and used, realizing cloud cooperation. This forum fully demonstrates that under the new circumstances, the cooperation and exchanges of higher education in Asia are becoming diversified.