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Higher Education Planning in Asia Conference 2014 held at PKU

Peking University, Apr. 3, 2014: On March 25th and 26th, the Higher Education Planning in Asia Conference 2014 (HEPA) co-organized by Peking University (PKU) and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) was held at PKU. Over 80 scholars and administrators from 18 institutions in mainland China, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Australia and the United States attended the conference.

The theme of the conference is "Planning for New Heights". 22 speakers made presentations on a wide range of topics, such as the impacts of technology on learning environment, campus planning and budget, development of universities in various national contexts and challenges faced by senior administrators of an international campus. Live video links were established with the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) Pacific Regional Conference in Hollywood, Los Angeles, to allow for interactions between participants from both sides.

Dr. Li Yansong, the vice president of PKU, delivered the opening address at the conference. Dr. Li highlighted the strong, long-lasting interrelation between the development of PKU and the history of the country – the university was founded at the end of the 19th century with the intention of reviving the crumbling nation; the university planning reached significant milestones at every decisive historic moments of the national history. At present, university planning has acquired enormous significance for PKU since China is now undergoing a rapid transition and trying to seize the golden opportunities provided by the present international political and economic landscape.

Li Yansong delivering the opening speech

During the first video conference with SCUP, Professor Jeffrey Lehman, the vice chancellor of New York University Shanghai, presented his views on planning and developing higher education institutions in the East and West. Professor Lehman focused on the challenges and opportunities faced by university administrators and planners in the age of globalization and frequent cross-cultural communication. His personal experiences of working at the School of Transnational Law of Shenzhen Graduate School, PKU and NYU Shanghai Campus provided the audience with classic and illustrative examples of administration at internationalized, off-shore campuses.

Professor Lehman answering questions put by the participants in Los Angeles through the live video links

Participants rated the HEPA Conference 2014 positively. They found that the topics of the presentations and penal discussions highly relevant to their actual work and that the ample opportunities for peer exchanges throughout the conference greatly facilitated their professional networking.

Participants at the conference

Background Info
Higher Education Planning in Asia Conference was founded in 2002 by institutions in Asia and the Pacific Region. The conference's goal is to provide a platform for the interactions and networking among university planners and administrators. The first forum was held at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) in 2012. The theme of the 2012 forum is "Building a World-Class University — The Role of Planning Professionals." The second forum was held at Kyung Hee University, Seoul, which focused on "Towards Excellence: From Plans to Reality". The next HEPA Conference will be held in Singapore.

Written by: Chen Jiayu
Edited by: Zhu Wenjia
Source: PKU News (Chinese)