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PKU President attended two Asian conferences on education in Japan

OCT . 26 2011

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Peking University, Oct.21, 2011: From October 10 to 12, President Zhou Qifeng with a delegation of Peking University (PKU) scholars attended the 13th East Asia Four Universities Forum 2011 conference, otherwise known as BESETOHA, at the University of Tokyo, Komaba Campus. Afterwards, President Zhou went on to attend the 7th Forum for Chinese and Japanese University Presidents, held at Kyoto International Conference Center.


During the opening ceremony of 2011 BESETOHA on the morning of October 11, presidents of the four attending universities gave speeches on the theme " Integration of Knowledge – The Role of Universities in an Age of Advanced Technology and Globalization", referring to the experience of each university and country respectively. President Zhou said that Seoul National University, The University of Tokyo, Hanoi National University and Peking University all represented the highest standard of their countries; therefore. They were able and responsible to make the most of their comprehensive disciplines and cultivate future leaders with both a global view and mastery of regional backgrounds. The four universities should also emphasize interdisciplinary researches in order to meet great challenges all humans were faced with these days, and collaborate with each other to deal with problems in East Asia.


2011 BESETOHA Forum at the University of Tokyo, Komaba Campus  


After the opening ceremony, scholars from the four universities joined panel discussions on English education, classics education and other topics concerning fostering high-tech, high-level talents with global vision in Asia. PKU Professor Cheng Zhaoxiang from the School of Foreign Languages, Professor Su Yanjie from Yuanpei College, Professor Zhang Xuezhi from the Department of Philosophy participated in the discussions.


On October 13, President Zhou Qifeng with PKU delegation went on to attend the 7th Forum for Chinese and Japanese University Presidents in Tokyo. Presidents of Tsinghua University and other 14 Chinese universities, presidents of The University of Tokyo, Kyoto University and other 15 Japanese universities, delegates of Education Department of the Chinese embassies and consulates in Japan and those on behalf of Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) were present.


The 7th Forum for Chinese and Japanese University Presidents in Tokyo


In the morning, President Zhou Qifeng and President Hiroshi Matsumoto of Kyoto University jointly hosted the opening ceremony. The delegate of MEXT gave a speech on "The Internationalization of Higher Education in Japan ."


Later, Chinese and Japanese delegates had a deep discussion on “Improvement of the universities' quality” and “Internationalization of universities.” President Zhou joined the latter panel discussion and emphasized the crucial role of internationalization in enhancing the teaching quality of universities. He also expressed opinions about such issues as construction of English courses.


The forum concluded with an agreement on its future operation. The 8th Forum for Chinese and Japanese University Presidents is to be held at Xiamen University in China in 2013. 

Extended Reading:




Originated from East Asian University President Forum, BESETOHA is now an East Asian university union, including Peking University (China), Seoul National University (Korea), the University of Tokyo (Japan) and Hanoi National University (Vietnam). BESETOHA takes its name from the names of the attending universities (first two letters in the name of each university).


East Asian University President Forum was started by the University of Tokyo in 1995 and joined by Peking University and Seoul National University. In 2000, the forum enrolled Hanoi National University as a new member and changed its name as it is today. The four universities take turns to host the forum yearly and discuss issues of their concerns.


Now the forum has become a comprehensive exchange platform, including lectures from presidents of the four universities, scholar panel discussions, student chorus performances and other cross-culture activities.


Forum for Chinese and Japanese University Presidents


Forum for Chinese and Japanese University Presidents focuses on higher education in countries, encouraging scholar and student exchanges and exploring new ideas of higher education and researches. Top universities in China and Japan and related government institutions of both sides are participants. As coordinators between both countries, Peking University and the University of Tokyo are responsible to make contacts and host the forum.


The forum held its first meeting in Tokyo in 2000 by the two universities. Later, according to the five-Year plan of Chinese and Japanese education exchange, Chinese Ministry of Education and Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology integrated the forum into governmental agreements and began to take part.


The forum is held alternatively in China and Japan every two years. 



Written by: Cathey
Edited by: Chen Long
Source: Office of International Relations, PKU