Peking University, Beijing, Apr. 15, 2010: "How are the internationalization and globalization of higher education and what their significance will be?” These were among the topics of the PKU Roundtable on Higher Education held on Apr. 14.
Attendees at the seminar were from National University of Singapore, Australian National University, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Yale University, Oxford University, University of Copenhagen in Denmark, Tokyo University, Peking University, Tsinghua University, and Beijing Normal University, who also discussed issues covering how to improve undergraduate education, how to optimize the allocation of resources in university, and how to keep the balance of academic disciplines.
The Roundtable was held by PKU Center for International Higher Education (CIHE), and acted as a high-end academic seminar after the 2010 presidents’ meeting of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU). Professor Shi Xiaoguang of PKU Graduate School of Education (GSE), also CIHE’s vice director, presided over the conference.
At the conference, Dr. Li Yansong, Assistant President of Peking University and Director of Office of International Relations (PKUOIR), expressed warm welcome to honorable guests on behalf of the sponsor, and hoped that this roundtable could serve as an effective platform for open and free discussion of issues relevant to the higher education field, and promote the development of higher education.
Former Vice Minister of Education Zhang Xinsheng, Executive Vice Director of the Institute of Education (IOE) of Tsinghua University Shi Jinghuan, and Professor of Beijing Normal University Wang Yingjie made keynote speeches in succession. Mr. Zhang introduced the development of higher education in China since 1980s, stressed the situation of international exchange and cooperation in higher education field, and expressed his opinions on overseas student projects, interschool cooperation, and regional coordination. Prof. Shi Jinghuan explained how to evaluate and improve the quality of undergraduate education through case study. Prof. Wang, as the first domestically-trained Doctor of Comparative Education in China, shared his views with representatives on the division of disciplines, and allocation of education resources.
Centering on the keynote speeches at the roundtable, presidents from universities around the world had a heated discussion, agreeing that no country was exempt from the challenge brought forward by the internationalization and globalization of higher education, which required proactive adjustment from every university and enhanced mutual dialogues. Representative from Oxford University pointed out that internationalization of university resulted in the influx of foreign students, having an impact on local students to a certain extent, while representative from University of Copenhagen claimed the total of local students studying abroad and foreign students recruited should maintain a balance. Dr. Zhu Hong, lecturer at PKUGSE, indicated that in the process of globalization, universities should comply with the principle of equality and cooperation, and those of developing countries, in particular, should establish their own academic and cultural position and benefit from it. Representatives also had discussions of the trend of commercialization in education, the relationship between government and university, etc.
In the morning, presidents attending IARU’s annual meeting together planted five magnolias outside the conference hall, showing the wish for long-standing development of cooperation between universities as well as concept of sustainable and low-carbon campus, and leaving special scenery in the beautiful Yanyuan Campus. Students from PKU’s Sustainable Development Association participated in the tree-planting activity.
About PKU Center for International Higher Education:
Under the guidance of the Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges of China’s Ministry of Education, supported by PKU’s Graduate School of Education and Office of International Relations, and centering on the theoretical and practical issues of international higher education’s development, PKU Center for International Higher Education conducts academic research and communication, as well as providing training and counseling services. The center is broadly connected with experts and scholars from both at home and abroad, and cooperates with relevant research institutes both at home and abroad, providing theoretical evidence and decision support for the development of Peking University and internationalization of China’s higher education. Directors of CIHE are Prof. Ma Wanhua from PKU Graduate School of Education, and Dr. Li Yansong, Assistant President of Peking University and Director of Office of International Relations.
2010 IARU Presidents' Meeting Held in Peking University