PolyU gathers international educators to discuss roles of higher education sector


PolyU President, Prof. Timothy W. Tong, delivers his welcoming speech

With a topic “Transformative Power of Universities for Our Future”, the Forum aims to provide an opportunity for higher education leaders from various countries in the world to exchange views and inspire each other on how universities can transform the world in view of the current and future global challenges. They also discussed the driving forces for the future of the universities, and how the universities can respond proactively for the public good.

PolyU President Professor Timothy W. Tong said, “This Presidents’ Forum has provided an important platform for leaders of education around the world to share thoughts and experiences on how to shape up a sustainable future through transformative education model and programmes, as well as developing and transferring knowledge that induces change and progress in society.”

Three discussion panels, involving 12 Presidents and 12 senior representatives, were arranged. The speakers shed light on how universities can look to the future and transform society through re-examining their role from a macro perspective, innovating education and research, as well as undertaking impactful knowledge transfer.

The speakers were from all over the world, including Africa, Americas, Asia, Australasia and Europe, of which some are along the Belt and Road regions. Below is the list of the session chairs and speakers (in alphabetical order of the country/region):

  • Professor Ian O’Connor, Vice-Chancellor and President, Griffith University, Australia
  • Mr Laurie Pearcey, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International), The University of New South Wales, Australia
  • Professor Vahan Agopyan, Vice-President, University of São Paulo, Brazil
  • Datin Dr Anita B Z Abdul Aziz, Vice-Chancellor and President, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Brunei
  • Professor Deborah Buszard, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal, The University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Professor Zhou Yu, President, Harbin Institute of Technology, China
  • Professor Xie Heping, President, Sichuan University, China
  • Professor Zhong Zhihua, President, Tongji University, China
  • Mr Jacques Biot, President, École Polytechnique, France
  • Professor Eric Maurincomme, President, INSA Lyon, France
  • Professor Timothy W. Tong, President, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
  • Professor Philip C.H. Chan, Deputy President and Provost, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
  • Professor Donatella Sciuto, Vice-Rector, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
  • Professor Masao Kitano, Executive Vice-President for Education, Information Infrastructure, and Evaluation, Kyoto University, Japan
  • Professor Mukhambetkali Burkitbayev, First Vice Rector, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Kazakhstan
  • Dr Loretta O'Donnell, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan
  • Professor Cheryl de la Rey, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • Professor Kihyeon Kim, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Seoul National University, South Korea
  • Professor Jaiyong Lee, Provost, Yonsei University, South Korea
  • Professor Huey-Jen Jenny Su, President, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan
  • Professor James Thompson, Vice-President for Social Responsibility, The University of Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Professor Stuart Croft, Vice-Chancellor and President, The University of Warwick, United Kingdom
  • Professor David Ibbetson, President of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • Dr Leslie E. Wong, President, San Francisco State University, United States


Press contact:    Michelle Li
Senior Manager, Communications and Public Affairs    
Telephone: (852) 3400 2128
E-mail: michelle.sp.li(at)polyu.edu.hk

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About the Author: Carrie Brunner

Carrie Brunner grew up in a small town in northern New Brunswick. She studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married her husband one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children. Carrie writes mostly on provincial stories.
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