University and edtech leaders to gather in Japan for THE’s first in-person Asia Universities Summit in three years

In partnership with Fujita Health University, this year’s Asia Universities Summit will examine the role of the university in a rapidly changing world, coinciding with the Asia University Rankings 2022 launch

五月 27, 2022
Nagoya japan landmark. oasis21 and TV tower.
Source: iStock

How can we expect to tackle future challenges if we do not address how the needs of the current student cohort have changed? Times Higher Education’s Asia Universities Summit 2022, co-hosted with Fujita Health University in Nagoya for a second time, will explore how the world’s largest and most populous continent can work towards a more symbiotic relationship with its network of higher education institutions to serve a rapidly changing society, while acknowledging its current state of recovery at this stage of the pandemic. The summit will be a hybrid event, taking place from 31 May to 2 June on FHU’s campus, while also accommodating a number of virtual speakers and delegates.

Phil Baty, THE’s chief knowledge officer, said: “After many, many virtual gatherings, it is a real privilege to have the opportunity to meet with our colleagues across the world at the first in-person Asia Universities Summit in three years. It is also a special honour to partner with FHU for the second year in a row for this summit, as their output as a medical university has been prominent in regional efforts to circumvent the worst effects of Covid-19. The cross-border collaboration demonstrated by the higher education community during our mandated physical separation has seldom seemed so inspiring, and having the chance to reveal the Asia University Rankings on-site again, along with the THE Awards Asia 2022, celebrating the work of universities that have kept us safe and informed, will feel especially poignant this year.”

The summit programme includes an interview between Mr Baty and Xing Qu, deputy general of Unesco, on how universities can be successful agents of change, and accurately reflect the communities they aim to serve. Yoshinori Ohsumi, winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, will discuss bridging the gap between global research ecosystems and regional universities to enable an equitable distribution of talent, particularly across crisis-afflicted areas. John Ross, THE’s Asia-Pacific editor, will lead a conversation with Yasuhiko Hashimoto, president and CEO of Kawasaki Heavy Industries exploring how innovation and resources can be best deployed to such areas through successful university-industry collaboration. The topic of universities’ contributions to wider society will be sustained in a following panel discussion, including Se-jung Oh, president of Seoul National University, and Margaret Sheil, vice-chancellor of Queensland University of Technology.

The second day of the summit will examine how universities can enhance their capacity for impact and resilience, with insights from Arshad Ahmad, vice-chancellor of the Lahore University of Management Sciences. Leading educational psychologist Sung-il Kim, dean of the College of Education at Korea University, will address how the next generation of adaptable students will shape how society can pivot to respond to challenges.

Hiroshi Amano, professor in the Institute of Materials and Systems for Sustainability at Nagoya University and winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics, will investigate how mission-orientated research can be effectively embedded within East Asian higher education to aid vulnerable, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) environments. YS Chi, chairman of Elsevier, will lead a panel discussion on developing university leaders for a VUCA world, including Santhaya Kittikowit, director of the Chula Innovation Hub at Chulalongkorn University, and Rocky Tuan, vice-chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Delivering a stable university experience within this context will be considered in a panel with Choltis Dhirathiti, executive director of the ASEAN University Network, and Pankaj Mittal, secretary general of the Association of Indian Universities. Additionally, the degree of acknowledgement of how the metrics have shifted in an increasingly VUCA world, along with the eligibility criteria for awarding merit within universities as more and more skill sets are validated, will be analysed in the summit’s penultimate panel, featuring Ayesha Al Dhaheri, associate provost of student affairs at United Arab Emirates University, and Kunihiro Ohta, executive vice-president of education, digital transformation, institutional research and long-term vision for academic research and education, and former dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tokyo.

The summit’s final panel will focus on transforming access to tertiary education across Asia via a broader and augmented digital infrastructure, with Madhu Chitkara, pro chancellor of Chitkara University, Xuetao Cao, president of Nankai University, Banchong Mahaisavariya, president of Mahidol University, and Norihiro Tokitoh, vice-president of Kyoto University.

“We are delighted that we will be joined by a long list of esteemed speakers across academia, government and industry in Asia to discuss opportunities for growth in a rapidly changing society whose needs have evolved during the pandemic, as well as methods of tackling present and future challenges creatively and efficiently,” added Mr Baty.

Following the reveal of the THE Asia University Rankings 2022, an exclusive data masterclass will be conducted by THE’s chief data officer, Duncan Ross, on the following and final day of the summit, reflecting on how robust teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook play fundamental roles in the future success of Asia’s universities.

“In order to be a university that can respond immediately to more important issues, we want our members to be those who do not put problems aside, but can all work towards solving problems,” said Yukio Yuzawa, president of Fujita Health University.

Click here to register for the Times Higher Education Asia Universities Summit 2022.



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