Programme

The power of place

12:30 - 15:30

Meeting of alliances

Location: Rotman School of Management
On the occasion of the World Academic Summit, THE has invited the leaders of national and international alliances, representing some of the world's best research universities, to debate the power of their networks and alternative concepts of place. The leaders will address two topics: What are the strengths of national boundaries? And how is local culture shaping global research?
Chair
Speakers
18:00 - 19:30

Welcome reception

Location: Level 17, The Globe and Mail Centre
Sponsored by
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Speakers
08:30 - 09:00

Registration and welcome refreshments

09:00 - 09:20

Opening remarks

Speakers
09:20 - 10:20

The Toronto experience

This panel will present how the four universities in Toronto collaborate with the city authorities and other key stakeholders to address challenges and leverage their resources to make the city a better place for everyone.
Speakers
10:20 - 10:50

Networking refreshments

10:50 - 11:30

How universities can help regions reinvent themselves

This session will focus on how universities can help their host region to develop or potentially reinvent itself. What are the conditions under which this works best? What opportunities and strategies can institutions use to support the long-term growth of their host community? What responsibilities do research universities have – or what should they have – to respond to local issues and be drivers of change?
Chair
Speakers
11:30 - 12:30

Universities and their host cities: fiscal friends?

Is it true in every case that universities have the potential to create prosperity for their host cities or regions? Should that be part of an evaluation of institutional impact? Are cities able to understand and appreciate the complexity of universities? This session will explore how economic responsibilities may affect university missions, and the importance of local prosperity to sustain university excellence.
Speakers
12:30 - 13:45

Networking lunch

13:45 - 14:30

Keynote: Finding a home - the Central European University

The president of Central European University, Michael Ignatieff, will reflect on the importance of place in a globalised world in relation to CEU's struggle to remain in Hungary, its recent relocation and what the new Open Society University Network may be able to achieve.
Chair
Speakers
14:30 - 15:20

Are universities defined by their local community?

This panel will discuss the impact of place on a university. How can leaders of institutions that are many centuries old progress from their heritage and keep their university relevant to the future? For new universities, how does your location impact your strategic planning? What are the positives and negatives for you in terms of attracting faculty talent and institutional partnerships?
Speakers
15:20 - 15:50

Networking refreshments

15:50 - 16:50

The "X, Y, Z Factor": How place can attract new talent

This closing session will ask “can world-class universities exist anywhere?” What are the conditions that enable talent to flourish, and what can university leaders do to create and maintain those conditions? Under existing metrics, will we ever see highly ranked research universities in the global south? Or should new models of excellence be created?
Chair
Speakers
16:50 - 17:00

Closing remarks

18:45 - 19:30

Drinks reception

19:30 - 22:00

Gala dinner and exclusive reveal of the THE World University Rankings 2021



Sponsored by
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07:45 - 08:00

Welcome refreshments

08:00 - 09:30

Data masterclass: THE World University Rankings 2021

Speakers
09:35 - 09:40

Welcome remarks

Speakers
09:40 - 10:10

Keynote: Is digital technology redefining boundaries?

The leader of the University of Cape Town will address how digital technology may reshape partnerships and the flow of knowledge, and enable us to reimagine traditional balances of power, resources and our understanding of world-class excellence.
Chair
Speakers
10:10 - 10:40

Networking refreshments

10:40 - 11:30

Have students outgrown current models of digital learning?

What has driven advances in digital learning? Can we be confident we have the right understanding of success? This panel will examine the factors that are creating the most successful digital learning models and debate how future-proof they are. Are investors, technologists and teachers able to keep pace with the needs of learners?
Speakers
11:30 - 12:30

Digital space: the new frontier for universities?

This session will explore the impact on established universities of the rapidly growing digital space for education, research, partnerships and outreach, and how that presents challenges and opportunities in the way that universities strategically locate themselves. Should universities re-evaluate who they consider to be their neighbours and natural partners, and which communities they feel they have a responsibility to work with or serve? Will universities be affected by the new geo-politics of the digital world as they were by the geo-politics of the previous century?
Chair
Speakers
12:30 - 13:45

Networking lunch

12:50 - 13:30

Lunchtime interview

Geoffrey Hinton's research group at the University of Toronto made major breakthroughs in deep learning that revolutionised speech recognition and object classification. Currently vice-president and engineering fellow at Google and chief scientific adviser for the Vector Institute, Professor Hinton will reflect on his research career trajectory from the UK to the US and Canada, and how the huge investments made in AI research by governments in East Asia may affect the development of the science.
Speakers
13:45 - 14:30

Can global partnerships lead to mutual successes?

With relentless competition among nations for dwindling or scarce resources, what is the future of international academic collaboration? Are universities political actors? Have growing nationalism, a retreat from globalisation, and geo-political battles over values and valuables doomed good-faith international partnerships? This panel will explore if global relationships can lead to complementary growth.
Speakers
14:30 - 15:30

How do branch campuses project power?

Some institutions see an important role for branch campuses, but the data are decidedly mixed. This panel will address issues including: what regional dynamics are at work? Do branch campuses and international offices simply project existing balances of power? Or can host countries gain equally? How is China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative changing the nature of regional partnerships?
Speakers
15:30 - 16:00

Networking refreshments

16:00 - 16:30

Closing keynote

16:30 - 16:40

Closing remarks

Speakers

Global partners