THE World Academic Summit 2020 heads to Toronto

Times Higher Education flagship event will take place in Canada for first time

September 12, 2019
Downtown Toronto
Source: iStock

Register to attend the THE World Academic Summit 2020

Times Higher Education’s World Academic Summit 2020 will be held in partnership with the University of Toronto next September.

The event, which brings together university presidents, world-class researchers, political leaders and senior executives from industry in one of the most prestigious gatherings of its kind in the world, will take place from 1 to 3 September 2020.

It will focus on the theme of “the power of place”, exploring universities’ influence on communities near and far; the importance of location to universities and how that shapes an institution’s mission; whether digital has replaced physical space; and whether local impact can support global ambition in higher education.

The event will also include the official global launch of the THE World University Rankings 2021.

The summit will build on the success of this year’s flagship event, which took place at ETH Zurich in Switzerland this week and was attended by more than 400 delegates from 57 countries.

The 2020 event will hear from several university leaders, including Meric Gertler, president of the University of Toronto; Dame Nicola Brewer, vice-provost at UCL; Tassew Woldehanna, president of Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia; and Krishna Rajagopal, dean for digital learning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Leading academics including Marijk van der Wende, distinguished professor of higher education at Utrecht University, and AnnaLee Saxenian, professor and former dean of the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley, will also speak at the event.

The summit will also hear from Sooji Lee, deputy director general of Asean Cyber University, a project initiated by South Korea’s ministry of education to strengthen higher education in the region through e-learning.

More speakers will be announced over the next year.           

Meric Gertler, president of the University of Toronto, said that the theme of “the power of place” addresses an “increasingly vital factor in the impact of leading universities around the world”.

“The University of Toronto – and the incredibly vibrant metropolitan region in which it’s located – is an ideal setting in which to explore this key relationship in the digital age,” he added.

Phil Baty, chief knowledge officer at THE, said: “The THE World Academic Summit has become the pre-eminent gathering of university leaders, as well as their partners in industry and government, to explore the future of world-class universities in society. THE is delighted to be taking the summit, after wonderful events in Singapore and Zurich, back to North America, with one of the world’s leading universities, the University of Toronto.”

He added that the theme was “a topical, wide-ranging and pressing issue for leading research universities as they face an increasingly digital future, as they seek to forge a clear identity and mission, and as they grapple to balance a truly global research agenda with their responsibility to their local communities”.

“The University of Toronto, one of the world’s great universities in one of the world’s great cities, is a perfect partner for the summit, providing a wonderful live case study of good practice in harnessing and enhancing the power of place,” he said.

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