Details of the programme for the inaugural Times Higher Education World Academic Summit in Singapore have been released.
The summit, which takes place at Nanyang Technological University between 2 and 4 October 2013, brings together world leaders from universities, government and industry to explore the role that world-class universities play in fuelling the knowledge economy.
The summit, which also hosts the official worldwide launch of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings on 3 October, will have sessions looking at, among other things: research collaborations across national borders; fostering intercultural understanding in a globalised world; sharing and benchmarking best practice in research; commercialising ideas and ensuring real-world impact of academic activity; bringing together the best ideas from industry and academia and nurturing top talent for an uncertain future.
“We have brought together a truly exceptional group of people, all at the very top of their fields, from all over the world to provide practical advice, and plenty of inspiration, on this crucial aspect of a university’s mission,” said Phil Baty, editor-at-large of Times Higher Education magazine, and editor of the THE’s global rankings portfolio.
“But it is the quality of the delegates, as much as the quality of the speakers, that will really make this a special and unique event. We have had already had registrations from sector leaders from the UK, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, France and Switzerland and the programme is designed to be highly interactive and discussion-led, so we are very excited about the opportunities for networking and sharing new ideas and opportunities that the summit will provide.”
Kicking-off the first full day of the conference will be Jean-Lou Chameau, who was president of the California Institute of Technology from 2006 until he took over this month as the president of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia.
After a period as President of Golder Associates, a geotechnical consulting company, and as Provost of Georgia Tech, Dr Chameau developed Caltech into the world’s number one ranked university, topping THE’s World University Rankings in both 2011-12 and 2012-13.
Dr Chameau will set the scene for the event with a presentation on “Global collaboration in research and higher education”, which will explore the unprecedented recent growth in international collaborations among researchers, which he says is moving at a “more rapid pace than academia is used to” and is “reshaping major aspects of higher education in ways that are profound”.
Dr Chameau will be followed by a panel debate on “solving the world’s grand challenges through global research collaboration”, which will have contributions from Marcus Storch, who was chairman of the Nobel Foundation from 2005 to 2013, Brigitte Plateau, the president of the Grenoble Institute of Technology and Ihron Rensburg, president of the University of Johannesburg, among others.
Other speakers include Sir Keith O’Nions, President and Rector of Imperial College London, which is ranked among the world’s top ten institutions. Sir Keith will examine “the future landscape of research and innovation”, with a particular focus on the challenges of bringing together academics, business investment and entrepreneurs.
Sir Keith will be followed by a special panel discussion on “the role of the private sector in supporting and delivering world-class research”, which will include contributions from Hubert Jager, chief officer for technology and innovation at the SGL Group, one of the world's leading manufacturers of carbon-based products, and Jan-Eric Sundgren, senior advisor to the chief executive at Volvo Group.
The final day of the summit will include a focus on the leadership challenges for world-class universities. A keynote speech will be given by Baroness Virginia Bottomely, who was the UK’s Secretary of State for Health between 1992 and 1995 and worked in the Cabinets of British Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major prior to her current role as chair of the Board Practice at global recruitment consultants Odgers Berndtson. Baroness Bottomley has been involved with the appointment of numerous university vice-chancellors and education leaders both in the UK and internationally.
Other speakers include: Liqui Meng, senior vice-president at the Technical University of Munich; Arnoud De Meyer, president of the Singapore Management University, who will talk about the management of international communication and multi-cultural teams; and Ed Byrne, vice-chancellor and president of Monash University, who has just been confirmed as the next vice-chancellor of King’s College London.
Robin Grimes, the chief scientific advisor to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office will examine the question: “how should governments incubate science more effectively to ensure a high rate of science-based prosperity?” Lim Chuan Poh, chairman of Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research will also provide a presentation on how government’s can support and deliver world-class research.
The summit will be closed with a keynote speech by multiple Oscar-winning film producer, Lord Puttnam of Queensgate, who is now chancellor Open University and a trade envoy to the British Prime Minister David Cameron.
The exceptional high quality of the speakers and the delegates, coming together on such a crucial matter, will, I am sure, make this one of the most important and fruitful gatherings of global research leaders and funders ever put together,” said Mr Baty.
The worldwide launch of the 2013-14 Times Higher Education World University Rankings
The World Academic Summit will also host the formal worldwide launch of the THE World University Rankings results for 2013-14 as a special fringe event open to summit delegates only.
The rankings launch will include an in-depth “masterclass” on the rankings methodology and underlying data. Rankings editor Phil Baty will present the results on the morning of their worldwide release, looking at the methodology of the rankings and the long-term trends emerging from the work, while Simon Pratt, manager of the Institutional Profiles project at Thomson Reuters, which is the source of the data for the THE rankings, will give a behind-the-scenes look at the data collection process, and give some exclusive insights into the raw data behind the rankings.
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