Programme highlights revealed for World Academic Summit in Melbourne

Nobel laureate among prestigious line-up

June 26, 2015
THE World Academic Summit speakers

World-class speakers for the THE World Academic Summit have been announced

The summit, which takes place at the University of Melbourne between 30 September and 2 October 2015, brings together world leaders from universities, government and industry to explore the future of world class universities.

The summit will host the official worldwide launch of the 2015-16 Times Higher Education World University Rankings on 1 October (21:00 BST 30 September), and will have sessions looking at the development of future Nobel laureates, the changing trends in international student mobility, the civic role of globally-focussed universities, international research collaboration, the development of metrics,and indicators of research success, and the teaching innovations required to nurture the future generation of global leaders.

Nicolas Dirks, the chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, will be one of several high profile keynote speakers. Berkeley is consistently ranked in the top ten universities in the world and is one of the six global university “super brands” identified by the THE World Reputation Rankings. His presentation will encompass Berkeley’s ambitious plans for a new “global campus” in California, and will address the subject: “The future of the world class university”.

Sarah Springman, the rector of Switzerland’s ETH Zürich, the world’s highest ranked university outside of the US and UK, will also take part in the summit. She will be joined by Ed Byrne, the president of one of the world’s fastest rising universities, King’s College London, Kap-Young Jeong, the president of South Korea’s Yonsei University as well as Simon Gaskell, principal of Queen Mary University of London and many others.

Brian Schmidt, winner of the 2011 Nobel prize for physics and an astronomer at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, who was this week confirmed as the next vice chancellor of the Australian National University, will also take part.

Harvard-educated Professor Schmidt, who moved to Australia in 1994, will outline his own career breakthroughs but will also explore the challenges involved in nurturing future generations of Nobel prize winners. He will lead a panel session on the subject, supported by Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, an organisation dedicated to the transfer of knowledge between generations of scientists, which holds regular meetings of Nobel prize winners and young or early career scientists in Lindau, Germany.

Phil Baty, editor of the THE’s portfolio of global rankings, will formally launch the 2015-16 results of the THE World University Rankings. The rankings will be the 12th in the series of THE’s annual world rankings, but the first to be developed by a new in-house team of data editors and analysts, and the first since 2009 to use academic journal citations data from Elsevier’s Scopus. Mr Baty will provide an in-depth master class on the rankings results and methodology, providing unparalleled insights into the data, with insights also provided by Elsevier and THE’s own data team.

More programme details and speakers are due to be announced shortly.

Mr Baty said: “The Times Higher Education World Academic Summit brings together a truly exceptional group of people from all across the world, at the very top of their fields, to provide expertise and inspiration on the most pressing issues facing world class universities in a global market. But as usual it will be the exceptional quality of the delegates - themselves thought leaders in their fields and in their countries - as well as the speakers, that will make the summit such a special event.

"There is no better annual gathering for a select group of university leaders from all over the world to unite behind the common goals of top global universities – nurturing the next generation of world leaders, fostering intercultural understanding, pushing forward the boundaries of human knowledge and transferring that knowledge from the laboratories and classrooms to the wider world.”

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