This past September, Vice President for International Affairs Luisa Shu-Ying Chang engaged in a bit of globetrotting as she traveled to Mexico and Japan to represent NTU at two major international higher education conferences.
Vice President Chang first ventured to Monterrey, Mexico for the 15th Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) Senior International Leaders' Meeting, which was held at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education duringSeptember 20-22. Then, keeping to her tightly arranged itinerary, the vice president immediately flew to Japan to attend the 41st Board of Directors Meeting and the 23rd Annual General Meeting of the Association of East Asian Research Universities (AEARU) at the University of Tsukuba from September 23-25.
The APRU was established in 1997 to link the leading universities of the Americas, Asia, and Australia. The APRU's annual meetings are aimed to bring together member university leaders, researchers, and policy-makers to exchange ideas and collaborate on seeking effective solutions to the challenges of the 21st century.
The Senior International Leaders' Meeting andthe Annual Presidents' Meeting are the two most important events on the APRU's annual calendar. Themember university presidents and senior administrators gather at the meeting to discuss the development and implementation of APRU initiatives and activities. Participants alsohave the opportunity to briefeach other on the latest developments at their respective universities.
Spotlighting the theme "The Voice of Knowledge and Innovation–Challenges, Opportunities and Actions," this year's Senior International Leaders' Meeting drew 50 representatives from 27 universities worldwide. During the meeting, Vice President Chang took the opportunity to invite the leaders of the APRU's 43 member universities to come to Taipei next June to attend the 22nd APRU Annual Presidents' Meeting and Presidential Retreat, which will be held during the year of NTU's 90th anniversary celebration.
While in Mexico, the meeting participants felt the warmth and hospitality of their hosts at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education. The institute is one of the largest private institutions of higher learning in Latin America, and is particularly strong in the areas of corporate connectivity and innovation.
Over the past 20 years, the APRU has actively keptpace with global trends. Besides encouraging contacts among top universities around the Pacific Ocean, the association plans to develop corporate connections and establish substantive industry-academia collaborations.
The university administrators worked hard formulating action plans for multiple initiatives during the two-and-a-half-day meeting. NTU continues to support new APRU projects, such as the Sustainable Cities and Landscapes Hub, which was co-founded by the University of Oregon. NTU also brings together professors from various fields to engage in collaborative projects with new partners, such as Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the United Nations.
Towards the end of the meeting, Vice President Chang showcased our wonderful campus while extending an official invitation to the other APRU members to attend the 2018 APRU Annual Presidents' Meeting in Taipei. To stir interest in visiting NTU, the vice president showed a promotional film and distributed a series of iconic NTU-themed postcards that were designed by the Office of International Affairs (OIA) along with SoNTU.
Following the APRU meeting, Vice President Chang led two OIA colleagues in attending the AEARU meetings in Japan. The AEARU is a transnational research organization in East Asia that aims to promote exchanges between top research universities in the region, stimulate regional higher education and advanced research development, and enhance cultural, economic, and social progress.
This year, 60 representatives from 18 universities met at the University of Tsukuba to discuss annual events and share ideas on current issues in science and technology. A devoted AEARU member for over 20 years, NTU had the honorof being elected to serve as the AEARU vice chair for 2018-2019, and will be working closely with the University of Tsukuba, which isour strategic partner as well as AEARU’s newly appointed chair. In addition, Professor Chih-Jen Lin of the Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering gave an inspiring presentation on his research on data and machine learning, demonstrating NTU’s academic strength in that field to the international audience.
The OIA has actively pursued a wide range of international contacts in recent years. Besides expanding international cooperation opportunities, it aims to showcase NTU's strengths and generate a global impact. In 2018, the OIA will contribute to the celebration of NTU's 90th Anniversary by hosting the APRU 22nd Annual Presidents' Meeting and Presidential Retreat fromJune 24-26 as well as the AEARU 42nd Board of Directors Meeting and 24th Annual General Meeting in mid-November.