The University Alliance of the Silk Road Forum 2023
Lu Jianjun, secretary of the CPC XJTU Committee, delivers a speech during the event.
The University Alliance of the Silk Road Forum 2023 kicked off at Western China Science and Technology Innovation Harbour in Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi province, on Oct 8.
The forum, titled "Developments and Innovations in Higher Education in an Era of New Technological Revolution," was hosted by the University Alliance of the Silk Road and organized by Xi'an Jiaotong University (XJTU).It aims to promote high-quality collaboration among countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in various fields, such as education, culture, technology, industry, and healthcare. Its goal is to make the alliance a significant cooperative platform in response to the BRI.
Wang Xiao, vice governor of Shaanxi province, Xi Ru, second-level inspector from Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges, Ministry of Education, Lu Jianjun, secretary of the CPC XJTU Committee, Wang Shuguo, president of XJTU, and other related officials and representatives from 55 colleges and universities around the world attended the event.
Xi Guang, vice president of XJTU, presided over the opening ceremony.
Lu, on behalf of XJTU, expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Education and the provincial government for their guidance and support and extended a warm welcome to the guests.He stated that during the eight years since the establishment of the alliance, its operational mechanisms have continued to be improved, branded activities have been carried out extensively, international influence has steadily increased, and its core functions have become stronger. It has already become an essential platform for cultural exchange and cooperation among countries and regions involved in the BRI.XJTU will take the forum as an opportunity to transform the Innovation Harbour into a high-level and open innovation engine and contribute more wisdom and strength to the high-quality development of the BRI.
In an online speech, Chen Jie, deputy Minister of Education, extended his congratulations on the opening of the forum. He said that he hoped that universities within the alliance will use the forum as an opportunity to deepen exchanges, strengthen cooperation, and further enhance collaboration in innovation, talent development, industry-education integration, and cultural exchange.
On behalf of the Shaanxi Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial Government, Wang Xiao offered his congratulations on the successful opening of the forum and conveyed the same hopes.
Prof Donatella Sciuto, representative of the current rotating chair institution of the alliance and president of Politecnico di Milano, delivered a speech online. She mentioned that XJTU and Politecnico di Milano are long-term educational partners, continuously collaborating in talent development and research innovation. It is hoped that both universities can work together in unity and become reliable partners, contributing to the development of the alliance.
During the event, a welcome ceremony for new members of the alliance took place. To date, a total of 14 new universities have applied to join the alliance, and Wang Shuguo presented commemorative gifts to the representatives of the new member universities.
The forum also launched the "China-Central Asia Higher Education Cooperation Forum" mechanism, and the BRI Industry-Education Alliance Initiative.
Following the opening ceremony, keynote speeches were delivered online and offline by Jean-Pierre Raffarin, former prime minister of the French Republic, Zhang Xiangchen, deputy director-general of the World Trade Organization, and others.
The President's Forum of the University Alliance of the Silk Road Forum 2023
On the afternoon of Oct 8, the President's Forum of the University Alliance of the Silk Road Forum 2023 was held in the lecture hall of the Western China Science and Technology Innovation Harbour.A total of 50 university presidents and representatives from 36 universities around the world engaged in in-depth discussions and workshops revolving around the theme of "Developments and Innovations in Higher Education in an Era of New Technological Revolution," and some delivered keynote speeches.
Wang Shuguo, president of Xi'an Jiaotong University (XJTU), said in his speech that the Fourth Industrial Revolution has had a profound impact on the world and poses significant challenges to higher education in three main respects: the tremendous impact brought by new technologies represented by artificial intelligence, issues related to energy crises and the environment, and the coexistence of cultural integration and conflicts.The establishment of the University Alliance of the Silk Road is rooted in the principles of peace, cooperation, and mutual learning. Wang expressed his hope that the universities within the alliance can join hands and collectively move towards the future.
Song Yonghua, rector of University of Macau, discussed the topic of talent cultivation innovation in higher education in the digital era. He stated that the future of higher education in talent development necessitates addressing changes such as the implementation of online courses, the governance of smart campuses, and the integration of various disciplines.
Ewan McKendrick, former registrar of University of Oxford, made his speech online, saying that one of the increasingly-important characteristics of modern universities is their ability to address the challenges faced by the world and promote innovative developments.
Other presidents made their speeches as well and expressed the same hope that more cooperation and technological progress will be achieved by the University Alliance of the Silk Road.
Subsequently, the conference attendees were engaged in in-depth discussions on five subtopics, including education-industry connection and innovative talents cultivation, digital technology and innovative practices in higher education, and interdisciplinary studies and the knowledge system reconstruction.
The closing ceremony was presided over by Shan Wenhua, assistant president of XJTU. At the ceremony, Xi Guang, vice president of XJTU, delivered the closing speech and hosted the flag handover ceremony for the rotating chairmanship.
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University was designated as the next rotating chair of the alliance. Dr Laura Lo Shuen, associate vice president of the university, expressed their commitment to undertaking the related work to promote the healthy and sustainable development of the alliance.
A total of 160 participants, including 58 university presidents and representatives from 23 countries and regions, comprising 38 from overseas and 20 from within China, as well as senior officials from the World Trade Organization and renowned scholars from around the world, took part in the Silk Road Forum 2023.