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“Universities must do more within the international community” – Joint Statement from the Westlake
Office of Public Affairs
Westlake University, a non-profit research university, held the first Westlake Forum on Higher Education on Oct 20th, 2018 in Hangzhou, China. The event, which followed the University’s founding ceremony held on the same day, welcomed leading educators and distinguished scholars from internationally renowned universities around the world to explore the roles of higher education institutions in addressing global issues and at the forefront of technological advancement.
“We are living through a period of considerable concern, a considerable polarization on the political level, but also a period of anti-globalisation.
“Universities have a fundamentally important role to play in ensuring that despite these periods of anti-globalization rhetoric that we are going through we continue to engage, and continue to build bridges between countries. We need to continue to ensure that our graduates are prepared to take their place in the global economy, in a world where they are likely to find themselves living and working in many different countries,” said Andrew Hamilton, President of New York University during his forum address.
On the proposal of Professor Yigong Shi, President of Westlake University, the presidents and representatives of domestic and international universities, attending the forum, unanimously agreed to sign and release the following joint statement:
“Humankind faces daunting global challenges on economic development, education, energy, environment, food, climate change, and healthcare. As an indispensable pillar of any modern society, universities transform the world through education and research. Education and research transcend national borders and benefit greatly from international collaboration and cooperation.
To address the global challenges and to respond to calls of our community and the world, we believe the universities should play a more active role through improved collaboration and cooperation.”
Included within the joint statement are the following guiding principles for greater cooperation:
l Encourage exchange of students;
l Facilitate regular visits by faculty and staff;
l Promote joint interdisciplinary research;
l Strengthen collaborations in research and academic affairs;
l Protect academic freedom within the legal framework of each nation.
Running concurrently to the 2018 Westlake Forum on Higher Education, was the university’s first WE Forum on the Frontiers of Sciences and Transformation. Under the theme of “Facing the Future: Challenges and Opportunities”, the inaugural WE Forum welcomed speeches on a range of topics from Nobel Laureates including James D. Watson, Brian K. Kobilka, Jean-Marie Lehn, Sir Fraser Stoddart and Jonathan M. Rothbergand renowned academics including Ching Wan Tang and George M. Church on the key topics facing academic research and the advancement of humankind.
For further details on the joint statement, the inaugural event of Westlake University, the Westlake Forum on Higher Education or the WE Forum, please visit: www.westlake.edu.cn
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