U21 Educational Innovation Leadership Symposium @ HKU


U21 is comprised of 27 world-class universities,
and the reason we called U21 is that U21 was founded in 1997 when the 21st century was
very much in everybody’s mind. The title is actually universities for the
21st century. HKU is one of the founding members in Universitas
21, so we have a long history of being part of this global network, and we understand
the importance and value of being building a working partnership with other colleagues
across the globe. I’m very pleased to see HKU hosting this leadership
symposium. Our questions were “Where do we want to go?”
and “How best to leverage U21?” We got on to what are the levers for that
leverage. One constituency is obviously students, they
can be a great lever for us to promote this network. Because whatever else we do, we’re going to
have to think about students, young people in particular, we should probably learn together
with our students. How do we actually help the students to learn
towards the ideality level, my opinion is that we need to have meaningful innovation. There is a need for flexibility and university
is a platform for students like us that we can have the power to design our own learning. Especially in today’s context, everyone talks
about the transdisciplinary nature of universities, how we want students to integrate with as
much experience as possible. I think that the first and foremost element
for university education is coherence. I always know that two or three kilometres
far away from my working place, there is an university always welcome me back. This provides me the security in that gap
year. The goals for educational innovation in U21
is that we reach the very top of your universities, because so many of our members are facing
the same sort of challenges, the same problems, and what we want U21 to be able to do is create
collaborative value where you can share solutions and resources. I’m very impressive personally, the way how
we approached a three-day meeting looking at some of the issues in the past few days
in a very structured manner, all the time involving a very sophisticated approach. These few days are reflecting the power of
co-creation. The co-creation is not a miracle, it appeared
because of the design of such a well-structured agenda and also the group work. We have five food for thought panels with
colleagues provoking us on topics, we have four working group breakouts, and we’re
supposed to end up with a position paper. We’re in -I cannot remember a time when it
is more important that we produce the next generation of graduates who can go out into
the world without fear, without suspicion, who can cross borders, and become the new
international citizens, then they fit the challenges we face today, and how we deal
with those students in the classroom, how they become the next generation of academics
and researchers, is a vital importance for all of us. Thank you very much for coming to Hong Kong,
thank you for your tolerance of our bad weather in the first few days, and it has cleared,
so we’re going to let you go forth and enjoy Hong Kong!

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