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ERIC Number: EJ841426
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May-1
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Presidents of Asian Universities Call for More International Partnerships
Hvistendahl, Mara
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n34 pA22 May 2009
The global economic crisis has accelerated the need for Asian universities not only to engage internationally, but also to create regional mechanisms through which students and faculty members can move more easily from one country to another, said Asian university presidents at a conference here in April. The importance of internationalization to economic and social development was among the key topics of conversation at the annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific Association for International Education. The organization, which is just four years old, drew about 800 presidents and other senior leaders to Renmin University of China, in Beijing. Until now Asian universities have emphasized educating domestic leaders, said Doo-Hee Lee, president of Korea University, who is head of the association. "But we must begin to cultivate regional and even global leaders, whose vision extends beyond national borders." Drawing inspiration from Europe's Erasmus program, which supports students who wish to study in other European countries, the association is developing an Asia-Pacific Leaders program to provide study and internship opportunities for students in Asia, Mr. Lee said. The global recession, which has hit some Asian countries harder than others, was the talk of the conference, but many here viewed the downturn as an opportunity to promote the value of maintaining international connections. "You could say that higher education has become more important because of the global financial crisis," said Hao Ping, a vice minister in China's Ministry of Education. Speakers also emphasized the need to send students abroad to gain fluency in other languages and cultures. "To cut partnerships in international higher ed now would be a profound mistake," said Rick Trainor, principal of King's College London. "When the economic upturn comes, we will need such international collaboration. We all need each other to prosper." Timothy R. Angle, assistant provost of summer school and outreach at the University of Mississippi, which was the sole American institution to rent a booth in the conference's exhibition hall, said he had been overwhelmed by the level of interest in his university. Bjorn Einar Aas, president of the European Association for International Education, said he had come away from the initial day's session convinced that Asian universities were coming into their own. Whether Asia can truly replicate what is being done in Europe remains to be seen, and some participants said it would take a substantial amount of money, along with political and economic will, to develop regional networks.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail: circulation@chronicle.com; Web site: http://chronicle.com/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Asia; China; China (Beijing)