On 20th October, 2018, Xiamen University played host to the Inauguration Ceremony of the University Consortium of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and University Presidents' Forum.
Inauguration Ceremony of the Consortium
The event was graced by dignitaries and officials from the government of China as well as the ASEAN Secretariat. Mr. ZHU Zhiwen, Vice Minister of China's Ministry of Education, Mr. LIN Hepin, Head of the Education Department, Fujian Province, Ms. Adeline LEE from the ASEAN Secretariat all took turns to deliver speeches. More than 120 delegates from 66 universities across 17 countries and regions along the Maritime Silk Road participated in the event, with most of them being Presidents/ Vice Chancellors/ Rectors or senior officials of the participating institutions.
Prof. ZHANG Rong, President of Xiamen University
President ZHANG Rong said in his speech that the Consortium is being founded in the light of in-depth cooperation and integration of higher education across the world. He appreciated the support given by the participating universities and urged the participants to take the opportunity to share their views on innovation and entrepreneurship education and university-industry partnership, university transformation and internationalization, and also, their thoughts on how to build world-class universities.
Ms. Adeline LEE, Director of the Office of the Secretary-General, the ASEAN Secretariat
Ms. Adeline LEE from the ASEAN Secretariat noted that ASEAN and China had carried out comprehensive educational cooperation through various activities, delivering remarkable achievements since both sides established a dialogue relationship 25 years ago. Currently, people-to-people exchanges, including educational cooperation, have become a new pillar of ASEAN-China strategic partnership, and it has demonstrated great prospects. The vision to build cooperation platforms has been critically germane to the China-ASEAN educational cooperation and as such, been seen as one of the priority areas for both sides in their future cooperation.
Mr. LIN Heping, Director of Education Department of Fujian Province
Mr. LIN Heping pointed out that to build a community of common destiny on education, in line with President XI Jinping's vision of a community of a shared future for mankind, calls for our efforts in the following three strategic areas: Firstly, to strengthen communication and cooperation among higher education institutions along the Maritime Silk Road; Secondly, to open the door of higher education in Fujian wider to the outside world; Thirdly, to set up education bases for innovation and entrepreneurship along the Maritime Silk Road countries and regions.
Mr. ZHU Zhiwen, Vice Minister of Ministry of Education, China
Vice Minister ZHU Zhiwen emphasized that higher education has been placed in an ever more strategically important position, and as such, the Consortium serves as a premier platform for dialogues and cooperation among its member institutions. He added that the Consortium should not only encourage best practice sharing, but also advocate joint research on critical issues facing the world. Zhu, further called on the membership of the Consortium to make the most out of the opportunities provided by the platform by dreaming big and thus, building it into a sustainable mechanism where all members could tap their full potentials.
University Presidents' Forum
Following the opening ceremony was a one-day university presidents' forum. Topics critical to this forum revolved around, innovation education and industry-university partnership, university transformation and internationalization, and how to build world-class universities. The forum featured 8 keynote speeches and 23 presentations.
Currently, UCMSR consists of 60 universities from 17 countries and regions along the Maritime Silk Road. Its main framework for cooperation includes but not limited to the Innovation Campaign, Study Tour Scheme, Training Base, Joint Fund and University Presidents' Forum. Serving as a platform for international cooperation and exchange in higher education across the world, UCMSR will do its utmost best to facilitate exchange and cooperation amongst universities in various areas including talent cultivation, scientific research and social service.