The PAIR Distinguished Lecture Series was successfully held on 17 May 2022. We were honoured to have renowned scholar, Prof. David Cardwell, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Strategy and Planning), University of Cambridge, UK, as the invited speaker. The webinar was hosted by Prof. Christopher Chao, Vice President (Research and Innovation) and Chair Professor of Thermal and Environmental Engineering of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU). It attracted over 430 participants from 30 countries and regions. Honourable participants include:
(In alphabetical order of their last names)
- Prof. Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib, Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Malaysia
- Prof. Kent Anderson, Deputy Vice Chancellor Global of The University of Newcastle, Australia
- Prof. Sean Brawley, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Strategy & Planning) of University of Wollongong, Australia
- Prof. Chetwyn Chan, Vice President (Research and Development) of The Education University of Hong Kong
- Prof. Caroline Chan, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Global Partnerships of The University of Newcastle, Australia
- Prof. Haydn Chen, Chief Strategy Officer of National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Taiwan
- Prof. Tim Cheng, Vice-President for Research and Development of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
- Prof. Archie Clements, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Health Sciences of Curtin University, Australia
- Prof. Lianzhen He, Vice President of Zhejiang University, China
- Prof. Peter Høj AC, Vice-Chancellor and President of The University of Adelaide, Australia
- Prof. Ian Holliday, Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) of The University of Hong Kong
- Prof. Elizabeth Johnson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic of Deakin University, Australia
- Dr Chao-Hsin Lin, International Advisory Committee Member of the PolyU Academy for Interdisciplinary Research
- Prof. Yu-hon Lui, Vice President (Resources and Development) of Hong Kong Metropolitan University
- Prof. Charlie Xue, Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International) of RMIT University STEM College, Australia
- Prof. Man-Sung Yim, Associate Vice President, International Office of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea
Prof. Qingyan Chen, Director of PolyU Academy for Interdisciplinary Research (PAIR), Chair Professor of Building Thermal Science of Department of Building Environment and Energy Engineering of PolyU, briefed the audiences about the establishment of PAIR aiming to address societal challenges as outlined in the 2030 agenda for 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations.
In the introduction, Prof. Jin-Guang Teng, President of PolyU, expressed appreciation for Prof. Cardwell to be speaker of PAIR’s distinguished lecture, he said, “As the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Strategy and Planning at the University of Cambridge with a wealth of valuable experience, the vision of Prof. Cardwell is not only important for Cambridge and the United Kingdom, but also for the entire world.”
Prof. Cardwell began with an overview of the challenges posed to modern day universities by the breadth and diversity of international further education curricular of pre-university students in which results in evolving of the university curriculum of moving towards problem-based learning.
Subsequently, Prof. Cardwell presented his views in the implications for higher education within the context of both teaching and research. He pointed out that the key to the future of global universities would be their response to education post Covid-19, the move towards on-line and hybrid teaching and reformation of established examination and assessment processes. Universities need to place increased focus on widening participation, transferable skills in teaching and learning, partnerships with industry, and on subject-based innovation as move to an environment-led economy.
Prof. Cardwell further explained that metrics such as gender balance, ethnicity, employability, and diversity of academic content would become increasingly indicative of good university performance, the reason is universities become more selective in the range of courses that they offer. All of these would lead to wider collaborations between universities and industries to deliver sector specific training for graduate students.
To conclude, Prof. Cardwell advised that the future of global universities would be on the basis of their ability of engagement, especially in the increasingly large, collaborative international projects and talent recruitment. Besides, the reduced need for physical travel underpinned by artificial intelligence, mental health and well-being pivotal of students and staff, the ability to demonstrate diversity and quality, as well as the imminence of addressing global warming are also the major factors.
The lecture was followed by a 30 minutes fruitful discussion, which was moderated by Prof. Wong Kwok-yin, Vice President (Education) and Chair Professor of Chemical Technology of PolyU, and Prof. Andrew Cohen, Director of HKUST Jockey Club Institute of Advanced Study, Lam Woo Foundation Professor and Acting Dean of Science of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
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