PolyU participates in University Alliance of the Silk Road Forum 2023
PolyU representatives participated in the University Alliance of the Silk Road (UASR) Forum 2023, held in Xi’an on 8 October. Under the theme of “Development and Innovation of World Higher Education in the Context of the New Technology Revolution”, the Forum was hosted by Xi'an Jiaotong University (XJTU), the President Unit of UASR, and brought together more than 160 representatives from 58 universities in 23 countries and regions. Delegates included Mr Wang Xiao, Member of the Standing Committee of the Shaanxi Provincial Party Committee and Executive Vice Governor; Ms Xi Ru, representative of the International Cooperation and Exchange Department of the Ministry of Education; Mr Lu Jianjun, Secretary of the Party Committee of XJTU; Mr Wang Shuguo, President of XJTU; Dr Laura Lo, Associate Vice President (Institutional Advancement) of PolyU; and Prof. Lu Haitian, Director of the PolyU Mainland Development Office.
The Forum initiated the mechanism of the China-Central Asia Higher Education Cooperation Forum and launched the Belt and Road Industry-Education Alliance Initiative, aiming to create a platform for higher education exchange and cooperation and promote the development of the USAR. PolyU was appointed by the UASR Executive Council to the next rotating Alliance presidency. Dr Lo received the Alliance flag from XJTU Vice President, Prof Xi Guang, stating that PolyU is honoured to assume the Presidency coinciding with the momentous 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative. “PolyU and XJTU jointly established the UASR in 2015. Since then, the UASR has grown from comprising four members to including over 160 member institutions, facilitating diverse academic exchanges and research collaborations. Looking to the future, the Alliance will continue to provide a remarkable platform for cultural exchange and talent cultivation among the Belt and Road countries.” She added.
During the Forum, Dr Lo and Prof. Lu also attended a meeting to discuss the fostering of closer co-operation between higher education institutions in Hong Kong and Central Asia, hosted by Dr Choi Yuk-lin, Secretary for Education of the HKSAR. Dr Choi said that the Government is committed to developing Hong Kong as a regional education hub. Leveraging the distinctive advantages of enjoying the Mainland’s strong support and its global connectivity, the Government hopes to attract international academic talent to pursue further studies and develop a career in Hong Kong. Dr Lo also noted that PolyU has established partnerships with over 280 universities from 40 countries. As a leading higher education institution in Hong Kong pioneering in the development of the Belt and Road Initiative, the University has been actively supporting talent exchange and research cooperation among Belt and Road countries and looks forward to establishing and strengthening partnerships with higher education institutions in Central Asia in the future.
Jointly established by XJTU and PolyU in 2015, the UASR is a non-government and non-profit alliance aimed at providing an open and international collaborative platform in higher education. PolyU holds the Vice Presidency of the Alliance and takes a leading role in fostering talent development, research on technologies and policies, cultural exchange and medical services among members institutions along the Belt and Road. In May 2023, President Xi Jinping stated in his keynote speech at the China-Central Asia Summit that China needed to strengthen dialogue between nations and also stressed that China would continue its support for universities in Central Asian countries in joining the UASR.