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Tsinghua forum discusses futuristic role of universities

By Zou Shuo | | Updated: 2022-12-06 17:30
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The first Tsinghua Higher Education Forum was recently hosted by Tsinghua University in Beijing.

The forum, held live and online from Nov 29 to Dec 2, was themed "The New Role of Universities in a Changing World: Big Issues to Shape Emerging Futures".

Du Yubo, president of the China Association of Higher Education, said as an indispensable and important driving force for the Chinese concept of "building a community with a shared future for mankind", universities shoulder important responsibilities, such as teaching future leaders and conducting scientific research.

Looking ahead, universities must continue to train high-quality talent, develop an international academic community and expand their facilitation of international exchanges and cooperation, he said.

Tsinghua President Wang Xiqin said that for more than 110 years, the university has greatly valued and will continue to embrace the integration of China and the world, the past and the present, and liberal arts and sciences, embarking on a path of interrelated development.

This development perspective means that Chinese universities should take educational approaches that better combine global analytical thinking with Chinese correlative thinking as well as link people's inner qualities and social roles. They should also integrate arts that focus on sensibility and sciences that focus on rationality to achieve all-around development, he added.

Nicholas B Dirks, the 10th Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, agreed that liberal arts and science should be closely integrated.

These days, universities need to teach comprehensive thinking, learning and research skills, and they must provide education and research opportunities for students from various walks of life, Dirks said.

During the four-day forum, experts and scholars from home and abroad focused on universities' mission to educate, their social responsibilities and their drive to offer higher education empowered by technology.

Three sub-forums were held at the event, with the themes of "Learning to be Human: The Education Mission of Universities", "Reimagining Technology-empowered Higher Education" and "Rethinking the Social Responsibility of Higher Education".

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