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Tropical universities join forces for higher education and socio-economic development

By CHEN BOWEN | | Updated: 2023-09-16 17:37
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Members of the League of Tropical Universities [Photo provided to]

Eight tropical institutions are preparing for the establishment of the League of Tropical Universities (LTU), a pioneering organization in bringing together leading research institutes and universities from tropical and related regions across Asia, Africa and South America to advance the higher education and socio-economic development in the tropical regions, home to 40 percent of the world's population.

Initiated by Hainan University and the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (CATAS), the other six founding members include Cairo University in Egypt; Chulalongkorn University in Thailand; Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) in Indonesia; the University of São Paulo, Brazil; and the University of Malaya and the Universiti Teknologi Petronas in Malaysia.

The LTU aims for the world's sustainability and empowering the tropics, through science-driven transformation pivotal to the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals acceleration.

The founding members have expressed their common commitment to developing the alliance into a powerhouse of education and innovation globally, contributing to the formation of the community of tropical regions.

Da Hsuan Feng, chair of the International Advisory Board of Hainan University and Honorary Dean of Hainan University Belt and Road Research Institute, affirmed this alliance as a milestone in growing into a leading example of the 21st century for internationalization of higher education, which, he emphasized, would require pragmatism and shared vision among its members.

Luo Qingming, president of Hainan University and fellow of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), noted the significance of the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping.

"To unleash the potential of the tropics, the LTU will join forces to tackle the thorny tropical development issues, particularly on food security, climate change, public health, as well as to strengthen, expand and clarify the dimensions of higher education internationalization among the alliance members," Luo said.

"Hainan University which plays a vital role as actor, think tank, incubator and talent pool in supporting the construction of Hainan Free Trade Port will work with the alliance members to promote innovation in higher education in a bid to cultivate talents for the culturally diverse regions, improve the overall quality of higher education and technological innovation capabilities of the region," he added.

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