Managing the new normal: A student perspective from the Pacific Rim
Prof. Rocky S. Tuan (3rd left, top row) takes part in the APRU APM to discuss issues and initiatives relevant to the Asia Pacific.
Prof. Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK, took part in the virtual APRU Annual Presidents’ Meeting (APM) on 27 August. Over 350 presidents and academic leaders of 60 leading research universities from 19 economies on the Pacific Rim convened under the theme of ‘Universities Shaping the New Normal Together’.
This year’s APM featured an inaugural Student Forum chaired by Prof. Tuan where students from across the Asia-Pacific regions reflected on the impact of the pandemic on their lives and their learning and how they have been coping with the new normal and rising to overcome these challenges. Five student panelists from China, Ecuador, New Zealand, Singapore and the US shared their experiences of APRU programmes and their engagement in solutions to global challenges.
Prof. Rocky S. Tuan (top right) chairs Student Forum on coping with the new normal.
Prof. Tuan noted that, while the pandemic has expedited the wide adoption of technology in teaching, it has also unfortunately widened the gap between the haves and have nots, citing digital divide as an example. It has also underscored the importance of the social determinants of health, exemplified by aggravated mental health problems brought by the lack of face-to-face and frequent interactions with friends and families. Specifically, the pandemic ‘tsunami’ has increasingly demonstrated the importance of commitment to global partnerships, noting that a global consortium like APRU has become even more important in the context of shifting geopolitics.
Prof. Tuan highlighted that the pandemic has underlined the world as a global village, where its wellbeing is dependent upon the action of every villager and a strong sense of community spirit between the neighbours.