GlobaLinks Dec 2021

International partnerships in the digital age

Prof. Alan Chan shares CUHK’s diverse work in online learning.

Prof. Alan Chan (right, upper) shares CUHK’s diverse work in online learning.

Prof. Alan Chan, Provost of CUHK, spoke on a panel titled ‘Are University Partnerships Being Re-designed for a Digital Age?’ at the Times Higher Education Emerging Economies Summit hosted in partnership with the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) in the United Arab Emirates on 19 October. Highlighting the perspectives of research university leaders, the panel explored the new landscape of international partnerships in the digital age.

In light of the opportunities in the digital age, the Provost shared CUHK’s swift action in adopting online teaching when Hong Kong was first hit by COVID-19. The University was also mindful of the needs of students and faculty members and provided them with training and other support to help them adjust to the new mode of operation. He added that, to address inequities in digital learning, the University promptly invested in assistive tools and assisted students with special educational needs so that they can reap the full benefit of online learning.

The University’s commitment in international partnerships is exemplified by the Virtual Student Exchange (VSE) programme developed by CUHK under the auspices of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU). Launched in August 2020, the VSE has offered 300 academic courses from about 25 APRU member universities in the first 12 months, allowing over 2,000 students from across the association to benefit from academic and cultural learning and experience.

International collaboration has become ever more important as the world is facing great uncertainty and challenges of global scale. ‘Partnership building will still rely on trust and openness of individual partners to reach out and to exemplify diversity and inclusion that is characteristic of any great university’, the Provost said.

Moderated by Dr. Ali Alghafli, Vice-Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences of UAEU, other panel members included Dr. Timirkhan Alishev, Vice-Rector, International Cooperation of Kazan Federal University in Russia and Dr. Lilian Ferrer Lagunas, Vice-President, International Affairs of Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.