CUHK-led APRU Virtual Student Exchange Programme Highly Commended at THE Awards Asia 2021
The Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) Virtual Student Exchange (VSE) programme, conceptualised and managed by The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), has been a finalist and the “Highly Commended” entry for International Strategy of the Year at the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards Asia 2021. The winning entries of the Award’s ten categories were recently announced. Among which, International Strategy of the Year was given in recognition of the outstanding success in building institutional partnerships, overseas operations and a strategic approach to international staff and student recruitment.
The VSE was launched in August 2020 under the auspices of APRU, a network of more than 60 leading universities across the Pacific Rim. The programme was developed in response to the disruptions to global travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. CUHK envisioned the VSE as a holistic virtual student exchange experience that offers online courses in a wide variety of academic disciplines, complemented by co-curricular initiatives spanning cultural immersion, social skills, as well as leadership and career development.
In just over a year since its launch, the VSE has offered more than 550 online academic courses, and 75 co-curricular programmes to students across the APRU network. Thirty-seven APRU member universities in 16 countries/regions have participated in the VSE. As of December 2021, there have been more than 1,200 individual enrolments in VSE academic courses and over 1,500 individual participations in co-curricular programmes.
In addition to being an alternative to physical student exchange during the pandemic, the ease of access to the VSE also allows students to experience international education without the financial burden of traveling and living abroad. The VSE will continue to adapt and evolve with the ever-changing landscape of international education even after the pandemic.
Professor Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK, expressed, “Global engagement has always been a top priority of CUHK. With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting student exchange in an unprecedented scale, there was urgency in finding ways to sustain international education under the constraints. Thanks to the support of APRU and its members, CUHK is able to leverage the Association’s extensive network, and is privileged to lead the APRU VSE programme to offer an encompassing and stimulating virtual exchange experience for our network students. The VSE opened a new door for CUHK and APRU’s 61 members across the Pacific Rim and inspired universities to reimagine how international education could be implemented. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to THE for recognising our efforts with their high commendation of the VSE. This recognition will encourage CUHK and the partners of the VSE programme to continue its global learning endeavours.”
About The Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU)
CUHK has been a member of APRU since 2017. The Association is a network of leading universities linking the Americas, Asia and Australasia that brings together thought leaders, researchers, and policymakers to exchange ideas and collaborate on effective solutions to the challenges of the 21st century.
About THE Awards Asia
THE Awards Asia is the Asian edition of Times Higher Education’s UK-focused Awards, known as the “Oscars of higher education”. The 2021 Awards Asia is in its third edition and celebrates the region’s top performers in eight categories, and two categories based on THE DataPoints data. Nearly 500 entries were submitted for the 2021 Awards, and 66 institutions from 22 countries/regions were shortlisted. For the awardee list, please visit: https://theawardsasia.com/2022/en/page/archive-2021.