CUHK Vice-Chancellor elected as Chair of Leading International Higher Education Network
Professor Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), has been elected Chair of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), a network of some 60 leading universities from Asia, North America, South America, and Australasia, across 19 economies. Established in 1997, APRU brings together thought leaders, researchers, and policy-makers to exchange ideas and collaborate on practical solutions to the challenges of the 21st century. Professor Tuan succeeds Professor Gene Block, Chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles, who served in the role for seven years.
APRU aims to leverage the collective education and research capabilities of its university members into the international public policy process. Its strategic priorities focus on providing a neutral platform for high-level policy dialogue, taking action on climate change, and supporting diversity, inclusion, and minorities. In the post-pandemic era, APRU supports these strategic priorities by focusing on critical areas such as application of virtual education, global citizenship, climate change and justice, AI in education and social good, global sustainability, disaster risk reduction, advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, connecting indigenous knowledge across the Pacific, and others. In 2022, the scholarly contributions of APRU member universities collectively account for nearly 12% of the scholarly output worldwide, making APRU, as a group, the third largest contributor of research in the world, following China and the US. 2% of APRU’s output is among 1% of the world’s most cited publications, on par with the UK and higher than the US. Of the 100 universities with the largest scholarly outputs in the world, 26 are APRU members.
Since joining APRU in 2017, CUHK has been active in many of the key programmes, including initiating and leading an ongoing network-wide virtual student exchange programme since 2020 to address student need for international education when international travel had come to a halt. The programme has drawn active participation from more than 35 APRU member universities. Professor Tuan chaired the APRU Presidential Working Group for Pandemic Preparedness to offer global leadership for the prevention of the next pandemic by addressing issues of global governance and “infodemic”, as well as devising improved public health strategies and developing assets in biomedical research and therapeutics. The study was presented to the APEC University Leaders’ Forum, an official side event of the APEC CEO Summit held in Bangkok in November 2022, drawing 20 influential leaders from across the corporate, civic, and education sectors. Professor Tuan was elected as the vice-chair of APRU in November 2021.
“I am humbled and honoured to serve as the Chair of APRU, picking up the baton from Chancellor Block of the University of California, Los Angeles, who has been a remarkable leader. International collaboration has become all the more important in the post-pandemic world. With geopolitical tensions threatening to bring about a divided world, misinformation harming judgement, and the devastating impact of climate change, universities must do more by initiating and catalysing collective efforts to amplify and actualise the positive impact of education and research. I am committed to working with APRU’s membership of leading universities across the Pacific Rim to address the global challenges of our times for a better and more sustainable and equitable future,” remarked Professor Tuan.
Some of APRU’s members include The Universities of Sydney and Melbourne in Australia, University of Auckland in New Zealand, Keio University, Nagoya University and Waseda University in Japan, National University of Singapore in Singapore, Seoul National University in South Korea, University of Southern California, University of California, San Diego and University of California, Los Angeles in the US, University of British Columbia in Canada, The University of Hong Kong and The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in Hong Kong, Peking University and Tsinghua University on the mainland, to name but a few. For more information about APRU, please visit https://www.apru.org.