President Tanaka Participated APRU (Association of Pacific Rim Universities) Virtual Annual Presidents’ Meeting 2020

Mon, Aug 3, 2020

On June 23, 2020, APRU (Association of Pacific Rim Universities) held the Virtual Annual Presidents’ Meeting 2020, welcoming around 90 university presidents and officials from over 50 universities. While initially scheduled to be held in person at Auckland University (New Zealand), this year’s meeting was convened online instead.

University President Aiji Tanaka, who serves on the APRU steering committee, as well as Vice President for International Affairs Masahiko Gemma represented Waseda University as well as the other APRU Japanese member universities.

This year’s meeting, entitled “The Presidential Forum on COVID-19 Challenges and University Leadership”, was led by APRU Chair Gene D. Block, who is also the Chancellor of UCLA, and featured panelist presentations from the President of Peking University and Chancellor of UC Berkeley. The panelists discussed how to overcome the challenging circumstances the world is facing as well as how universities can operate post-coronavirus.

In the “What will the future be and what we can do?” session, Vice-chancellor and President of the Chinese University of Hong Kong Rocky S. Tuan gave an overview of the Virtual Student Exchange (VSE) Program, a new program currently in development at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. This program aims to create the opportunity for “academic coursework, cultural immersion, and engagement in new international social communities” during a time when international travel has been restricted. President Tanaka expressed interest in the program saying, “This is an absolutely wonderful idea that I would like Waseda to also collaborate on and participate in.”

APRU and participating universities are currently in the process of working out the details of the Virtual Student Exchange Program. More information will be announced once final decisions have been made. Waseda University remains committed to realizing the vision of a Waseda that shines on the global stage by promoting the internationalization of education and research activities through APRU and other international consortia.

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