The delegation of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) headed by Nikita Anisimov participated in the 22nd Presidents' Meeting of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU). In 2018 the annual event was hosted by National Taiwan University (Taipei).
More than 100 delegates and guests—representatives of the global academic community, business and social organizations—discussed the challenges and opportunities that the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the digital space bring to modern universities.
“We need to establish more scientific and educational collaborations with foreign colleagues, develop joint interdisciplinary research,” said the FEFU President Nikita Anisimov. “This will expand the scope of our capabilities, increase the number of joint academic programs, and strengthen the leading position as an educational center in the Asia-Pacific region.”
Nikita Anisimov also stressed the need to increase the motivation of faculty and researchers in establishing direct contacts with representatives of the universities of the Association and promoting meaningful international partnership:
“FEFU is aimed at the development of the personal potential of each employee. Opportunities of the Association should not be limited only to meetings of the leadership, otherwise it would not make sense. It is important, without interrupting the chain of cooperation and joint interests, to maintain cooperation through the potential of the entire university.”
Of great interest among representatives of APRU universities were research areas and master's programs of the new FEFU School of Data Economy, information about the establishment of the NTI Center for Neurotechnology, Virtual and Augmented Reality Technologies. The possibility to develop international collaboration within the consortium in these areas has become one of the most significant initiatives of the Presidents' Meeting. Agreements were reached on the launch of joint and networked educational programs of APRU member universities.
Also, the presidents of APRU universities have been invited to take part in the APEC International Conference on Education to be held in FEFU in September 2018 as part of the Eastern Economic Forum, which traditionally attracts increased interest from the academic community of the APR.
Victoria Panova, the FEFU Vice President for International Relations, spoke at the plenary session on the topic of digitalization of education and opportunities for university development. She noted that APRU has long been transformed into a group of like-minded universities, whose interaction is aimed at overcoming common global challenges and issues. She also suggested that one of the key challenges for the modern university is the challenge of uncertainty:
“The university exists for the student. If universities do not first of all think about the needs of future generations, what knowledge and competencies the graduates will need after graduating to become full-fledged participants in the new 'adult' life, their place in the educational space will be occupied by other institutions,” said Victoria Panova. “Universities should create, together with students, faculty and scientists, their future, the future within the framework of a new digital space. And the future can only be built together—this is the special role of APRU.”
FEFU is the only Russian member university of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities. APRU brings together 50 leading research universities of the Asia-Pacific region, including the best universities in Australia, China, Mexico, New Zealand, the West coast of the United States, South Korea, Japan, and other countries.