Chennai: Indian Institute of Technology Madras is co-hosting the First World Technology Universities Congress to be conducted outside the U.K. along with Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science from 28th to 30th November 2018.
Over 100 delegates from 30 organisations across the world converged in Chennai to discuss some of the world’s major issues and challenges and explore how universities working together can meet them and deliver solutions. Among the discussion topics are how World Technology Universities Network (WTUN), launched during the 2017 Congress, can harness its collective strength for innovation through global collaboration and contribute to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Addressing the meeting on Thursday (29th Nov 2018), WTUN Chair and University of Bradford Vice-Chancellor Prof. Brian Cantor said, “The speed at which WTUN is growing is testament to the value that comes from bringing global institutions together that share a common focus on technology education and research and the benefits this can bring to society. We hope to see WTUN continue to go from strength to strength.”
Further, Prof. Brian Cantor added, “By harnessing the combined strength, resource, expertise, experience and knowledge of a network of the world’s great technology universities, we will create a global alliance of the brightest and best, dedicated to making knowledge work for the benefit of society.”
Marking the occasion, WTUN welcomed 4 universities from Canada, India, Nigeria and Thailand to its ranks as they signed the MoU on 29th November 2018 to join the Network.
The new members will increase the WTUN’s ranks to 22 technology-focused institutions from Europe, Africa, Australia, Asia, North and South America. The new members are: University of Africa, Toru-Orua, Nigeria; King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Thailand; Sandip University, India; and York University, Canada.
Addressing the WTUN meet, Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said, “The universities in the consortium like WTUC network would be benefitted by students and staff mobility. The faculty members can collaborate and identify the thrust areas of research to address the issues related to society and industry.”
Launched at the University of Bradford in 2017, the WTUN is a network of global technology universities committed to undertaking challenge-led, cutting-edge research to benefit people and society, and providing education to enable the next generation to tackle global challenges.
Speaking later, Dr. Godwin Poi, Acting Director of University Advancement and Linkages, University of Africa, Toru-Orua (UAT), Nigeria, said, “The WTUN’s objectives are consistent with our own – to carry out needs driven research for innovation and development and tackle major challenges such as poverty, climate change and pollution. As a new institution, joining the WTUN enables us to partner with over 20 like-minded universities, drawing on their combined expertise to achieve our goals in a much shorter timeframe.”
Prof. Nallan Ramachandran, Vice-Chancellor of Sandip University, said: “We’re keen to develop partnerships with international universities, industries and research organizations as this can open up a myriad of opportunities for our students and staff. Membership of the WTUN will enable us to cement these partnerships and support our commitment to create the next generation of modern thinkers and global citizens who can set new trends and help enact positive change.”
WTUN members benefit from exchanges and collaborative research and facilitated links between institutions, industry, NGOs and SMEs. Its’ purpose is to
Ø promote better understanding of the role and the characteristics of the technology university,
Ø promote mobility and global citizenship opportunities,
Ø collaborate on research and knowledge transfer to address global challenges,
Ø develop position and policy statements,
Ø facilitate links between world technology universities, industry, NGOs and SMEs,
Ø share best practice and provide opportunities for capacity-building among members.
The Vision of WTUN is to create a global network of technology universities committed to undertaking cutting-edge, challenge-led research with direct benefits to people and society, and providing education for the next generation of global citizens who will have to respond to the world’s 21st century challenges. The main activities of the network are promoting collaborative research between member universities, facilitating links between world technology universities and industry, governments, public authorities, international organisations and NGOs besides encouraging and enhancing understanding of technology universities across the world.