Kyushu University: Kyushu U joins Association of Pacific Rim Universities

In March 2021, Kyushu U became a member of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), a network of leading universities linking the Americas, Asia and Australasia. APRU was established in 1997 to strengthen cooperation in higher education for the Asia-Pacific Region and work together with thought leaders, researchers, and policy-makers to exchange ideas and collaborate on effective solutions to the challenges of the 21st century. Currently, APRU comprises 60 universities from 19 countries and regions and conducts various activities such as online study abroad programs, international symposiums on the theme of environment, disasters, aging society, and summer programs for students.

(List of APRU Member Universities:

On August 27, 2021, the “APRU 25th Annual Presidents’ Meeting” was held online. This year’s meeting, entitled “Universities Shaping The New Normal Together,”comprising four sessions and forums for member universities, drew a total of over 170 participants. The opening session began with presidents from new member universities, including President Tatsuro Ishibashi from Kyushu U, who gave their addresses and expressed their aspirations of APRU.

The President’s Forum, led by APRU Chair and UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, featured presidents from Monash University in Australia, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, POSTECH from Korea, Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, and the University of Southern California in the United States as panelists. The panelists shared their insights and concerns about teaching and research in the post-pandemic future for higher education and how universities are re-shaping their campus communities and tackling the challenges they face. The panelists also discussed the role of universities in the global community and how APRU can contribute as a network.

The Student Forum featured a panel of students from universities in the Asia-Pacific area and expressed their experiences and perspectives on how the pandemic has changed their life choices as well as their places and roles in society, the challenges they have faced, and their prospects for the future.

As a preliminary event, the “APRU Senior International Leaders’ Meeting” was held on August 25. Prof. Kono, Executive Vice President, and Prof. Konomi, Global Strategies Office from Kyushu U, participated. The meeting was divided into three thematic breakout rooms: “New Models for International Collaboration in Education and Research,” “Climate Change and UN Sustainable Development Goals: Key Challenges for International Engagement,” and “Preparation for and Prevention of the Next Pandemic.” Invited senior international leaders introduced their proposals for international collaborations and discussed their ideas to the participants to bring concepts to fruition.

The upcoming “APRU Senior International Leaders’ Week” will take place on 19-21 October. The series of events will examine key themes in higher education and share best practices from each university.

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