Peking: In March 2020, the School of Public Health at Peking University initiated the project “Potential International Collaboration of Research and Education in Public Health Crisis Management” within the framework of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU). This project garnered positive responses from the Public Health Schools of the National University of Singapore, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Sydney, by which the four Schools formed the “APRU Public Health Crisis Management” project core group. Under the organization of the APRU Secretariat, the four universities held four core group meetings respectively on June 15, July 14, August 25, and October 13 to discuss the progress of the project.
From October 6 to 9, APRU held “International Senior Leaders Week” event online under the theme of “Acting Together in the New Abnormal”. The event invited higher education experts from the member universities in the Asia-Pacific region to discuss the challenges faced by research universities amid COVID-19 pandemic. During the APRU briefing session, member universities also respectively introduced how they deal with the crisis and what they will do in the future. Professor Zheng Zhijie, head of the Department of Global Health, School of Public Health at Peking University, made a speech and reported on the progress of the “Potential International Collaboration of Research and Education on Public Health Crisis Management” project.
In addition, the Department of Global Health and the APRU Global Health Program have also been carrying out related collaboration projects together. The “APRU Global Health Leadership Course”, led by the Global Health Research Center of Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, began at the end of September. The course is open to graduate students from seven universities, where a series of expert lectures were held regularly online every week. The course aims to cultivate students’ leadership in the field of global health governance and diplomacy through professional exchanges. So far, nearly 100 graduate students have registered for these courses. Online lesson resources are shared after class, and these courses have been progressing smoothly.
In the future, based on what the current project core group has built, the cooperation will be extended to more fields to form an APRU platform dedicated to public health crisis management, thus helping build a safer and healthier world.