Nazarbayev University hosted Asian Universities Alliance Presidents forum 2020

Nazarbayev University hosted Asian Universities Alliance (AUA) Presidents Forum. The online event gathered 13 AUA university leaders, who exchanged their experiences of coping with the COVID-19 crisis. Forum participants talked about the challenges and opportunities their universities have faced during the pandemic, and shared the important lessons they have learnt as the result of the coronavirus crisis.

In his welcome remarks, Shigeo Katsu, Nazarbayev University President, greeted forum guests and noted the importance of taking advantage of the opportunities the COVID-19 chaos has presented educational systems around the globe with. 

“This is a call to action for all education leaders – it is high time for us to ensure our viability and to do so, we have to change, transform and redesign ourselves while remaining true to our core values. It becomes imperative for universities to find unconventional ways of doing things: to explore, test, analyze, be creative, and drive innovation”, said Shigeo Katsu, Nazarbayev University President.

In his turn, Qiu Yong, Tsinghua University President, emphasized the important role of innovations in education and research, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The commitment to innovation emboldens universities’ resilience as we persevere through the  VUCA world. During the outbreak of COVID-19, universities represented in this forum and around the world sprang into action to adjust teaching and learning models, understand the virus,  develop vaccines and treatment, and to mitigate social disruption. We implemented essential reforms and restructured the old systems that would normally have taken years in a matter of weeks and even days”, said Qiu Yong, Tsinghua University President.

AUA Presidents Forum participants unanimously agreed that despite any uncertainties and disruptions, universities’ should carry out the important mission of supporting their communities with the power of knowledge.  Balance between long standing traditions and innovative solutions is something that can help higher education institutions remain relevant and transcend the crisis, AUA forum speakers believe.

The AUA Presidents Forum was the second important event Nazarbayev University hosted this year while holding the role of AUA Executive Presidency. Earlier in November, NU organized the online Executives’ Meeting.