The United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) is proud to be one of fifteen founding members of the Asian Universities Alliance (AUA),launched at Tsinghua University, Beijing, on 29 April 2017, the Chinese Year of the Fire Rooster, coinciding with Tsinghua’s 106th Anniversary.
China’s Vice Premier Liu Yandong, who inaugurated the event, said the AUA will offer Asian wisdom to help resolve regional and global problems, and will gather outstanding talent with an international perspective to serve regional development.
Tsinghua University President Qiu Yong, the first member-elected AUA president, said that if Asian universities collaborate more they will improve their global reputation and impact through cooperation and exchanges with international counterparts.
Members pledged to address regional and global challenges related to higher education and economic, scientific and technological development, by strengthening collaboration among member institutions.
Economic globalization has led to the need for greater collaboration in higher education, and the AUA aims to build closer ties between Asian universities to play a more significant role in world higher education.
AUA members agree to support each member to achieve institutional goals, to become more competitive in Asia and the world, and to become more responsive to regional communities. It plans to do this by promoting mobility of AUA students, scholars and staff, by strengthening collaboration in research and innovation, and by establishing high-level dialogues and forums to discuss higher education strategies and policies. To encourage success, it will compile and publish annual reports on Asian higher education.
Members have all contributed to the shared expectations of how to measure the alliance’s success in three categories, impact, quality and connectivity. Impact includes branding, policy and social impact; quality includes accreditations - joint and international, quality assurance guidelines, rise in university rankings and supporting fellow members to achieve their institutional goals; connectivity includes academic mobility among AUA members, and with the world, joint educational and research projects and activities, and co-authorship.
Professor Mohamed Albaili, Vice Chancellor of UAEU represented UAEU in China and commented that: “as the nation’s first university we are honored to be part of this new pan-Asian alliance of fifteen flagship institutions, which will harness and develop the potential for research and productivity in a region poised for continued social, innovative and economic growth. The Asian Universities Alliance (AUA) represents countries from every region of the continent, and together we are stronger. The six themes of the first term are areas of great importance to the UAE, namely, economy, IT, public health, regional politics, resources and environment, and social development. We are honored to be one of the founding members of this important collaboration, and anticipate an unprecedented exchange of ideas and success through the inter-placement of our mutual faculty, students, and research projects”.
The leaders of the AUA founding institutions promised to ensure that the agenda, approved by the AUA Board Meeting 2017, would be implemented, to turn today’s expectations into tomorrow’s outcomes.
The declaration was signed by:
United Arab Emirates University
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
King Saud University
National University of Singapore
Seoul National University
University of Colombo
University of Malaya
The University of Tokyo
University of Yangon
In addition to the establishment of the Alliance and the Presidents’ Forum, AUA Higher Education Exhibition, Youth Innovation Workshops and other activities enriched the first AUA Summit. Students from UAEU also participated in these events.