O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) participated in the Times Higher Education (THE) Asia Universities Summit 2018 held in partnership with the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) from 5-7 February 2018 in Shenzhen, China. JGU was the only Indian university invited to speak at the summit. Professor (Dr) C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice Chancellor, JGU was among the 25 Vice Chancellors from across the world and only one from India who spoke at the summit.

The summit witnessed participation of over 400 delegates from Asia’s best universities, top researchers, higher education leaders, policymakers and industry chiefs.

This year’s summit was organised around the theme ‘Connecting Cities, Changing the World: Research Universities Building Asia’. The summit focused on themes including universities and cities – building alliances, defining regions; global research and education – trends, opportunities and challenges; university alliances – research output defining regional strength; national innovation – universities as catalysts and connectors; the power of partnership: what global research universities bring to the innovation economy; fourth industrial revolution and higher education, and bridging divides – research universities in the global knowledge economy.

JGU Vice Chancellor, Professor Raj Kumar, a Rhodes Scholar and an alumnus of the University of Oxford and Harvard Law School addressed a panel on ‘Breaking Boundaries  Research Universities in the 21st Century‘ that deliberated on the critical role of university research in the growth of the knowledge economy, and the importance of internationalisation strategies in eliminating regional and global barriers to collaboration.

In his discourse, Prof. Raj Kumar said, “Universities have a larger role to play in the development of societies. They need to assume a leadership role that transcends national boundaries and are able to appreciate diversity and pluralism in all its forms and manifestations. Universities need to recognise that they have a special role in society.”

He added, “While societies become more myopic, it’s important for academics to continue to share perspectives to influence public opinion.” He also said that universities should be the vanguards in the pursuit of truth, and should promote truth via evidence – this is a key role for science and the social sciences to play in the 21st century.

The summit is also an important platform to understand the key challenges that Indian universities face as they prepare to work towards becoming world class universities.


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