World-class research-oriented universities convene for the 2017 U21 Senior Leaders’ Meeting
KU Holds a Symposium on “Korean Higher Education Context and International Partnership Models”
Korea University hosted the 2017 U21 Senior Leaders’ Meeting (hereafter 2017 U21 SLM) from October 18 to 20, in the LG-POSCO Hall at Korea University.
Universitas 21 (U21) is an international network of research-oriented universities, which aims to foster collaborative research, share, and exchange information among its members. Founded in 1997, the network is made up of 25 universities from 17 countries from around the world. KU, which joined in November of 2004, is the only university in Korea (17th member university) to join the U21. Currently, the University of Edinburgh (U.K.), Birmingham University (U.K.), Lund University (Sweden), the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands), and British Columbia University (Canada) are among the many prestigious universities that make up the network.
Approximately 30 delegates, including senior leaders and directors from each participating university, convened for the event. Discussions and presentations were held on three major issues: expanding educational innovation, researcher engagement, and student experience.
Five years ago, the U21 organized three clusters, educational innovation, researcher engagement, and student experience, in which senior leaders, together with the steering committee, are currently operating.
Under the theme, “U21 Strategy Update and the Development of U21 Clusters’ Programmatic Plans”, the meeting was carried out by reviewing the activities of each cluster over the previous five years, followed by a discussion on future directions for each cluster.
As soon as the meeting began, senior leaders made presentations for each cluster. They demonstrated what the clusters have achieved and what goals they have and directions they want to pursue for the next five years. Based on the past five years, they further described what activities should be terminated, continued, and introduced in each cluster.
After the presentations, delegates spent time discussing the topics of each cluster with three senior leaders and other participants. They were divided into three groups and carried out an active discussion for 15 minutes per cluster, which was followed by a summary presentation of what was discussed in each cluster.
Thursday’s third session, which was allocated for a symposium entitled "Korean Higher Education Context and International Partnership Models," was considered to be the main event for this year’s U21 SLM. Professor Jung Chul Shin emphasized that “Post Mass High Education” should be realized beyond “Mass High Education” for the global development of universities. He continued to explain the difference between the Korean education system and education systems in other countries based on various data. He concluded his lecture by suggesting several points that should be considered when it comes to being a world class university, alongside making suggestions for improvements in Korean education.
Three presentations with regard to “International Partnership Models” took place afterwards. The presentations were delivered by Leen Kim (KU-MAGIC President) followed by Kyung Ho Lee (Vice President for Information Technology and Services) and Seok Chung (Director for KU π-Ville). After the presentations, the U21 members spent time sharing their ideas on the topic during a Q&A session.
After all the presentations were over, a U21 member from Australia shared his thoughts. He expressed his gratitude by stating that he learned a lot about the Korean educational system and culture. After Dr. Yasmine Inauen’s presentation on “Partnership with Korea,” the second day of the U21 Senior Leaders’ Meeting concluded.
The last session, which was held on Friday, 20th, ended with a discussion on the U21’s future direction under the theme “Continuation of Senior Leaders' Business Meeting and Reflections.”
The meeting began and the winners of the U21 Awards were selected. The U21 Awards are awarded to professors in recognition of their contributions in the following areas: international policy development, constructing on-going relationships with the U21, research on global issues, and international education opportunities. A total of six candidates were nominated and voted on by the senior leaders of each country.
Discussion on support and evaluation of the U21 member universities were held. Senior leaders from UCD, UNSD, and the University of Edinburgh took time looking back on the achievements of each university and presented the developmental plans that they have discovered. They discussed the need to improve U21’s accessibility and mobile fluidity. Emphasizing the importance of reliability and trust as an international organization, the U21 emphasized that, in the age of globalization, exchange and communication across networks have a large collective value. This was followed by participants’ discussion on this issue.
Discussion on the “U21@21” was also held. A presentation on the U21’s plans for next year was followed by an announcement regarding anniversary fund raising event. The U21’s plans for establishing a new brand and opening a website that will take place in May next year and for major collaborative projects were also explained.
Finally, in the “Senior Leaders’ Surgery Session”, time was spent on discussing and suggesting solutions to the challenges that the U21 faced. Participants got up and walked around in order to freely share their thoughts on plausible solutions and resources. The meeting ended after exchanging ideas and questioning relevant issues.
During the three-day meeting, about 30 delegates, including senior leaders and directors from 25 universities from 17 countries, gathered at KU to discuss broadening the scope of educational innovation, researcher engagement, and student experience. KU, being the only member university from Korea, worked together with prestigious universities for research and information exchange in the U21 annual network meeting.