NJU attends the 12th Asian Universities Forum

On July 18-19, 2023, the 12th Asian Universities Forum was held at Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City. The forum was attended by representatives from 21 universities in 13 countries, including China, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos. Wang Zhenlin, Vice President of NJU, and Hu Jie, Deputy Director of NJU Office of International Cooperation and Exchanges, participated in the event. Vice President Wang delivered a keynote speech entitled “Artificial Intelligence and Higher Education: Embrace the Uncertainties.”

Wang Zhenlin, as the first AUF member university representative to speak, emphasized the transformative role of artificial intelligence (AI) in Asian universities. He stressed the need for a critical examination of universities’ place in a world where machines can generate knowledge, offer personalized assistance, and simulate human interactions. Consequently, universities must pay more attention and formulate strategic responses to these advancements.

On the one hand, AI equips universities with powerful tools to revolutionize research and innovation, presenting an opportunity to transform the very essence of teaching and learning within the institutions. On the other hand, it is essential to remain vigilant about the ethical implications and societal impact of these changes. The shift in the educational paradigm also brings forth new challenges concerning the content and structure of university education.

Wang Zhenlin further highlighted NJU’s School of Artificial Intelligence as a hub for innovation, specialized knowledge, and talent development. He shared the experiences of how AI is reshaping scientific research at NJU. Notably, NJU has undertaken a research program titled the “Ethical Research on Digital Technology,” and established the Center for Contemporary Philosophy of AI and the Future of Human Beings. It also established the School of AI and Technology on the new Suzhou Campus.

He urged Asian universities to embrace this challenge and harness the transformative potential of AI to redefine the purpose of higher education. Through collaboration, interdisciplinary exchanges, and a steadfast commitment to ethical values, universities can guide society towards progress, enlightenment, and the realization of human potential.

During the Forum, representatives also engaged in comprehensive discussions on various topics related to AI development, such as the interaction between universities, governments, and enterprises in this field, and the advancement of adaptive personalized learning models in higher education. They reached a consensus on fostering stronger partnerships and cooperation to effectively address the evolving demands and opportunities that AI brings.

The Asian Universities Forum was initially launched by Seoul National University in 2011 with the aim of providing a platform for exchanging perspectives on sustainable development in global higher education. Since its inception, NJU has actively participated in nine previous forums. Furthermore, in 2022, NJU proudly hosted the 11th Asian Universities Forum, which was themed “How Asian Universities Can Forge Closer Educational Partnerships in the Post-pandemic Era.”

Source: Office of International Cooperation and Exchanges

Editor: Guo Ankang