Tsinghua University News

Third Annual AUA Executives’ Meeting Hosted in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Third Annual AUA Executives’ Meeting Hosted in Colombo, Sri Lanka


The third Asian Universities Alliance Executives’ Meeting (AUAEM) was hosted by the University of Colombo, the AUA Executive Presidency 2019-2020, in Colombo, Sri Lanka from November 21st to 22nd, 2019.

The annual event was attended by over 40 delegates from AUA member institutions. The Tsinghua delegation was headed by Prof. Yuan Si, Vice Chairperson of the University Council, who also delivered the welcoming remarks during the opening ceremony. On behalf of AUA President Prof. Qiu Yong, Prof. Yuan extended his congratulations to the University of Colombo (UoC) as the university celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. He also offered his gratitude to UoC’s Vice Chancellor Prof. Chandrika Wijeranatne, for her contribution and effort towards promoting the AUA during her tenure thus far. Prof. Yuan also gave a special mention to former Vice Chancellor Prof. Lakshman Dissanayake for his continuous role in furthering the mission and impact of the AUA. Prof. Yuan highlighted the AUA’s achievements of the current year, including the success of the AUA Scholars Award and Staff Exchange Programs which reached full capacity in their second year of operation, and commended the efforts of members in successfully hosting and organizing numerous activities in the realm of student mobility and research collaboration.  

The two-day event comprised five sessions. The opening session consisted of a review of all AUA activities and programs which had taken place so far, including a report by Tsinghua University about the AUA Online Education Conference hosted by the Online Education Office in July this year. Dr. Zhong Zhou, Associate Prof. of Tsinghua’s Institute of Education and Chief Researcher of the Asian Higher Education Outlook (AHEO) report, highlighted the progress of AHEO 2020 “The University for Sustainability”, and called for suggestions on the theme of next year’s report. AHEO 2020 follows the success of the 2019 report “Education Innovation”, which was published by Routledge.

The AUA Secretary and Associate Dean of the Office of International Cooperation and Exchange Dr. Zhang Chuanjie led sessions two and three of the AUAEM, which saw AUA Executives and senior representatives discussing the proposed revisions to the AUA framework. The new AUA framework will coincide with the second term of its Presidency held by Tsinghua University from 2020 to 2023.

The fourth session saw AUA representatives present proposals for AUA activities to take place in 2020-2021, including student mobility programs and academic conferences. In the final wrap-up session, it was announced that the next AUA summit would take place on 17th-18th April 2020 in Shanghai.

On the evening of 22nd November, the opening ceremony of the University of Colombo’s Annual Research Symposium took place and was attended by a large number of AUA delegates. The ceremony featured a panel discussion on the topic “Research and Innovation: Asian Universities’ Experience” and included Prof. Yuan as a panelist. Prof. Yuan described in detail the culture and philosophy of research at Tsinghua University, providing the audience with insight into some of Tsinghua’s major achievements in the areas of research and innovation.

(from the AUA Secretariat)