Recently, WLF University Presidents Forum, a precursor to the 3rd World Laureates Forum (WLF) was held at the Shanghai International Convention Center. Presidents of 11 well-known universities at home and abroad participated in the forum online to discuss scientific and technological development, and the mission of universities.
(Source: World Laureates Association)
The 3rd World Laureates Forum, themed “science and technology for the common destiny of mankind”, shouldering the mission of promoting basic science, advocating international cooperation, and supporting youth development, continues to pay attention to scientific and technological challenges facing mankind at present and in the future. As a precursor to the WLF, the WLF University Presidents Forum invited presidents from 11 universities at home and abroad to discuss scientific and technological development and the mission of universities. Professor Louise Richardson, Chancellor of Oxford University, and Professor Xu Xuemin, Vice President of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, co-chaired this forum and delivered keynote speeches. Gong Qihuang, Executive Vice President of Peking University, Xue Qikun, Vice President of Tsinghua University, Xu Ningsheng, President of Fudan University, Wang Lizhong, Vice President of Zhejiang University, Asher Cohen, President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Alain Fuchs, President of PSL Research University, Genta Kawahara, Vice President of Osaka University, Duncan Maskell, Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, and Stefan Östlund, Vice President of KTH Royal Institute of Technology, were invited to attend the forum.
The 11 presidents from the world’s top universities shared initiatives and successful experiences of their universities in fulfilling the three scientific missions of promoting basic science, advocating international cooperation and supporting youth development, and discussed the important role that universities play in the process of promoting human civilization and scientific development.
In his speech, Professor Asher Cohen, President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, emphasized the importance of basic science and that universities should lead its development. He also pointed out that many well-known universities, including Hebrew University of Jerusalem, are also encouraging the research and development of applied science. Currently, the development of industrial science and technology and basic science are mutually reinforcing and complementary, and the development of applied science can effectively facilitate the progress of basic science. Hebrew University of Jerusalem is building a large industrial park near the main campus to develop the scientific and technological industry, aiming to promote the two-way interaction between the industry and scientists, which will also contribute to the rapid development of basic science.
The raging COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to many types of global cooperation, including cooperation between universities. However, it has also provided an opportunity for scientific research institutions and universities worldwide to strengthen cooperation. Hebrew University of Jerusalem has conducted extensive cooperation with many universities present at the forum. In particular, it has reached cooperation with Shanghai Jiao Tong University in many aspects since 2013, including student exchange programs, summer programs, seed fund programs and joint degree programs. This summer, the two universities launched a new joint seed fund program to promote extensive cooperation in the fight against COVID-19. Professor Cohen firmly believes that the pandemic is only a short-term challenge, and that Hebrew University of Jerusalem has always stuck to the long-term goal of international cooperation. All universities need to find a certain form of cooperation as soon as possible to restore international university cooperation.
About Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a leading academic and scientific research institution in Israel, is one of the world’s top 100 universities. It has 25,000 students from 90+ countries. It was established by famous scholars such as Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud in 1918. So far, its professors and alumni have won 8 Nobel Prizes, 1 Fields Medal and 1 Abel Prize.