October 10 four of the world’s major research university groups released a joint statement in China. The statement outlined the characteristics of contemporary research universities as the next step towards establishing an international network of the four associations. The presidents released the statement at a meeting in Hefei outside Shanghai on Thursday.
Earlier this year it was reported that the Association of American Universities, League of European Research Universities, the China 9 grouping of leading Chinese universities and the Australian Group of Eight research intensive universities plan to join forces to overcome the challenges facing research institutions around the globe.
The aim of the statement is to identify the key characteristics that make research universities effective while also promoting a policy environment “which protects, nurtures and cultivates the values, standards and behaviors underlying these characteristics so as to facilitate their development if they do not already exist”
Professor Jianguo Hou, president of the University of Science and Technology of China and C9 convenor for 2013 indicates that this statement articulates the key characteristics of research universities that enable them to fulfill their research and education missions, outlining the shared values that form the basis for effective cross-national institutional collaboration.
Professor Hunter Rawlings, president of the Association of American Universities, maintains that the statement identifies both institutional responsibilities and the need for government policies that support the values and develop the strengths of research universities so that they could serve their nations well.
Professor Bernd Huber, chair of the League of European Research Universities, adds that expanded future collaborations among our students, scholars and researchers will be explored. He also indicates that perhaps a global council of research universities will be formed in order to address global research issues.
The four associations represent the leading research universities in their respective regions. They have agreed to work together to advance the 10 characteristics of research universities outlined in their statement while also considering collaborations with other groups. The presidents said they would ask comparable associations of research universities to also commit to the characteristics outlined in the Hefei statement and sign onto them.
“We see this statement as the beginning of an important process of deepening community understanding of what research universities are, can be and can do, and of their unique role in meeting global challenges,” said Professor Fred Hilmer, chair of the Australian Group of Eight, or Go8, research universities.
THE SOURCE: UniversityWorldNews
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