The inaugural Asia-Europe Colloquy on Universities of Tomorrow from 16th-19th February, 2005 in Luxembourg gathered 92 high-level representatives of universities, international education networks and institutes of higher learning from 28 ASEM countries.
They examined the current dynamics of the relationship between the university, society, markets and the economy, and took into account trends in the international system and technological advancements and their possible implications on the roles and functions of universities in the 21st century.
The Asia-Europe Colloquy Series, an initiative developed within the framework of the ASEM Education Hub, aims to provide a forum for universities and institutions of higher education in ASEM countries to discuss areas of mutual concern and common challenges in the field of education, as well as possible strategies toward closer academic co-operation. The Asia-Europe Colloquy on Universities of Tomorrow was coorganised by the Asia-Europe Foundation and the University of Luxembourg with support from the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Prominent academics shared their views and perspectives on the challenges facing universities in Asia and Europe, drawing a fresh outlook on possible scenarios on the future of universities, academia and students in Asia and Europe. Topics discussed during the conference included perspectives on managing the impact of globalisation and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) on higher education institutions in Asia and Europe; enhancing international education activities and identifying obstacles to closer inter-university co-operation within and between the two regions; prospects for e-Learning; strengthening relationships between the business and education sectors; the concept of university autonomy and the role of the state in higher education in the 21st century, and; the need for closer Asia-Europe interuniversity co-operation and its strong potential in the field of disaster response and co-ordination. Professor Robin Mason, hailing from the Open University, United Kingdom presented a list of challenges for universities and institutions of higher learning.
Dr Mukesh Aghi (CEO of Universitas 21 Global) presented strategies of an online university competing in the global marketplace. Renowned author Dr Sohaillnayatullah gave a stimulating presentation on different scenarios of the future of universities, concluding, `The University is not dead but transforming. The key is to find the levers of influence… then you can be part of creating in the direction you wish instead of where others want it to go.”
Dr Leo Goedegebuure, Executive Director of the Institute of Governance, University of Twente presented a paper that touched on the challenges of university administrators. Professor Emeritus Dr Jorg Negendank of the University of Potsdam and the GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam in Germany highlighted the potential for Asia-Europe inter-university cooperation in establishing an early warning system for natural disasters.