SENIOR INTERNATIONAL LEADERS
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ANNUAL PRESIDENTS' MEETING 2023
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PACIFIC RIM CHALLENGES
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Tag #APRU Partnerships
Global Conference on Sustainable Development 2023
October 4, 2023 - October 5, 2023
Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum 2023
August 25, 2023 - August 27, 2023
The Captain’s Table 2023
August 8, 2023 - November 23, 2023
InvestHK Webinar: ESG in Hong Kong – Market Updates and Latest Opportunities for Global Talent
October 6, 2022 - October 6, 2022
[Call for Applications] Techstyle For Social Good 2022 International Student Competition
APRU is honored to be one of the official nominators of the Techstyle for Social Good Competition.
July 15, 2022 - August 31, 2022
APRU Supports Frontiers Planet Prize 2024: Call for Submission
APRU is pleased to support the 2nd edition of the Frontiers Planet Prize, an international competition that aims to address the planetary crisis by mobilizing scientists across the world and their breakthrough research, with the greatest potential to stabilize the planet’s ecosystem. Launched by the Frontiers Research Foundation, the Frontiers Planet Prize recognizes and awards a National Champion for each participating country, and three prizes of CHF 1 million each to 3 International Champions, selected by an independent Jury of 100. The prize focuses on addressing any one of the 9 planetary boundaries, as detailed by Professor Johan Rockström, director at the Potsdam Institute of Climate Change, and Owen Gaffney in their book and documentary, Breaking Boundaries. The prize will recognize the best research published in established scientific journals within the past two years (date of acceptance: November 1, 2021 – October 31, 2023), with robust peer review and transparent publication procedures, that fulfil the criteria of the prize. The CHF 1 million prize will be awarded to each International Champion to advance the breakthrough research of the winning research group at an award ceremony taking place in June 2024 in Montreux Switzerland. To participate, simply register by September 30, 2023, after which you will receive further information with the timeline and next steps for you to put forward the most promising research articles from your institution. Scientists at any stage of their career are encouraged to apply, as long as they confirm to best represent the research group who conducted the study. The deadline to submit your nominations is November 1, 2023. The scientific community has the knowledge and expertise to help navigate and secure humanity’s future. Our scientists will be playing a key role in this, sharing their knowledge and ideas in the pursuit of real-world solutions to ensure the Earth thrives. For any inquiries, please contact Gilbert De Gregorio, Head of Partnerships at the Foundation (
). You are also invited to join an upcoming webinar to learn more about the prize, its mission and mechanics.
September 8, 2023
Invitation to APRU Members to Join CUPP 2024-2025 Tender
As a strategic partner of the Cyberport Academy of Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited, APRU is delighted to invite our member universities to join the tendering of the Cyberport University Partnership Programme (CUPP), for organizing in-person entrepreneurship boot camps in 2024 and 2025 (i.e. total two boot camps) on your campus. CUPP is a life-changing training plus competition programme to unleash full potential of 18-30 years old Hong Kong university teams to gain global market insights. Themed with FinTech, CUPP has nurtured over 400 talents in 70+ teams since 2015. Cyberport Academy is now looking for a university as CUPP entrepreneurship boot camp hosting partner to provide mentorship, entrepreneurship training, company visits and cultural explore activities from international professionals. Please find the Tender Schedule as follows: Tender Schedule Due Date Time (Hong Kong Time) Interested universities to reply to Tender Notice by email 18 September 2023 12:00 noon Online Briefing to Tenderers 20 September 2023 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Tenderers’ Query Cut-off time (if tenderers have questions, they could send questions by email before the due date, and Cyberport will send email reply to the questions) 26 September 2023 12:00 noon Tender Closing (Tenderers shall submit both technical proposal and fee proposal via Cyberport e-procurement system by the due date) 24 October 2023 12:00 noon Tenderers Presentation (Tenderers are invited to present their technical proposals to tender assessors via online meeting, and to answer assessors’ questions) 26-27 October 2023 – Contract Award Late December 2023 – Please find more details of the tender here. About Cyberport As the home of APRU’s International University Centre, Cyberport is the digital tech flagship of Hong Kong with an innovation digital community of over 1,650 start-ups and technology companies. With a vision to be the hub for digital technology for Hong Kong, Cyberport has worked closely with APRU since 2017 to launch the APRU Esports MetaGame Conference and partner on the Esports Fellowship Program.
August 20, 2023
APAIE 2023: APRU universities showcase successful student programs for social impact
Universities of APRU showcased the APRU Virtual Student Exchange Program, the APRU SDG Education for Global Citizenship Program, and the APRU UN Climate Change Simulation at the APAIE (Asia-Pacific Association for International Education) 2023 Conference. Held March 13-17, 2023 in Bangkok, Thailand, and with more than 2,700 delegates from 61 countries/ regions, the APAIE 2023 Conference was an effective platform for supporting member universities and highlighting APRU’s collective impact. The APAIE 2023’s APRU panel, which was chaired by APRU Director, Network Management, Jackie Wong, explored collaborative ideas and frameworks to develop partnerships that support international programs that are inclusive, integrative, and innovative. The panel drew on the experiences of universities including APRU members in working together to provide unique student experiences in virtual environments. Panelists included Ms Shally Fan, Director of Academic Links, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Dr Ram Piyaket, Director, Office of International Affairs and Global Network, Chulalongkorn University, and Dr Mellissa Withers, Associate Professor, University of Southern California. Chulalongkorn University, a supporting university of APAIE 2023, also hosted the panel titled, “Co-designing SDG programs for Sustainable Futures—Challenges and Opportunities” chaired by Michiko Yoshida, Director of Chulalongkorn University’s Global Networking and Engagement Division and featuring panellists: Ruhimat Soerakoesoemah, UN ESCAP’s Head of the Subregional Office for South-East Asia; Ronnakorn Vaiyavuth, Lecturer at Chulalongkorn University’s School of Integrated Innovation; and Paola Ardiles Gamboa, Senior Lecturer at Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Health Sciences. Joined by experienced multidisciplinary scholars and practitioners, the panel discussed the value of co-designing the APRU SDG Education for Global Citizenship program. Yoshida said, “Shaping sustainable futures requires co-creating knowledge, and as educators, we have an opportunity to ensure borderless and innovative education in the Asia-Pacific through practices that are equitable, inclusive, and reflect the diversity of our region.” The collaborative implementation of the APRU SDG Education for Global Citizenship program is a prime example of how partners can reach our sustainable and educational aspirations. “We are thankful for this exchange on virtual programs that can shape our collective impact as a network,” said Wong. “It was a great opportunity for us to highlight the value of international collaboration and multi-sectoral engagement among universities and with the international community in addressing global challenges,” she added. The Asia-Pacific Association for International Education (APAIE) is committed to promoting the value of international education within the Asia-Pacific region, enabling greater cooperation between institutions, and enriching and supporting international programs, activities, and exchanges. More than 2,700 delegates from 61 countries/ regions attended the APAIE 2023, translating into ample opportunities to expand their networks. APRU looks forward to the APAIE 2024 in Perth in March next year.
March 17, 2023
APRU on Bloomberg: The next stage: APRU-Google-UN ESCAP AI for Social Good Project now working directly with government agencies
Original post on Bloomberg. The AI for Social Good Project – Strengthening AI Capabilities and Governing Frameworks in Asia and the Pacific has recently passed the milestone of onboarding two key government agencies. The project is the latest collaboration between the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), UN ESCAP, and Google.org, which commenced in mid-2021 and will run until the end of 2023. Over the past year, meetings and workshops have been held with government agencies from Thailand and Bangladesh. The confirmed government partners to join the project are the Office of National Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Policy Council (NXPO) of Thailand, in close collaboration with the National Electronics and Computer Center (NECTEC) and the National Science and Technology Development Agency and the Institute of Field Robotics (FIBO) under the King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, and the Bangladesh Aspire to Innovate (a2i) Programme. NXPO and a2i are affiliated with Thailand’s Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation and the ICT Division and Cabinet Division of Bangladesh, respectively. The AI for Social Good multi-stakeholder network was initially set up in 2019, among the first milestones being the creation of a platform that convenes leading experts from the region to explore opportunities and challenges for maximizing AI benefits for society. After these activities engaged a wide range of policy experts and practitioners, the three project partners decided that it was the right time to move on to the next stage of working directly with government agencies to apply the insights generated through the collaborative project to date. The aim has been to work with government partners in Asia and the Pacific to grow sound and transparent AI ecosystems that support sustainable development goals. “Recognizing that AI offers transformative solutions for achieving the SDGs, we are pleased to participate in the AI for Social Good Project to share experience and research insights to develop enabling AI policy frameworks,” said Dr. Kanchana Wanichkorn, NXPO’s Vice President. NXPO identified ‘Poverty Alleviation’ and ‘Medicine and Healthcare’ as two areas of need that are now tackled by two academic project teams. To alleviate poverty and inequality, the Thai government has developed data-driven decision-making systems to improve public access to state welfare programs. The project, under the academic leadership of the Australia National University (ANU) team, will focus on enhancing the human-centered design and public accessibility of these technologies to support successful implementation. In addition, research on AI for medical applications has increased exponentially in the past few years in Thailand. However, the progress in developing and applying AI from research to market in these areas is relatively slow. To support and accelerate the use of AI in medicine and healthcare, the expert team from the National University of Singapore (NUS) will focus their research and analysis on identifying crucial bottlenecks and gaps that impede the beneficial use of AI. While the two Bangladesh projects both focus on the need for ‘Continuing and Personalized Pregnancy Monitoring’ (to improve health outcomes during and after birth), they are exploring different aspects of this key focus area for the government of Bangladesh. Under the leadership of the team from NUS & KAIST, the first project investigates challenges in perceptions and reception of incorporating AI into continuous pregnancy monitoring systems. Under the leadership of the University of Hawai‘i Team, the second project circles in on technological issues of Bangladesh’s healthcare sector and their impacts on AI-based data analysis and decision-making processes. The academic integrity of both sets of country projects is overseen by Toni Erskine, Professor of International Politics and Director of the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at ANU. Erskine guides both the conception of the research questions in collaboration with the government partners and the delivery of the project outputs by providing support for the four academic teams in developing their projects. “It has been incredibly rewarding to lead a project that brings together such an impressive, multidisciplinary group of researchers with government agencies that are so passionate about finding solutions to crucial problems – ranging from poverty alleviation to maternal health care,” Erskine said. She added that “the process of working closely with government agencies from the outset to discuss these problems and co-design research questions makes this project unique and genuinely collaborative. I’m very proud to be part of it.” The following steps for the ‘AI for Social Good Project: Strengthening AI Capabilities and Governing Frameworks in Asia and the Pacific’ project will be to review and discuss the first complete drafts of the research papers by the four academic teams at a workshop in January. The partner government agencies from Bangladesh and Thailand will attend the workshop. Workshops with both government teams will also follow the presentation of final papers in the second quarter of 2023. To mark the project’s conclusion, a summit with all participants in the project will be held in mid-2023 at the Australia National University. More APRU AI for Social Good
November 28, 2022
APRU Presents Solutions for New Core Competency- Building at 18th APEC Future Education Forum
The recent annual APEC Future Education Forum (AFEF) served as an opportunity for APRU to share its future-oriented educational experiences in the APEC region. At the hybrid event held in Seoul November 10-11 as part of APEC 2022, APRU Senior Director (Policy and Research Programs) Christina Schönleber presented several APRU case studies related to skills and competencies for the future world of work. Schönleber described how APRU started supporting students and scholars from the start of the pandemic, when students were abruptly confined to their dorms spending much of the day in a virtual world. APRU developed several courses and activities tailored for that unprecedented situation, such as the Teaching in Virtual Environment webinar series; the Quarantunes – Student Competition (which encouraged to jointly create and enter music pieces with the aim to increase wellbeing and combat increasing mental disorders); and the Esports Fellowship. “Fairly quickly we realised that skills and competencies which were very important in a world where we operate mainly face to face had been superceded by new and different aptitudes,” Schönleber said. “Being able to cope quickly and continuously to an increasingly uncertain world required new core competencies, as suddenly the most important skills for students and academics were resilience and the ability to adapt to challenges and overcome these and importantly technical understanding,” she added. Schönleber went on to illustrate that challenges related to Climate Change and the transition to a green economy have also become a focus for students, which APRU responded to by creating the APRU Student Global Climate Change Simulation; APRU Global Sustainability: Waste & The City; the SDG 4 Global Citizens Program; and the Carbon Neutral Society – Action Month. Other panelists and speakers addressed a wide range of questions, including about the competencies that future generations should have and about how human factors, such perception, emotion, and passion, affect the changing educational situation. The 18th APEC Future Education Forum was organized by the Daegu, South Korea-based Institute APEC Collaborative Education (IACE). APRU has close links to IACE Chairman Professor Dong Sung Park, who serves as the Lead Sheepherder of the Human Resource Development Working Group (HRDWG). APRU has been a HRDWG guest member for several years and has recently renewed its guest member status with the HRDWG to the end of 2023. APEC 2022 concluded on November 19 with the APEC University Leaders Forum hosted by Chulalongkorn University in partnership with APRU on the margins of the APEC CEO Summit. The APEC CEO Summit is the APEC premier meeting of business and government leaders in the Asia Pacific.
November 29, 2022
Cyberport University Partnership Programme 2021-2022
By Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited (HKCMCL) Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited (HKCMCL) is sharing this call for proposals with international universities (outside of Hong Kong SAR) to host the Online Entrepreneurship Boot Camp as part of the Cyberport University Partnership Programme (CUPP) focused on FinTech. CUPP Entrepreneurship Boot Camp: Hosting University Expectations and Responsibilities Universities will design an online interactive entrepreneurship bootcamp programme for up to 25 Hong Kong student teams. Universities will develop and conduct a nurturing programme, which comprises of vibrant and interactive learning environment, with a combination of lectures, simulations and group discussions. The nurturing programme will inspire CUPP team’s thinking, drive innovation and to take their projects to new levels of development. Responsibilities include: Design and conduct assessment e.g. written test to help select the suitable 25 teams among the nominated teams to join CUPP. Invite and confirm a training team, which includes professional trainers, facilitators and mentors, and industry speakers (with expertise in FinTech is preferred) in areas important to CUPP teams for successful project development such as but not limited to strategies, market and trends, start-up finance and investment, governance, leadership and change, etc. The training team will share their experience, professional knowledge, significant entrepreneurial mind-set that empowering the budding entrepreneurs. Recommendation on pre-camp and post-camp activities held in Hong Kong to get the CUPP teams ready for the Entrepreneurship Boot Camp and the Hong Kong Demo Day. Bootcamp format and resources: The Online Entrepreneurship Boot Camp must contain 30 hours or more training hours, including at least 20 hours of seminars, 5 hours of FinTech guest speakers, 5 hours group activities and 2 hours of professional advice consultation per team. The consultants for professional advice should have knowledge in FinTech or experience in startup. The consultants should provide advice on project development for the teams to get ready for Demo Day. Provide study materials including reading material before the Online Entrepreneurship Boot Camp and homework to the CUPP teams prior/during the Online Entrepreneurship Boot Camp. Provide one (1) trainer representative or delegate from the Service Provider organisation to be the judging member of the Hong Kong Demo Day. Provide one (1) representative or delegate from the Service Provider organisation to attend the Graduation Ceremony and award the Certificate of Completion to CUPPers on stage. Provide one (1) additional training-related service and explain in detail including number of beneficiaries, examples of additional training-related service could be networking event, physical activities in Hong Kong or overseas after Boot Camp, company visit etc. More information about the programme here. The Schedule of the tendering Tender Briefing Session via Zoom Session 1 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. on 7 May 2021 (Hong Kong Time)Session 2 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on 7 May 2021 (Hong Kong Time) Deadline for Questions raised by Tenderers 5:00 p.m. on 19 May 2021 (Hong Kong Time) Publication of answers to questions by Tenderers 5:00 p.m. on 21 May 2021 (Hong Kong Time) Date for lodging of tender 12:00 nn on 22 June 2021 (Hong Kong Time) Tender Presentation (Tenderers could present in person or on Zoom) 29 & 30 June 2021 (Hong Kong Time) (The exact presentation date and time will be released on 24 June 2021) To attend the tender briefing session via Zoom please fill in this form. To Apply Complete ‘Reply to Tender Notice’ (Annex A) and ‘Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Undertaking’ (Annex B) on the above form to express interest. Register on Cyberport eProcurement system Once the Cyberport eProcurement registration is completed, login here and view tender document with a password provided by Cyberport. For enquiries, please contact Anya Wong at
. If you are interested to apply, please contact Jackie Wong at
for APRU International Secretariat notice.
May 3, 2021
Winners of the 2021 APEC Healthy Women Research Prize
Issued by the Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy Announced during the APEC Women and the Economy Forum on September 24, 2021, the winner and two runners-up for the 2021 APEC Healthy Women Healthy Economies Research Prize are listed here. The winning team is co-authored by Mr. Chen-Wei Hsiang, PhD student at University College London; Dr. Ming-Jen Lin, Distinguished Professor of Economics at National Taiwan University; Dr. Kuan-Ming Chen, Post-Doctoral Fellow at the United States’ National Bureau of Economic Research. Runner-up: Dr. Ying Yang, Associate Professor at China’s National Institute for Family Planning Runner-up: Ms. Nurliyana Binte Daros, Lecturer at Nanyang Technological University Find out the news release here and more information about the prize below. Applications are now open for the 2021 APEC Healthy Women, Healthy Economies Research Prize. The prize rewards researchers who spur the creation of sex-disaggregated data and gender-based research in APEC. Launched in 2018 by President Sebastián Piñera of Chile with the support of Merck, the research prize seek for outstanding research work that will provide policymakers and business leaders with the tools they need to implement measures that improve women’s health and well-being so women can join, rise and thrive in the workforce. “Robust data and evidence are the foundation of sound policymaking,” said Renee Graham, New Zealand’s Secretary for Women and Chair of APEC’s Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy. “The gendered impacts of COVID-19 make the call for data and evidence all the more important, as we look to ensure women are fully incorporated into, and benefit from, the economic recovery from the pandemic.” Last year, the inaugural research prize was awarded to Dr Fanghui Zhao, a director at the National Cancer Center and Cancer Hospital with the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, whose winning research looks at ways to make cervical cancer prevention more accessible and affordable for people in lower-middle income economies. Dr Lih Rong Wang of Chinese Taipei and Dr Dorothy Chan of Hong Kong, China were the two runners-up for the 2020 prize. Applicants to the 2021 APEC Healthy Women, Healthy Economies Research Prize can be individuals or teams with one leader listed as official participant from an APEC member economy. Applications for the 2021 research prize are due on 31 May 2020. Applicants do not need to come from academia, as long as the research is evidence-based and addresses at least one of the pillars outlined in the Healthy Women, Healthy Economies Policy Toolkit, such as: workplace health and safety health awareness and access sexual and reproductive health gender-based violence work/life balance The prize winner will receive USD 20,000 and have the opportunity to present the research to APEC gender experts in the public and private sectors on the margins of the 2021 Women and the Economy Forum, hosted by New Zealand. Two runners-up will receive USD 5,000 each. “COVID-19 has exacerbated gender inequalities across a range of women’s health issues, making sex-disaggregated data and gender-based research essential for today’s policymakers,” said Liz Henderson,Regional Vice President, Merck Biopharma Asia Pacific. “To truly unlock the economic potential of women, we must first empower women by promoting policies that improve their health outcomes.” “It is important to make available sex-segregated data, especially in the services sector where women’s participation is high and which have been affected by the pandemic,” explained Dr Rebecca Sta Maria, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat. “Good sex-segregated data will contribute to the development of policies that are effective, equitable and beneficial.” Since established in 2015 the Healthy Women, Healthy Economies initiative aims to identify and implement policies that advance women’s health and well-being to support their economic participation. To submit your application form, click here. The deadline to submit applications is 31 May 2020. For more information, please visit the APEC Healthy Women, Healthy Economies website or contact
with any questions. For further details, please contact: Masyitha Baziad +65 9751 2146 at
Michael Chapnick +65 9647 4847 at
March 3, 2021
University of Malaya takes the lead on the APEC University Leaders’ Forum 2020
APRU and the University of Malaya have kicked-off planning for the APEC University Leaders’ Forum 2020. The forum is set to occur on November 9, 2020 in Kuala Lumpur as an official side meeting of the APEC CEO Summit and Leaders’ Week. APRU Secretary General, Dr Christopher Tremewan met with Vice Chancellor Datuk Dr Abdul Rahim Hashim, Professor Kamila Ghazali, Provost/ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic & International), Professor Yong Zulina Zubairi, Associate Vice-Chancellor (International), Professor Yvonne Lim, Director, International Relations Office, and Ms. Rohaizan Ramli (International Relations Officer) to discuss the development of the Forum with the leadership of the University of Malaya. Dr Tremewan also met with Jukhee Hong (Executive Director) and Ungku Illya Zafri (Head of Secretariat) of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) 2020. APRU is looking forward to further collaboration.
January 21, 2020
APRU shaping Asia Pacific education framework at 15th APEC Future Education Forum
APRU helped to shape the education framework across the Asia Pacific through its contribution to the 15th APEC Future Education Forum (AFEF) held 25 -27 September in Seoul, South Korea. APRU Director for Policy and Programs, Christina Schönleber, moderated an AFEF session on innovation and connectivity for future education. Craig Walker, Senior Fellow, FutureEd, Georgetown University, and Professor Sunhee Paik, Gyeongin National University of Education, presented on “Teacher Mindsets: How Teachers’ Perspectives Shape Student Success” and “APEC CEIDI Joint Research Outcomes: Analysis on School Leadership Framework and Development” respectively. “APRU has a long history of working with the APEC Human Resources Working Group supporting important development and initiatives in relation to development of human resources and education in the region,” Schönleber said. “Thus, we are delighted to be able to support and contribute to this important forum,” she added. The 2019 AFEF was held under the theme “Enhancing ICT Utilization, Social Integration, and People-to-People Connectivity for Future Education.” With approximately 200 participants from thirteen countries and four international organizations, the AFEF opened diverse and in-depth thematic discussion related to education in the digital age in alignment with the APEC 2019 theme “Connecting People, Building the Future.” The International APEC Learning Community Builders (ALCoB) Conference accompanied the AFEF as a sister event. The AFEF is a forum held annually since 2004. It is initiated by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea with the aim to share innovative cases and form discourses on future education. The AFEF has become one of the largest annual international education forums in the APEC region.
October 4, 2019
What are the co-benefits to SDG14 when making progress toward other SDGs? Initial findings reported at APEC SOM3 from the APRU Pacific Ocean Program
Leading marine science expert of APRU’s Pacific Ocean Program on advancing UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14: Life Below Water informed policymakers on early findings of the program at the Third Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM3) in Puerto Varas, Chile, in August. APRU’s Inaugural Pacific Ocean Cluster Project: Advancing SDG 14 for the sustainable future of the Pacific Ocean focuses on enhancing sustainable development of coastal states, communities, and economies around the Pacific-Rim region. The overall aim is to provide policy pathways to advance SDG 14. A team of experts from The University of British Columbia and University of Washington have conducted economy-specific analysis of the ways that all SDG goals contribute or detract from SDG 14 throughout the Pacific, with the initial results indicating a potential asymmetry in SDG alignment and achievements. From this team, Gerald Singh, now an assistant professor at the Department of Geography of the Memorial University of Newfoundland indicates that these initial results means that while making progress to achieve SDG 14 there are benefits to SDGs 1 and 2 of ending poverty and hunger (though not fully achieve these goals). However, fully achieving the goals of eliminating poverty and hunger by the 2020-2030 achievement dates may prevent the achievement of SDG 14 in the Pacific. Singh furthermore explained that the achievement of the SDG 14 in the Pacific is also being complicated by the economies not clustering according to classic development categories such as “developed”, “developing”, and “transitioning” but instead including a mix of fully developed and developed economies. In view of these findings, it is the project team’s key objective to collaborate and explore ideas with the OFWG [APEC’s Oceans and Fisheries Working Group] more closely. “One area for collaboration can be through data sharing across projects to support comparison and verifying project results,” he added. Singh’s presentation to APEC OFWG and initiated and supported through the APRU Pacific Ocean Program generated great interest by some member economies as well as non-member guests. Next steps included discussions of the possibility of future collaboration with the delegations of China; the Philippines; the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security; the Ocean Conservation Administration Ocean Affairs Council (in Chinese Taipei); as well as The Nature Conservancy. The SOM3 is the last senior officials’ preparatory meeting before the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) in November. Held under the theme “Connecting people, building the future,” it facilitated fruitful discussion surrounding the priority areas of digital economy, regional economic integration, connectivity, marine cooperation, and women and inclusive growth.
August 22, 2019
APRU Partners to Close the Digital Skills Gap at APEC
APRU members participated in the APEC Closing the Digital Skills Gap Forum, held in Singapore in mid-July. The forum gathered representatives from 16 APEC economies to explore policy options that can strengthen digital skills and the digital economy, with Project DARE taking central stage. APRU members participating in the forum were Bernard Tan, Senior Vice Provost of the National University of Singapore; Fidel Nemazo, Vice Chancellor for Research and Development of the University of Philippines (UP); Eugene Rex Jalao, Associate Professor of University of the Philippines; and Kar Yan Tam, Dean of the School of Business and Management of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). “With the imminent need to facilitate the transition of workforce in the age of disruption, Project DARE provides a tripartite platform for governments, academia and business across the APEC economies to discuss human capital development in data science and analytics,” said Kar Yan Tam. “This platform connects all of us closely together to manage the transformation wisely,” he added. Project DARE (abbreviation of data analytics raising employment) is an APEC initiative seeking to facilitate development of a data science and analytics (DSA)-enabled workforce across the APEC region to address the skills shortage in DSA. The Closing the Digital Skills Gap survey launched by the forum and prepared by Wiley, an education and professional training solutions provider, showed that 75 per cent of respondents – comprised of employers, government officials, and academics – perceive the existence of a significant skills mismatch. At the forum, participants finalized a roadmap to support and scale-up skills development and reskilling programs carried out by employers, governments, and educational institutions across APEC. Tam explained how HKUST has leveraged the Recommended APEC Data Science & Analytics Competencies to inform curriculum in data science and technology, including a full undergraduate degree track. Fellow APRU member Jalao highlighted Philippine projects in high-impact investments in digital upskilling and reskilling, including an ambitious pilot model to train 30,000 workers over three years led by the Analytics Association of the Philippines (AAP). Indeed, the pilot project has been one of the first models to implement the Recommended APEC Data Science & Analytics Competencies. The Project DARE timeline for 2018 entailed more than 60 participants sharing models how to bridge the digital skills gap, as well as the development of case studies on Recommended APEC Data and Science & Analytics (DSA) Competencies. On the 2019 timeline are the presentation, finalization and beginning implementation of a collective version and roadmap in APEC to support efforts to upskill and reskill at scale. Implementation of the roadmap is envisioned for the 2020-2025 period.
July 20, 2019
Close the Digital Skills Gap by 2025 through Collaboration: APEC
By APEC Human Resources Development Working Group Issued by the APEC Human Resources Development Working Group Singapore Job seekers today lack the skills needed to work in the digital economy, says a survey on digital skills in the workforce. According to the Closing the Digital Skills Gap survey, 75 per cent of respondents – comprised of employers, government officials, and academics – report a significant skills mismatch. Without more upskilling programs to improve digital expertise, the survey warns, many workers may lose their jobs to automation. “Skills mismatches hurt workers and the broader economy. Productivity declines when key jobs remain vacant. APEC requires more skills training programs to reduce the global shortage of highly-skilled workers, which may soon exceed 38 million people,” said Professor Dong Sun Park. Professor Park, Chair of the APEC Human Resources Development Working Group, speaking at the 2019 APEC Closing the Digital Skills Gap Forum, which launched the survey prepared by Wiley, an education and professional training solutions provider. The forum, taking place in Singapore, gathered representatives from 16 APEC economies to explore policy options that can strengthen digital skills and the digital economy – a key priority set by APEC 2019 host Chile. The digital economy is rapidly evolving but education systems are not adapting at the same pace. Many companies and organizations across many sectors, from healthcare to financial services and retail, are unable to fill positions requiring skills in data collection and analytics – and the vacancies cost billions of dollars of lost revenue annually. Yet more than half of survey respondents admit that curricula at many academic institutions do not sufficiently bring digital skills into classrooms. More than 50 per cent of respondents also report that government agencies have a weak understanding of the digital skills landscape. “It was eye-opening to learn that up to 45 per cent of survey respondents said that they do not update job requirements every year,” said Andrew Tein, Chief of Staff to the CEO at Wiley and co-chair of the forum. “Let’s track these insights so we can prepare the right strategies to close the skills gap and foster more growth and prosperity across the region.”. At the forum, participants finalized a roadmap to support and scale up upskilling and reskilling programs carried out by employers, governments, and educational institutions across APEC. Implementation of the roadmap builds upon the work of APEC’s Data Analytics and Raising Employment initiative, or Project DARE, which developed and implemented a set of industry-driven recommended actions to strengthen data science and analytics competencies, or DSA. The Project DARE framework has informed the work of eight universities, companies and associations to date, including the Analytics Association of the Philippines, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), and Ho Chi Minh University of Technology and Education (HCMUTE). “With the imminent need to facilitate the transition of workforce in the age of disruption, ProjectDARE provides a tripartite platform for governments, academia and business across the APEC economies to discuss human capital development in data science and analytics,” said Kar Yan Tam, Dean of HKUST’s School of Business and Management. “This platform connects all of us closely together to manage the transformation wisely” Added Associate Prof. Dr Ngo Van Thuyen, Chairman of HCMUTE’s University Council, “The research of Project DARE on the demand of human resources in data analytics and its proposed competencies helped HCMUTE to be more confident on the decision to establish the Bachelor’s program in Data Engineering in 2017.” Another initiative from the Analytics Association of the Philippines is collaborating with employers, government agencies and academic institutions to train 30,000 workers over the next three years. The ‘whole-of-government’ approach will utilize Project DARE competencies. The roadmap also recommends the sharing of government statistical methodologies and best practices, as information on how governments track and organize data on their workforce is insufficient. More sharing of information and best practices can enable the establishment of a more standardized approach to upskilling. # # # For further details, please contact: Dini Sari Djalal +65 9137 3886 at
Michael Chapnick +65 9647 4847 at
More on APEC meetings, events, projects and publications can be found on www.apec.org. You can also follow APEC on Twitter and join us on Facebook, LinkedIn. This news release can also be viewed on the APEC website: https://www.apec.org/Press/News-Releases/2019/0719_Digital
July 19, 2019
APRU updates APEC officials on key insights relating to the Future of Work
APRU Director for Policy & Programs, Christina Schönleber, presented findings and policy recommendations of APRU’s Transformation of Work in Asia Pacific in the 21st Century report at the Second Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM2) held in Vina Del Mare, Chile, in May. The wide range of key insights presented by Schönleber includes the key point that exponential growth of standardization and adoption of technological advances will continue worldwide. This translates into the gradual automation of repetitive physical and cognitive jobs on the one hand and the creation of new jobs with higher pay on the other. Illustrating that APRU succeeds in its core objective of widely disseminating a data-driven studies with key focus on APEC region, there has been great interest from delegates to download the report findings and share these with political decision-makers. “In the face of a skill shift in the labor market leading to income disparity between workers with high and low skill levels, it is imperative to prepare a new generation that is adaptive to technology changes by incorporating STEM/STEAM education across primary and secondary school curriculums,” Schönleber said. “An adequate supply of talent in technology, engineering and science can be facilitated by attracting more female students with a lifelong interest in STEM as well as by encouraging interdisciplinary knowledge studies across science, engineering, business, and social science,” she added. SOM2 took place alongside the 44th APEC Human Resources Development Working Group (HRDWG) meeting. Key discussions points following Schönleber’s presentations were how findings forming the project can feed into future focus areas of APEC working groups. SOM2 panel discussions also focused on the identification of the best ways to develop the skills required of workers by the digital economy, as well as on the promotion of continuous lifelong learning to ensure that APEC economies’ workforce can keep up with rapidly changing technologies and technical skills. APRU’s Transformation of Work in Asia Pacific in the 21st Century report is based on a joint project with The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology connecting ten scholars from leading universities across the APRU network to examine the changes presented by rapid digitalization in our society.
May 20, 2019
APRU Partners with United Nations ESCAP and Google on AI for Social Good
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to benefit many sectors while it may greatly impact societal structures. For example, it is widely expected that the future of work will be considerably transformed by the ubiquity of AI in this digital era. However, current research remains limited in terms of how AI can positively transform economies and societies, while addressing governance and policy needs, as well as assessing key areas of concern relating to the technology. In order to fill this gap, APRU, United Nations ESCAP and Google have come together to set up a new research network, called, ‘AI for Social Good’, which was officially launched at the start of the Asia-Pacific AI for Social Good Summit in Bangkok on December 13, 2018. Launch of the Asia-Pacific AI for Social Good Summit in Bangkok, Thailand The AI for Social Good network will provide a multi-year platform to enable scholars and experts to collaborate with policymakers to generate evidence and cross-border connections on “AI for Social Good”, while promoting an enabling policy environment at both domestic and international levels. “ESCAP has a mandate to strengthen the regional technology and innovation agenda through our role as a think tank, policy adviser and convener,” says Armida Alisjahbana, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP Executive Secretary. “We hope that multi-stakeholder partnerships, such as the ones we are launching here today, will support member States in their efforts to harness technology and innovation in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals.” Armida Alisjahbana, UN Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP Executive Secretary Although AI’s revolutionary prowess is well known; it is yet to be extensively applied to scale and sustain impact for all in important sectors, such as education and social inclusion. The AI for Social Good collaboration is about supporting policy framework, which ultimately will benefit the population across the Asia Pacific through sharing the best practices and solutions to promote its benefits. This project is a continuation of APRU’s previous Google-collaborated AI research project, namely AI for Everyone: Benefitting from and Building Trust in the Technology. This project initiative will see scholars across the region developing and publishing a collection of research-based policy recommendation papers to influence the development of policy process to support AI for Social Good. Keio University Vice-President, Jiro Kokuryo, is the academic lead and will be supported by a Steering Committee, bringing together policymakers and experts from across Asia. Policymakers, industry, universities and other stakeholders will convene to utilize the research results to develop partnerships to grow and sustain the use of AI for social good. “This network will bring together leading academics from around the region to produce research on how to promote the use of AI for social good and how best to manage risks and concerns,” says Kent Walker, Google Senior Vice-President of Global Affairs. “It will also be a forum for these academics to discuss their research with government, civil society and the private sector.” (L-R): Jake Lucchi, Google Head of AI Policy, APAC; Jiro Kokuryo, Keio University Vice President; Christina Schönleber, APRU Director Policy and Programs; Atsuko Okuda, ESCAP Chief ICT and Development Section; Marta Pérez Cusó, UN ESCAP Economic Affairs Officer at the Asia-Pacific AI for Social Good Research Network event (L-R): Jake Lucchi, Google Head of AI Policy, APAC; Jiro Kokuryo, Keio University Vice President; Christina Schönleber, APRU Director Policy and Programs Kent Walker, Google Senior Vice President of Global Affairs AI for Social Good project’s first meeting is planned in Tokyo alongside the G20 Summit, while it is planned to hold a second meeting and stakeholder event in Bangkok, Hong Kong or Tokyo, in the winter of 2019-2020. The submitted papers will be collated into a final report to be published in June 2020, and disseminated widely by UNESCAP and Google. Find out more photos of the event here.
February 28, 2019
APEC Project DARE (Data Analytics Raising Employment)
With youth unemployed rising in the Asia Pacific in 2017, policymakers have to bridge the gap between a critically low supply of highly skilled professionals and the urgent demand among employers for a skilled workforce. By 2020, the global shortage of highly-skilled workers is expected to reach 38-40 million. Current advances in the digital age require the collection and interpretation of big data. Employees with the ability to gather, analyze and draw practical conclusions from big data, as well as communicate these findings to others are forecasted to be among the most in demand. Labor markets are in dire need of professionals trained in data science and analytics, and shortages are severe enough to constrain economic growth. In response to APEC’s policy goals on human capital development, Project DARE – Data Analytics Raising Employment – was created to address the current shortage of employees skilled in data science and analytics, which has resulted in billions of dollars in lost revenue annually. The project brought together business, government and academic leaders to develop a set of ten Recommended APEC Data Science and Analytics Competencies to serve as a resource to equip academic institutions and training providers across APEC economies to align curricula, courses and programs to fill this gap between skills and employer demand. APRU Experts joined the Project Advisory Group Meeting taking place in Singapore to actively supported the development of the APEC Data analytics Competencies. At the inaugural APEC University Leaders’ Forum, in Dan Nang, Vietnam, Dr. Christopher Tremewan, APRU Secretary General, and Mr. Clay Stobaugh, Vice President of The Wiley Network and Co-Chair of APEC Project DARE announced a new partnership committed to bridge the projected skills-gap in the Asia Pacific. See more details about the here recommended APEC DAS Competencies here Find out more about the project here Download attachments: APEC_Project_DARE_2018_Workshop_Agenda_2_October
November 27, 2018
APRU Contributes Insights on Innovation Networks and Latest Research Partnerships to Policymakers at APEC Meetings
Real Solutions Are Found in Innovation and Collaboration As part of the Third APEC Senior Official’s Meeting (SOM3), held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea in August, APRU provided insights and recommendations regarding the development of Innovation Networks and contributed to the discourse on policy needs to support healthy aging at a series of Policy Partnership on Science, Technology, and Innovation (PPSTI) workshops and discussions. Christina Schönleber, APRU Director of Policy and Programs, gave a keynote address on the principles for establishing and maintaining productive innovation networks as part of the Workshop on Domestic Innovation Systems and Networks. Government research and development structures, innovation funding, and institutional frameworks for innovation networks were themes of the event. The workshop, organised by the Papua New Guinea Science and Technology Council & Secretariat, showcased best practices in the APEC region on how to create and grow scientific and technology production and enhance domestic capacity with the aim to inform the development of an APEC Manual on Domestic Innovation Systems and Networks. Using APRU as an example, Schönleber emphasized the importance of transdisciplinary collaboration, external industry engagement, and research partnerships in not only domestic innovation systems and networks, but also the establishment and maintenance of a cross-border resource-sharing community. She highlighted that “this capacity provides APRU with the ability to initiative impactful collaborations and projects that tap into latest scientific knowledge enabling policy foresight to initiate creative solutions to the Asia-Pacific region’s challenges”. The following PPSTI policy sharing roundtable discussion explored policy needs to support viable innovation, facilitating resilient living and healthy aging. Schönleber presented findings from the collaboration with the Asian Development Bank, exploring the potential of new technologies to maintain and enhance productivity by extending the productive working life of an aging workforce and better equipping a young workforce for future work to contribute greatly to higher economic growth. The policy dialogue provided valuable insights to shape the APEC 2018 Leaders Statement. While in Port Moresby, Schönleber also presented to APEC delegates at the 12thAPEC PPSTI Meeting a preview of APRU’s 2018 Impact Report “Amplifying Impact: Transformative Solutions to Asia-Pacific Challenges.” Built on the first report in 2016, the 2018 Impact Report demonstrates various models of cooperation that actively inform policy and practice that encourages partnership and innovation. The report reflects the positive impact of bringing together the social sciences and humanities with science and technology disciplines to address global challenges. Additionally, it demonstrates the necessity of doing so if real solutions are to be found that are tailored to a wide diversity of contexts, which further exemplifies APRU’s commitment to interdisciplinary interaction and building an innovative network rooted in partnership, collaboration and industry engagement. According to the BBC, Papua New Guinea is one of the world’s most linguistically diverse countries with 80% of its population living in a non-monetarized economy. As a guest member of APEC Working Groups, APRU is a regular participant in a number of its high-level discussions with the objective to ensure universities have a voice in shaping policies across the Asia-Pacific. The PPSTI working group brings together experts in higher education, business, and policy to serve as a forum, in which the best minds within the APEC region convene to share innovative ideas and discuss matters of interest in science and technology. Download the APRU 2018 Impact Report “Amplifying Impact: Transformative Solutions to Asia-Pacific Challenges: https://apru.org/resource/2018-impact-report-transformative-solutions-to-asia-pacific-challenges/
September 19, 2018
APEC Health Meetings in PNG enriched by APRU insights
APRU provided valuable recommendations to shape APEC’s health-related agenda at the third Senior Official Meetings (SOM3) held in mid-August in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. At the APEC “Healthy Women, Healthy Economies” workshop,” Mellissa Withers, Director of the APRU Global Health Program and Associate Professor at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, presented on the assessment of workplace wellness programs implemented by universities in the Asia-Pacific region with a specific focus on gender. The assessment is based on a recent survey of APRU members, who represent collectively more than 140,000 staff and approx. 2 million students, regarding their range and scope of employee health and wellness programs. Withers pointed out that the survey showed the top priority was chronic diseases, with violence prevention being last priority. Among the other findings cited were low employee engagement in programs, lack of budget, and programs often being regarded as low priority. Many programs were “token” as opposed to comprehensively or strategically designed, and data is not being routinely collected. “We recommend regular, in-depth, mandatory sexual harassment trainings and more formal protocols for handling complaints,” Withers said. “Universities should implement specific, written policies on discrimination, and workplace culture should be more supportive of women and less tolerant of violence and abuse,” she added. Withers went on to represent the APRU Global Health Program at the 8th APEC High Level Meeting on Health and the Economy (APEC HLM8). Her presentation at APEC HLM8 addressed the wide-reaching consequences when primary health care does not adequately support women with a focus on economic loss. Among Withers’ recommendations were routine screenings, more victims services, shelters and hotlines, as well as the establishment of sexual violence units in police, hospitals and primary care facilities. “The availability of counseling and support services with collaborative, multi-disciplinary teams must be ensured, and there should be workplace support programs for women experiencing intimate partner violence,” Withers urged. “There also is a need for more relevant national policy and formal legislation with designated budget,” she added. The APEC HLM8’s keynote addresses were held by Honorable Sir Dr. Puka Temu, Minister of Health and Chair-APEC HLM8, Papua New Guinea, and Dr. Shin Young-soo, Regional Director, World Health Organization – Western Pacific Region. A ministerial panel on putting people at the center of health care through primary health care included panelists: Honorable Michiyo Takagi, State Minister of Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, Japan; Honorable Shih-Chung Chen, Minister of Health and Welfare, Chinese Taipei; and Honorable Dr. Puka Temu. APRU’s contributions to the SOM3 reflects its strong commitment to continue actively feeding into APEC’s health-related agenda. The aim is to inform policy makers and collaborate on activities supporting economic development of the region.
September 13, 2018
The APEC 2018 Workshop on Innovative Marine Debris Solutions, July 26-27, 2018, Beijing
The issue of marine debris has received high attention from economies, international organizations and multiple fora. The Workshop on Best Practices Sharing on Marine Debris Management in Coastal Cities of APEC Region was held in Xiamen on Nov 4-5th, 2017. The workshop outputs were put into the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on “Oceans and the law of the Sea” as Article 215. This forthcoming workshop taking place July 26-27, 2018 proposes to collect innovative approaches and to share best practice to address marine debris in the APEC region. Click here to see the proposal. The workshop objectives are to: 1) collect innovative approaches addressing marine debris; 2) share best practice, information, and technologies to reduce marine debris in the APEC region; 3) encourage and promote Public Private Partnerships. The event, hosted in partnership with Peking University, is aimed at managers/policy makers, researchers, and private-sector participants and will feature a 1-day meeting and 1-day scientific tour. The APEC Marine Sustainable Development Center China is making funding available for one APRU scholar to contribute to the session addressing new research advances on marine debris and micro-plastics. See a post-event report from Peking University here.
July 3, 2018
Experts Welcome Framework for Developing APEC Skills
APRU Director of Policy and Programs, Christina Schönleber, was quoted in a CIPD article contributing to the conversation about creating workforces fit for the challenge of digitisation and demographic change. Sharing best practice and harnessing cross-border co-operation will help Pacific Rim countries overcome the challenges of creating workforces fit for the future, experts said – as they endorsed a recent initiative focusing on HR development amid increasing technological change. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Framework on Human Resource Development in the Digital Age was adopted by the 21 APEC member countries at the Asia Pacific Economic Forum, in Vietnam, in May 2017. Its policies are now being rolled out by APEC governments. The framework’s declared aim is to assist member economies provide their local companies with the ability to cope with the HR challenges and opportunities in present and future work. “This acknowledges the fundamental changes the world of work will be facing and also acknowledges that the Asia Pacific region is incredibly diverse,” said Christina Schönleber, director for policy and programmes at the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, a network of leading universities in the APEC region. Speaking to People Management, she added: “Through this framework, APEC will be able to harness co-operation across its member economies, while best practice sharing and drawing on the latest expertise and research from scholars across the Asia Pacific region will allow policymakers and industry to gain new knowledge and understanding of the societal and economic impact of these technological developments.” Schönleber added that HR professionals will then be able to collectively address challenges and capitalise effectively on new opportunities. Warning that automation could deny poorer economies the opportunities for economic development that have in the past been grasped by countries offering cheaper labour, the framework seeks to put forward an appropriate set of policy directions and measures. These would support economies at risk of ending up on the wrong side of the digital divide, preparing their workforces for the challenges and opportunities in the digitalised and tech-enabled world of work today and beyond. The framework commits APEC governments to spending money on joint and regional research activities to provide member economies with a good indication of where, when and how digitalisation and new technology will change production processes. And the policy agreement lays the basis for the development of joint programmes, projects and initiatives to promote cooperation and exchanges of best practice regarding labour market information systems and data management. It will also encourage APEC governments to develop guidance on the role of public and private employment services in addressing the challenges and opportunities caused by globalisation and digitalisation, as well as the way these institutions can be improved through information and communication technologies. “Advancement in technology has led to a pressing need for human resources development, including research into the implications for the labour market, education, training and reskilling,” the framework states. “This, coupled with ongoing labour market analyses, will support targeted investment consistent with economic needs. Evidence-based policy is required to ensure that labour market participants are employable and prepared for the challenges and opportunities in the new digital age,” it adds. The proposed timeframe for implementation of the framework is 2017 to 2025, with progress to be reviewed in 2022 by APEC ministers responsible for human resources development. The International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) employment specialist, Phu Huynh, is also supportive of the framework, stressing that digitisation and automation put jobs across Asian countries at all stages of economic development at risk, making efforts by governments and international organisations to help address the challenges critical. “Digitisation and workplace automation will impact jobs regardless of the level of economic development, although the risks may vary, with the concerns about digitisation in less developed economies being mostly associated with the initial risk of replacing low-end manufacturing jobs which have been critical for past growth strategies,” Huynh said. “However, given lower skill and wage levels in these countries, there may be a comparative lag in terms of adopting new technologies and the consequent impacts. And conversely, the advanced economies, where higher wages make technology absorption more economically feasible sooner, also face an initial risk to medium-skill jobs, such as in accounting, office administration and bookkeeping,” he added. Huynh explained that although efforts by governments and international organisations such as the APEC framework are critical, basic national employment rights still play a role. “These include better protection for workers during the technology transition and revamping education and training systems to be more responsive to rapidly changing labour markets,” he said. Similarly, Ian Grundy, head of marketing and communications, Asia Pacific, at The Adecco Group, pointed out that today interconnected factors of digitisation, automation and changing demographics are redefining “where we work, how we work and what is work itself,” and that “what we do every day in our jobs, no matter in what role,” is being redesigned, to a greater or lesser extent. “These redesigned jobs and roles require new skillsets which means that we need to reskill or upskill and we need to do it fast and at scale,” Grundy said. “For that to happen, governments, academia, companies and other institutions such as APEC, the UN and the ILO need to work together on multiple fronts including regulatory reforms, encouraging vocational training and updating HR practices,” he said.
March 14, 2018
APEC University Leaders’ Forum Featured in University World News
Universities Can Help Overcome Economic Nationalism Yojana Sharma 23 November 2017 Issue No: 484 Find the full article from University World News. In an era when economic and trade nationalism is disrupting the multilateral world order, universities have a role to play in driving multinational cross-border collaborations, and preparing for a future thrown into uncertainty by the so-called fourth industrial revolution. University presidents, policymakers and business leaders in the Asia-Pacific region came together in a University Leaders Forum just before the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation or APEC summit in Vietnam earlier this month to talk about joint strategies and policies to keep pace with disruptive technologies – digitisation, robotics and artificial intelligence. The rise of economic nationalism and decline of the multilateral trade system, particularly since US president Donald Trump entered office this year, was a major focus of the main Summit of APEC heads of state from the 21 member countries in Danang, Vietnam. Early in his presidency Trump announced his country’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP, a multilateral trade pact with 11 other Asian and Pacific Rim countries in Australasia, North America and Latin America, sparking consternation in the region. Many governments are fearful of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which “has created hopes for higher productivity but also anxiety about its transformative implications”, said Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, Co-Chair of the APEC ministerial meeting on 9 November, which preceded the leaders’ summit on 10-11 November. Universities can inform policy makers on how to prepare for disruption, particularly understanding what is happening with students, who are in the cutting edge of innovation, delegates from business, government and universities heard at the University Leaders Forum in Danang on 8 November, organised by the Association of Pacific Rim Universities or APRU. With many universities already collaborating in cross-border and multidisciplinary research, “we can see many opportunities and an emancipation from the national context,” said APRU secretary general Christopher Tremewan. Referring to disruptive technologies, Chi Youngsuk chairman of Elsevier, a science information and analytics company, told the forum, “the issues that we approach today are too big for one nation to tackle, too complex to understand concretely in one discipline, it runs across all disciplines.” Resisting economic nationalism Chi added universities were the one place where economic nationalism could be resisted. “Collectively APRU has the most powerful set of universities with (an) incredible voice to overcome this period of turning our back (away) from multilateralism,” Chi said. “We want to see more collaboration because the problems are just too damn big. We cannot solve this alone.” Multilateralism is giving way to bilateral conversations which does not accomplish as much for the world as it accomplishes for individual countries,” said Chi. While major companies cannot resist the trend for many governments to move towards more inward looking economic and trade policies, universities can try to promote multilateral discussion, as well as understand the pace of change and challenges at a time when governments are focused on short-term initiatives, he said. He called on universities “to stick your neck out and resist this (nationalism) trend, which is dangerous for all of us.” Though there is much talk about cross-sector innovation, “there are still a lot of barriers against innovation, especially in relation to partnerships between governments and universities”, said Wang Yan, coordinator of the Education Network (EDNET) of the APEC Human Resource Development Working Group. She pointed to the APEC Education Strategy Action Plan endorsed at the APEC Summit – the first educational blueprint up to 2030 since the inception of APEC in 1989 – as a new example for multilateral education collaboration, including in delivering the skills required for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. “It is increasingly important that education and training deliver competencies that reflect the current and future needs of the regional labour market and that these competencies be commonly understood and recognised across borders, and system,” according to the policy document drawn up earlier this year on APEC’s education strategy and submitted to the Summit by APEC’s Human Resources Development Working Group. International trade lawyer and digital trade expert Robert Holleyman, previously deputy US trade representative during the administration of former US president Barack Obama and now CEO of C&M International, a trade and public affairs consultancy, told the forum that university collaboration with the private sector and policy makers in APEC can produce the next generation of leaders who will understand how better to collaborate. Government officials are focused on short term initiatives,” Holleyman said, and this can be as short as their own term in office. Yet the disruptive changes of the fourth industrial revolution can seem threatening because of the pace of change and extensive global competition. Universities bring to the table, especially in APEC, things that policy makers are looking for “in some cases before the policy makers know what the questions are,” including understanding what is happening in a fast-changing technological and research environment, Holleyman said. “Artificial intelligence poses opportunities for more quality jobs in the future,” said Huang Dinglong, founder and CEO of China’s Malong Technologies, which focuses on artificial intelligence. Companies will need more people to do interesting work in these areas. “The best job has not been created yet, it is still coming,” he told the forum. Skills mismatch APEC economies have identified structural unemployment and a skills mismatch as major concerns for the region. There is a gap between the skills of workers looking for work and the skills required for emerging job opportunities according the 2017 APEC Economic Policy Report on structural Reform and Human Capital Development. In Danang, APRU announced a partnership with the APEC’s project DARE on Data Science, Analytics and Raising Employment to bridge the skills gap in the region. “Higher education institutions will play a critical role in addressing the future DSA (data science and analytics) skills shortages,” said Nguyen Kim Son, president of Vietnam National University, Hanoi. “The lack of DSA skills currently sits on top of the skills shortage in the APEC region, not just in terms of the size of the gap but also its essential role in driving artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, cyber-physical systems that are at the centre of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the future of work and the future of global prosperity,” said DARE co-chair Clay Stobaugh, executive vice-president of Wiley, a global publishing and research company. “One million jobs will go unfilled in APEC because the skills sets won’t be able to provide for data analytics are required by employers,” Stobaugh told the university leaders’ forum. Project DARE was launched by APEC earlier this year to develop the competencies required for future DSA workers. “DSA-enabled knowledge workers will have skills not easily replaced by automation; instead they will be better prepared to unlock the promise and potential of data and the technologies that depend on it,” according to APEC’s HRD working group in a June communication in preparation for the November Summit. The competencies were developed by a 50-person Advisory Group from 14 APEC member economies, co-chaired by Wiley and the Business Higher Education Forum or BHEF. Advisors included business leaders who oversee data science and analytics within their companies, academics involved with inter-disciplinary data science initiatives and curricula; and government officials involved in human resources development.
November 23, 2017
APEC International Workshop on Adaption to Population Aging Issues
The APEC International Workshop will enable member economies to discuss general issues on Population Aging of the AEPC region. Participants from international organizations, NGOs and UN organizations will present on potential solutions to address these. The workshop will facilitate best practice sharing with the aim to support the development of appropriate policies in economies across the APEC region in relation to social security, health care and economic growth. Delegations from member economies will have the opportunity to hear from experts of member economies such as Japan, Australia, Korea and Canada addressing key areas of aging societies. Professor Barbara Mcpake from the University of Melbourne and academic representative of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities will be talking at the workshop about financial resources for social protection systems in aging societies. The outcome of the International Workshop will be submitted to the Health Working Group and provide input to the Health Policy Dialogue on Promoting Healthy Aging & NCDs Control and other related meetings in SOM 3, August 2017 in Ho Chi Ming City, Viet Nam. The Workshop objectives are: – to share the latest knowledge on the current situation of Aging in APEC including trends, impacts & challenges/opportunities, issues and concerns; – to share experiences on dealing with population Aging issues among APEC members and APEC partners; – to provide recommendations to APEC leaders and APEC members for relevant policies responses to aging and action taken on care for older persons, including recommendations of home based and community-based care models for elderly people. See the Workshop Agenda. For more information about the Workshop, please contact Mr. Luong Quang Dang at
July 5, 2017
Call for APRU Expert Engagement for the development of the APEC Marine Sustainable Development Report 2
The first APEC Marine Sustainable Development Report (AMSD) developed by the APEC Marine Sustainable Development Centre received endorsement in 2014. The AMSD is the first comprehensive report in APEC to research the status and progresses of marine sustainable development of the Asia-Pacific region. Download the AMSD here At the 2016 APEC Ministerial Meeting in Peru it was proposed to update the AMSD to promote regional marine sustainable development as a key APEC contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The proposed theme of report 2 is ‘APEC Sustainable Development Report: Sustainable Development Goals in APEC’. The report objectives are to: 1. reflect trends and endeavors of APEC and its member economies in achieving SDGs, especially SDG 14 and other goals and objectives relevant to ocean and coasts; 2. map and take stock of OFWG’s projects and activities relevant to marine sustainable development; 3. serve as a platform to take APEC’s active role in facilitating the implementation of 2030 agenda in Asia-Pacific region. The APEC Marine Sustainable Development Centre is currently bringing together a core group of experts to support the development of the general report (which will be supplemented by a collection of economic reports) and is calling for nominations from APRU member experts with the following backgrounds: 1. marine management and policy especially marine pollution control 2. marine ecosystem conversation and resource management 3. ocean and climate change and sustainable fisheries management Roles and Responsibilities of the core expert group a) develop the general report by setting outline, collecting useful data and information, drafting and reviewing; b) have sufficient communication during the formulation process of the report through workshops, informal meetings, tele-meetings and emails; c) work in collaboration with APEC Marine Sustainable Development Centre to finalize and publish the final report; d) design the questionnaire to collect relevant information from member economies for the purpose of drafting AMSD Report 2. e) work on other issues concerning the developing and updating of the report; A 2-day workshop is expected to be convened in Xiamen sometime between July and September 2017 for shaping the theme, chapter structure and outlines of the report. Date of the workshop is to be determined after the establishment of core expert group. Some funding maybe available to support academic expert participation. TBC in due course. See the information sheet for more detail about background, proposed work plan, methodologies and time frame of overall project. Nomination form for the core expert group will need to be submitted to
via emailed by end of Friday, May 26, 2017. APRU will forward suitable nominations to the APEC project team who will contact selected experts by the middle of June 2017. See here for more information about the APEC Marine Sustainable Development Centre For more information about the report, please contact
For more information about the application process, please email to
Download attachments: Information_Sheet_concerning_Nomination_of_the_AMSD_report.pdf APRU_Experts_Recommendation_Form_of_AMSD_report.docx
May 22, 2017
Invitation to the 6th APEC Conference on Cooperation in Higher Education
Dear Senior Staff: Please find attached an invitation from Dr Vladimir Kurilov, Vice-President for International Relations, Far Eastern Federal University, to the 6th APEC Conference on Cooperation in Higher Education (APEC CCHE’ 17). If you have queries, please contact Ms. Anastasia Sviridova, Head of APEC Study Center of Far Eastern Federal University at
April 5, 2017
APRU Research Experts say APEC Economies Must Build Educated and Mobile Workforces to Offset the Negative Impact of Aging Populations
Member economies of the APEC Forum need to do a lot more to promote economic growth to combat population aging, according to a paper presented at the Workshop on the Development of an APEC Labor Mobility Framework in Nha Trang, Viet Nam on February 18. Representatives from APEC member economies and global experts convened at the Workshop in Viet Nam to share views on the diverse factors which affect mobility of labor and skills in the region and to develop a way forward for the general APEC membership. The report by APRU experts Rafal Chomik, John Piggottand Peter McDonald, which was commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Employment to APRU, aims to influence a regional framework on labor mobility issues. The report suggests that cooperation in migration policy, education, and technology transfer would allow emerging economies within APEC to increase rates of growth, countering the “headwinds” of population aging. APRU Population Aging Research Hub Chair and Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR), UNSW Sydney, Dr. John Piggott said that there appeared to be good opportunities for cooperating in the area of education and labour migration. Economies such as the US, Japan and Australia have large student cohorts from a range of APEC jurisdictions,” he said. Simplifying the process of deciding whether students from APEC countries meet specific criteria for admission to educational institutions, and also visas and associated documentation, would help in developing a better educated and globally mobile workforce for APEC”, he said. Professor Albert Park, HKUST and APRU Population Aging Research Steering Group member, also took part in a panel discussion that took place at the Workshop which was held alongside the 1st APEC Senior Official Meeting hosted by Viet Nam in Nha Trang. Experts from the Australian National University also contributed to the Workshop. APRU experts will continue to be actively involved in the next phase of the development of the APEC labour mobility framework, providing a foundation for policy making in APEC economies. UNSW Sydney, The University of Melbourne, HKUST and Australian National University are members of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, a network of 45 leading research universities that aims to address key social, environmental and economic challenges in the Asia-Pacific region. APEC SOM1 2017 photos at: https://flic.kr/s/aHskS3u8Kg Download attachements below. Download attachments: Working Paper: The impact of demographic change on labour supply and economic growth PROGRAMME_Final1.pdf
February 23, 2017
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