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Investing in Tomorrow's Biodiversity
This high-level dialogue between CEOs, policy leaders, university presidents and top researchers aims to play an influential international role in Investing in Tomorrow’s Biodiversity.
November 13, 2023 - November 13, 2023
APRU inspired by visits to UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz
In August APRU Chief Executive, Thomas Schneider and APRU Director (Network Management) Jackie Wong had the opportunity to learn first-hand about UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz’ efforts to build up their research capacity in a wide range of fields to the benefit of the Asia Pacific region. The APRU delegation was impressed by the vast expertise that the two APRU member universities hold within biodiversity, food security, data science and AI, and how they systematically address key topics, such as gender, equity, climate change, and social justice. On the agenda were also exchanges on APRU’s future strategic objectives and the next APEC University Leaders’ Forum, which will be hosted by UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz in November. UC Davis is also leading the APRU Asia Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL) Program, making the visit a good opportunity to discuss activities that could be shaped together for the coming year. “I am impressed by the scale of UC Davis’ research enterprise and its transformative power in higher education, and I am proud that APRU and the UC Davis have established a shared vision of university collaboration across the Pacific,” Schneider said thanking UC Davis Chancellor Gary May. “UC Davis’ advocacy of women’s leadership in higher education is transformative, and we at APRU look forward to giving it our fullest support.” Schneider also thanked UC Santa Cruz Chancellor Cynthia Larive, and emphasized his appreciation to learn about UC Santa Cruz’s focus areas, including its positioning as a leader within the UC System on Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) initiatives. Schneider also highly appreciated the feedback UC Santa Cruz provided, particularly the suggestion to develop APRU initiatives in art and music. “Since UC Santa Cruz joined APRU in 2020, we have noticed the positive response of its community to many of the student focus areas, such as the Virtual Student Exchange, Quarantunes, and program-related courses, particularly inasmuch it would allow for increased student engagement,” Schneider said. “We are looking forward to building on this foundation in the years to come and will make sure to keep UC Santa Cruz involved in our ongoing strategic process.”  
August 18, 2023
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
APRU APEC University Leaders’ Forum 2022 Successfully Concludes with High-level Discussions on Preparing for the Next Pandemic
The highly-anticipated side event of the APEC CEO Summit saw university presidents and policy-makers promote global partnerships for achieving effective research and future-proof strategies (18 November, 2022 – HONG KONG) – Business leaders, policy makers, and university presidents from APRU, a network of 60 leading research universities from 19 economies around the APEC region, convened at the Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, on 16 November for the APEC University Leaders’ Forum (AULF) 2022, under the theme: “Preventing the Next Pandemic.” As a selected side event of the APEC CEO Summit held this year in Thailand, the forum offered a rare opportunity for global leadership to gather and implement a plan through collaboration across sectors, institutions, and continents. After the world had experienced nearly three years of disruption due to Covid-19, this year’s AULF provided a much-needed platform for influential figures in politics, business, and higher education to gather and discuss ways to enhance global resilience should another pandemic happen. More than 20 high-profile speakers from the Asia-Pacific region came together to share their views on building joint research, strategies, and policies, including Prof. Bundhit Eua-arporn, President of Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, and Prof. Gene D. Block, Chair of APRU and Chancellor of UCLA. Both gave welcome remarks at the opening ceremony. Chancellor Block said it was crucial for academic, business, and political leaders to convene at AULF 2022 to discuss ways to create a more robust, resourceful, and responsive world in the future. “On behalf of APRU, I am delighted to welcome distinguished guests, speakers, and participants from the Asia-Pacific region to the APRU APEC University Leaders’ Forum 2022. This year’s theme could not be more timely for our world, which has undergone nearly three years of profound changes due to the effects of Covid-19.” He continued: “The forum is a critical opportunity for leaders to come together across sectors and geographies to share views, strategies, and technologies that will strengthen our collective capacity to deal with another pandemic.” Prof. Bundhit Eua-arporn, President of Chulalongkorn University, said: “It has been our pleasure at Chulalongkorn University to bring together top minds in the Asia-Pacific region for talks and exchanges that would benefit citizens around the world. Chulalongkorn believes in the power of partnerships and is firmly committed to working with other institutes, APRU, and leaders to make progress on our common objectives.” His Excellency General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, also delivered a keynote speech. He was followed by Chancellor Block, who engaged the audience with a special plenary address on global partnership. Other forum highlights consisted of three thought-provoking panel discussions, which explored ways to foster collaborative efforts in researching, strategy-setting, and handling misinformation. The first session, titled “Partnering on Biomedical Research,” saw leaders from different sectors exchange ideas on improving biomedical responses, such as manufacturing and distributing biomedical and therapeutic assets effectively, in the state of global emergency. Panelists then focused on the socio-cultural aspect of a pandemic in the second session, titled “Partnering on Effective Socio-cultural Strategies,” which addressed opportunities and challenges in imposing public health strategies in a diverse yet connected world. The last session touched upon a topic at the heart of a digitalized world. Under the theme of “Partnering on Combatting the Infodemic,” panelists assessed the role false and misleading information plays in a pandemic and the urgency for countries to tackle the phenomenon as a team. Prof. Rocky S. Tuan, APRU Vice Chair and Vice-Chancellor and President of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, underlined the urgency of promoting and facilitating cooperation in biomedical research in Asia-Pacific and beyond. He noted: “Although most of the world is emerging from the full shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic, our shared experience over the past three years has enabled us to see the importance of working together as a team that combines governments, industry, academia, NGOs and the community, to address a global health crisis, especially in researching, manufacturing, assembling and distributing medical biomedical and therapeutic resources.” Prof. Deborah Terry, Vice-Chancellor and President of The University of Queensland, Australia, emphasized the importance of assessing sociocultural factors while formulating strategies for the future. She said: “Asia-Pacific is one of the most socially and culturally diverse regions worldwide. Assessing the role that socio-cultural context plays in different communities across the region, particularly in the face of a global medical emergency, is essential in ensuring that we can draw future-proof plans in a just, fair, and all-inclusive way.” Professor Dawn Freshwater, Vice-Chancellor of Waipapa Taumata Rau, University of Auckland, New Zealand, explained her thoughts on infodemic. “Our world is more connected than ever. In this digital age, information is passed on and shared within milliseconds across borders, languages, and faiths,” she said. “Combating misinformation and disinformation will be vital to implement public health measures effectively. In this context, regional and international collaborations are paramount for achieving the goal.” For more information on APRU and its events, please visit https://www.apru.org.
November 18, 2022
DiDi and APRU strengthen partnership with MoU and new APEC project
APRU and Beijing-based mobile transportation platform Didi Chuxing (DiDi) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen collaboration and the development of activities and projects. Currently both organizations are contributing to the APEC Public-Private Dialogue on Sharing Economy and Digital Technology Connectivity for Inclusive Development, which aims to advance economic, financial, and social inclusion in the APEC member economies. APRU participated in the APEC Public-Private Dialogue’s latest seminar with the theme, “Capitalize on Research and Development.” Held on February 12 in Putrajaya, Malaysia, the seminar brought together stakeholders in the science and technology innovation sector to strengthen the ecosystem in promoting R&D and enhancing connectivity within the innovation value chain. “APRU’s large network of researchers, policy-makers and private sector representatives in the Asia-Pacific region makes it the ideal partner for us to jointly explore opportunities for collaborative research, joint projects, education and training, talent development, and academic exchanges, as well as technology transfer and innovation,” said Leju Ma, DiDi’s Senior Expert in International Industries. “We are looking forward to the significant input that APRU will provide for our projects,” he added. On the list of future projects to be explored and developed is the joint organization of side events at relevant UN conferences and cooperation on developing future APEC workshops. Other collaboration opportunities will be provided by the DiDi Engine Initiative, which includes international youth exchange and technology competitions, regional joint AI laboratories, women’s entrepreneurship and empowerment programs, as well as APRU’s support for DiDi’s engagements related to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). In view of the Covid-19 outbreak, APRU and DiDi will work together to share best practice on non-pharmaceutical prevention and control measures with entities outside China, especially in the mobility sector.   Find out the report published by APEC Policy Partnership on Science Technology and Innovation.  About DiDi https://www.didiglobal.com Didi offers on-demand taxi-hailing, private car-hailing, bike-sharing, automotive solutions and smart transportation services to over 550 million users across China, Japan, Latin America and Australia, delivering over 10 billion rides per year.
April 21, 2020
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 [email protected] with any questions. For further details, please contact: Masyitha Baziad +65 9751 2146 at [email protected] Michael Chapnick +65 9647 4847 at [email protected]
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
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 [email protected] Michael Chapnick +65 9647 4847 at [email protected] 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
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
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 [email protected].
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