On December 7, hosted by the Guangzhou Municipal Government, the Guangzhou International Friendship City University Presidents Forum & the Alliance of Guangzhou International Sister-city Universities (GISU) was held at the Guangzhou Baiyun International Convention Center. Deputy Mayor of Padova; Deputy Consul-General of the Italian Consulate General in Guangzhou; Director of the Guangzhou Municipal Education Bureau; Li Hongqing, deputy inspector of the Municipal Science and Technology Commission, Wei Minghai, president of Guangzhou University; Guo Xingpeng, Vice President of Guangzhou University; and representatives of the founding members of the Guangzhou International Friendship University Alliance were present in the event. The establishment of the Guangzhou International Friendship University Alliance will further promote the cooperation of the universities of Guangzhou International Friendship Cities, and build a high-end exchange platform for the universities serving city development.
With the theme of Promoting Urban Development, GISU focuses on globalization of higher education, industry-university-research cooperation and international transfer of intellectual property, sustainable urban development, smart city development, and multinational cooperation in biomedicine, artificial intelligence, information technology and new energy materials.
Prof. Wei Minghai, President of GU; Prof. Bevil Milton Glover, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Western Sydney; Prof. Joaquim Ramos de Carvalho, Deputy Vice-chancellor of University of Coimbra; Prof. Francesca Da Porto, Deputy Vice-chancellor of University of Padova; Prof. Karlsson Ulf Otto from Linkoping University; Prof. Francois Bedard from the University of Quebec in Montreal and other representatives gave their keynote speeches on the forum respectively. The speeches were about Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay District development strategy and opportunities, university research and education cooperation, sustainable urban development, innovation, cooperation and globalization. Participants had an in-depth discussion on the interdependence relationship of urban and university development, innovation, collaboration and globalization, which greatly contribute to sustainable urban development.
Prof. Qu Shaobing, party secretary of GU CPC Council, delivered a speech at the forum and expressed his welcome and gratitude to the guests and representatives attending the forum and ceremony. “City supplies genes, power and security for universities and universities are highlands of memories, foundations and souls of cities.” He said, as one of the founding members of the GISU, GU is willing to cooperate with all the other members in promoting development of universities and cities and provide intellectual and talent support for sustainable urban development.
GISU was established based on the friendly cooperation between Guangzhoucity with 73 other cities from 53 countries all around the world. It aims at strengthening the links and exchanges among Guangzhou and all of the international sister-cities as well as their local universities, to provide a shared international academic resource, encourage education and sci-tech cooperation, and improve vitality of urban development.
The principle of GISU is “voluntariness, equality, collaboration, sharing and mutual benefit”. Its founding members include: Guangzhou University (China), the University of Coimbra (Portugal), Linköping University (Sweden), University of Padova (Italy), the University of Quebec in Montreal (Canada), Tampere University (Finland), and the University of Western Sydney (Australia).
During the meeting, representatives signed the “Guangzhou International Friendship University Alliance Declaration”, claiming that they would work together to establish a multilateral exchange mechanism, promote friendly exchanges and cooperation among scholars from the members. More opportunities for international study and interdisciplinary curriculum exchange and joint training opportunities will be provided for the students from the member universities. An articulation system will be set up. Scientific research cooperation among member universities on sustainable urban development will be promoted. An innovative and entrepreneurial exchange platform will also be built to inspire the youth.
After the ceremony, GU signed agreements on PhD programs and sustainable urban development with University of Padova and Linköping University respectively.