Welcome Remarks and GISU Progress Report at the December 2, 2020 Council Meeting of the Alliance
Be more Inclusive and Open,
Seek Cooperation and Development
Guangzhou University President Wei Minghai
Honorable council members, presidents, distinguished guests, colleagues and friends,
Good Afternoon! In this golden autumn and harvest season, on this beautiful campus of Guangzhou University located in Guangzhou, the Flower City of China, I would like to extend my warm greetings to all the guests attending the meeting.
On behalf of Guangzhou University, I would like to express my congratulations on the opening of this Council Meeting and extend my sincere welcome to all the council members, presidents, guests and friends. Welcome is also extneded to the representatives from National Technical University of Ukraine and Durban University of Technology that would like to join our Alliance today.
I will now report to you on the work of the GISU Alliance.
1. Stand together to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and build the community of shared future for mankind
The 2020 Council Meeting is convened under special circumstances while the Covid-19 pandemic is still raging throughout the world where it has brought suffering to people from different countries. During the most critical moment of China’s prevention and control of this pandemic, we received letters of solidarity from our member universities such as Incheon National University, University of Padua and Western Sydney University. While the situation in China greatly improved but the virus spread rapidly globally, Guangzhou University arranged to quickly ship masks and other protective equipment to our sister-city universities. “A friend in need is a friend indeed” and our friendship has been enhanced in our cooperation to combat the pandemic.
2. Jointly organize the competition and forge new paths for student exchanges among Alliance members
As an important task of the Alliance in 2020, the first Urban Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition has received positive feedback and active participation from our member universities. Against the backdrop of the prevention and control of the pandemic, we took the occasion of the competition to explore and forge a new way to promote youth exchanges among member universities and among Guangzhou International Sister Cities.
I am pleased to announce that after over four months of preliminaries and semi-finals, ten teams from four member universities, including Tampere University, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou Medical University and Incheon National University, entered into our final. In the online final competition yesterday afternoon, the Medified team from Tampere University won the gold award and five other teams from Guangzhou University and Tampere University won the silver and bronze awards. We would like to congratulate these excellent students and show our appreciation for their creativity and innovation!
3. Overcome difficulties and promote cooperation to seek common sustainable development
In 2020, we have implemented fruitful joint training of students and scientific collaboration among our member universities. Guangzhou University and the University of Padua have admitted a total of 39 students in the joint PhD training program since 2016. According to our latest statistics, nearly 570 scientific research articles have been jointly published by scholars with their counterparts from the GISU member universities in 2020. Among them, scholars from the University of Padua have collaborated with their counterparts of GISU member universities as co-authors of 201 articles, Middle East Technical University as co-authors of 135 articles, University of Coimbra as co-authors of 63 articles, Linkoping University as co-authors of 45 articles and Guangzhou University as co-authors of 38 articles. In addition, scholars from Guangzhou University and the University of Padua have won funding from the European Union for two scientific research projects, funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Italian Ministry of Culture and Heritage for three collaborative projects.
In general, despite the pandemic over the past year, the work of the Alliance has proceeded as scheduled and reached our expected goals with the joint efforts and active cooperation among our GISU member universities.
Ten days ago, Guangzhou University celebrated the 20th anniversary of its merger. We have successively received more than 100 congratulatory letters and videos from both domestic and international universities including the GISU member universities which recognized the progress Guangzhou University has made over the past 20 years and extended best wishes for its future development. On behalf of Guangzhou University, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all of you.
“Opening-up in running a school” is an important education philosophy of Guangzhou University. At a new starting point of 20 years since its merger, Guangzhou University will accelerate its pace of in-depth opening-up. In the face of the pandemic, universities must shoulder their responsibilities to not only overcome difficulties and cultivate people but to also implement scientific research to combat the pandemic and promote global exchange and cooperation with a spirit of openness and inclusiveness.
In the post-pandemic era, universities should be more open, inclusive and cooperative. We are pleased to see our colleagues from the University of Padua, University of Tampere, University of Western Sydney and Guangzhou University have jointly proposed initiatives of collaboration in intelligent manufacturing, digital economy, entrepreneurship courses and other areas which will definitely deepen the cooperation among GISU Alliance members. The Ukrainian National University of Science and Technology and Durban University of Technology would like to join the Alliance this year and, with the participation of more like-minded friends, we are even more confident in fulfilling our due responsibilities and following the development of win-win cooperation.
Dear Council members, presidents, guests, friends, let’s remain committed to the principles of openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and collaboration. Let us build the GISU Alliance into an outstanding example of exchange and collaboration among international universities which will further contribute to the sustainable development of our cities and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
Finally, I wish all council members, leaders, guests and friends good health and all the best.
Thank you all!