On January 16th, 2021, the Seminar on the Internationalization of Higher Education was held online, jointly organized by the School of Education and the Office of International Cooperation at Tianjin University. The seminar’s theme was “Challenges and Strategies for the Internationalization of Higher Education in the Post-Pandemic Era”. It invited well-known experts and scholars in the field of higher education internationalization to discuss how to deal with the challenges of higher education internationalization in conjunction with routine COVID-19 prevention and control. Prof. Hu Wenping, TJU Vice President, attended the event and delivered a speech.
In his speech, Prof. Hu briefly explained the importance of the internationalization of higher education to the development of universities and social progress and pointed out the challenges brought by the coronavirus epidemic to the internationalization of higher education. Then, he introduced the achievements of TJU’s international cooperation and exchanges in recent years, the theoretical research work done by the School of Education in the field of higher education internationalization, and how to innovate exchange models during the epidemic to continue to promote the school's international development. After the speech, experts from York University, the University of Sydney, Beijing Normal University, Peking University, Zhejiang University, Renmin University of China, Xiamen University, and Tianjin University gave reports on the theme.
In the morning session, Prof. Wang Yingjie, former Vice President of Beijing Normal University and former Dean of Faculty of Education at the University of Macau, discussed the education of overseas students in China and the "Internationalization at Home" of education. He proposed that China's education should stand at the forefront of internationalization and work to improve quality. Prof. Zha Qiang, Director of the Graduate Department at York University, proposed that in the post-epidemic era, universities can use liberal arts education as a starting point to promote the sustainable development of universities. Prof. Ma Tingqi, Deputy Director of the Institute of Emerging Engineering Education at Tianjin University, analyzed the practice and reforms of online education in universities during the epidemic. Prof. Anthony Welch from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney used Australian universities as an example to analyze the negative impact of the pandemic on international mobility, scientific cooperation, and international student education. He proposed that all countries need to work together to advance the internationalization of higher education. Prof. Wu Daguang (former Vice President of Xiamen University, Deputy Director of the University Council, Director of the Faculty Development Center at Xiamen University, and Dean of the Institute of Higher Education at Lanzhou University) proposed the need to improve the quality of talent training and re-explain the internationalization of China’s higher education based on our disciplinary and theoretical system.
In the afternoon session, Prof. Zhang Yingqiang from the School of Education at Zhejiang University said that we need to alter our concept of internationalization to that of internationalism based on a community with a shared future for mankind. Prof. Li Liguo, Associate Dean of the School of Education at Renmin University of China, analyzed the public benefits of higher education and proposed that higher education in China should be incorporated into the basic public education service system to reconstruct the value of higher education. Prof. Jiang Kai from the School of Education at Peking University analyzed the challenges encountered as China pursues the opening up of higher education and thought that China’s higher education should cultivate high-level talents, serve the "Belt and Road Initiative”, and advance cultural exchanges and understanding.
Finally, Prof. Yan Guangfen, Dean of the TJU School of Education, summarized all the reports. She said that the experts’ reports were detailed and unique in their insights. They analyzed the difficulties and challenges of the internationalization of higher education under the pandemic and shared their ideas about the internationalization of higher education, which will be helpful in promoting the internationalization of higher education for both Chinese and overseas universities.
The seminar received extensive attention at home and abroad, with more than 1,000 online participants throughout the day.