Internationalization of Higher Education in Sharp Focus

February 2018

The Office of Student Affairs of CUHK held the Symposium on Internationalization of Student Affairs Issues in Higher Education on 25–26 January 2018, which brought together 263 university administrators, university student services personnel, and educational research scholars from 17 countries and regions to exchange ideas and share effective strategies in the internationalization of higher education in student affairs. The participants were welcomed by CUHK Provost Prof. Benjamin Wah who outlined CUHK’s global mission and vision of bringing together China and the West, and what led to the hosting of the Symposium. Following the welcoming speech, Prof. Dennis Ng, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President of CUHK, and Mr. Jeff Sze, Political Assistant to the Secretary for Education, delivered opening remarks on internationalization issues in higher education at CUHK and in Hong Kong, respectively. Professor Ng talked about the seven pillars under the University’s internationalization strategies and highlighted three pillars directly related to student affairs issues: Curriculum, Experience and Students.

The Symposium included two keynote speeches and four seminars. The first keynote speech ‘The Future Trends in Student Affairs and Services Issues at Universities’ was delivered by Prof. Takane Ito, Special Advisor to the President (Internationalization of Undergraduate Education) of the University of Tokyo. The second speech ‘The Core Professional Development of Student Affairs and Services Personnel’ was presented by Prof. Peter Pang, Dean of Students of the National University of Singapore. In the closing ceremony, Kyrgyz student Kairat Eshbolotov and alumnus Henry Keung introduced the cultural exchange opportunities provided by their programmes of study, Colleges and other University departments, and elaborated on how the wide-ranging experiences benefited their personal growth and career planning. Prof. H.Y. Edwin Chan, Associate Vice-President and University Dean of Students of CUHK, rounded out the Symposium by his speech ‘The Challenges and Opportunities in the Internationalization of Student Services’. Most of the participants found something useful from the Symposium, some found it instrumental in gathering student affairs personnel from diverse backgrounds to exchange thoughts and reflect on their work.