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The 8th World Women University Presidents Forum Opening Ceremony in WHU - 12 Presidents awarded “Lifetime Honorary Awards to Women University Presidents”
Author:Wu Jianglong  Date:2018-04-20  Clicks:

On April 9th, 2018, the 8th World Women University Presidents Forum kicked off in Wuhan University, with the presence of over 150 women university presidents, experts and scholars from UNESCO and 51 countries and regions. The participants are going to explore and discuss the high education vision in this information era, the female development and a new-type leadership under the theme of “Future Education, New Leadership and Community with Shared Future for Mankind”.

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At the Opening Ceremony, Dou Xiankang, President of Wuhan University delivered a welcome speech. Some other lecturers include Ms. Chen Zhili (the former China State Councilor), Ms. Irina Bokova (the former Director-general of UNESCO) Ms. Li Weihong (the former vice Minister of the Ministry of Education and consultant of the Organizing Committee of WWUPF),,Ms. Saniye Gülser Corat, (Director of the Division for Gender Equality Office of UNESCO), Ms. Wang Yanling,(Director of Department of Publicity of Hubei Provincial Government) and Ms.Gülsün Sağlamer (President of European Women Rectors Association).

The World Women University Presidents Forum set a “Lifetime Honorary Award to women university presidents” to those women Presidents over the age of 70, for their ongoing devotion to higher education and their great contributions to the development of the Forum. During this forum, this prize was, for the first time, awarded to 12 women Presidents, with Chen Zhili, Lin Wenyi and Irina Bokova as the presenters.

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On behalf of Wuhan University, President Dou Xiankang extended warm welcome to the guests. He said World Women University Presidents Forum, with education and female development as its focus, has been constantly expanding its theme, pooling wisdoms as well as exchanging and spreading ideas. It has worked unremittingly to develop global higher education to improve women leadership and social equity; meanwhile, the Forum provides a platform, which facilitates China’s going global and enables the world to learn about China through international exchanges, cooperation and mutual learning. Besides, President Dou Xiankang introduced some outstanding women in the 120 years’ history of Wuhan University.

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Chen Zhili spoke highly of the achievements of this Forum over the years. “The World Women University Presidents Forum is the ever-blooming flower with lasting fragrance, which would stay strong and towering forever in the garden of global education,” she said. She believed that this Forum has presented a foresight by combining the future education, the global governance with a community with shared future for mankind. It is meaningful and up-to-date. She pointed out, “focusing on the blueprint of developing the future education in a community with shared future for mankind is a profound concern based on the main questions of our time and a dialogue to cross the chasm. Let us work together to draw a blueprint for the future education, to build a community with shared future for mankind and to march towards a better future.”

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“We have witnessed the substantial progress in human thoughts, science and technology in a globalized and interconnected world. We are, at the same time, confronted with shared challenges. The Belt and Road Initiative by Chinese President Xi focusing on the cultural exchanges and educational and scientific cooperation, has created new opportunities for development and prosperity.” Said Irina Bokova, “Professor Peng Liyuan is a special envoy for women education in the UNESC. China and the UNESC have co-established a Women’s education award. Universities have played a vital role in promoting women education. Thus, we should promote gender equality and women empowerment through education and learning.”

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Li Weihong indicated that the theme of this Forum conforms to the trend of globalization and global education. It responses to the social concern of education development and mankind destiny, which is valuable and meaningful. What’s more, she shared her expectations to the Forum. “Wish we can rethink and promote the cooperation and exchanges of international education; Wish we can think about and grasp the trend of future education against the backdrop of social informatization; Wish we can answer the important proposition of new leadership in the general trend of building a community with shared future for mankind and developing future education.”

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Saniye Gülser Corat shared in her speech the way to use digital technology for future work and education. She stated that women should not only play vital roles but also undertake substantial duties in higher education. The problem-solving abilities are becoming increasingly important in education process. We have transformed the previous career-oriented education to a more comprehensive and adaptive one. Thus, higher education institutes must pay attention to this transfer and we must continuously upgrade and update our skills and knowledge.

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Gülsün Sağlamer explained that the European Women Rectors Association aims to enable more and more women scholars to break “the glass ceiling”. She proposed that the entire process be changed to promote the universities’ reform and bottom-up efforts must be taken to facilitate the institutes’ revolution. Measures have been taken by the European Women Rectors Association to enhance women’s roles and impacts at the college decision-making level. It has provided opportunities for women presidents to share their knowledge and experiences with the focus on improving women scholars’ status and eliminating obstacles of gender segregation in quality level.

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During the Forum, the participants are going to undertake full discussion and communication in the form of sub-forums, round tables, symposia and salons, among which the panel titled “The Belt and Road Initiative & Exchanges and Cooperation between Universities” and the round table titled “My life Journal of Education” were highlighted for the themes, participants and cooperative projects.

The World Women University Presidents Forum was launched by Communication University of China in August 2001. Main forums are hosted every two to three years in China and the sub-forums during the interval around the world. The Forum, with a history of 17 years, has converged more than 1,100 participants from over one hundred countries and regions. This Forum was jointly hosted by Wuhan University, Communication University of China and Women Leadership Academy.


(Rewritten by Zheng Xiaoxia)

(Edited by Zheng Lingling,Shen Yuxi, Liu Jiachen and Liu Xiaoli  )


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