In Summary

  • Presidents' Forum explored how young universities can take on the challenges of the 21st century
  • The theme of the two day event was ‘Shaping our futures: young, ambitious and innovative universities in the modern world’

Delegates from Swinburne’s partner institutions and government across Asia and the Middle East, as well as the Victorian government gathered at Swinburne’s Hawthorn campus last week as the university hosted its inaugural Presidents’ Forum.

The theme of the two-day event was ‘Shaping our futures: young, ambitious and innovative universities in the modern world’.

The forum, held as Swinburne celebrates 25 years of university education, explored how young universities can successfully take on the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

Participants heard how universities, the way students learn, and research and innovation will be transformed and will themselves transform society.

They considered:

  • what successful universities of technology look like;
  • what achievements will define an institution’s success in 2025;
  • how important collaboration is to achieving goals; and
  • innovative approaches to creating competitive advantage in research

Wrapping up the forum, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Duncan Bentley told participants that finding the answers to the world’s problems lies in collaboration

“Whether we are talking about the extraordinary scientific, engineering or technological innovations that will help to ensure we have the energy we need as the global economy expands and billions move from subsistence to rich enjoyment of their lives.

“Or whether we talk of solutions to the challenge of ageing populations and the growing incidence of chronic disease.

“In all of these our strength and our future success lies in a shared commitment to research, innovation and the creation of a culture of innovation and enterprise,” Professor Bentley said.

Participating representatives from Swinburne’s partner institutions included:

  • Hubei University of Economics,
  • Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine,
  • Shandong University,
  • Shanghai University,
  • Tianjin Chengjian University, and
  • University of Baghdad

Diplomatic representatives from Iraq and Japan and Consuls General representing India, Malaysia and Sri Lanka also attended the forum.