On August 13, 2011, World University Presidents Forum opened in Shenzhen. State Councilor Liu Yandong attended the opening ceremony and delivered a speech. She stressed that countries should strengthen higher education cooperation, deepen cultural exchanges, enhance friendship between their people, boost international cooperation and make greater contributions to the prosperity and harmony of the world and the civilization and progress of mankind.
She pointed out that the present era is filled with profound changes and opportunities as well as challenges and uncertainties. Mankind should learn to resolve conflicts, eliminate crisis and create the future with wisdom. As the base of producing top talents and the source of new knowledge, new ideas and new technologies, universities should fulfill the mission entrusted by the times, adapt to the rapidly changing knowledge society and train all types of talents, make innovations to serve the prosperity and progress of the society, promote cross-culture understanding and cooperation and make unremitting efforts to build a harmonious world.
She stressed that to step up cooperation on higher education helps spread knowledge, carry on our culture, civilizations to learn from each other and realize prosperity of the world. The Chinese government always attaches great importance to higher education cooperation and encourages the Chinese universities to build in-depth and lasting win-win partnership with their counterparts worldwide. Efforts should be made to share quality educational resources, expand the scale of exchanges between Chinese and foreign students and the inter-governmental mutual recognition of academic degrees, support the exchange of teachers and students, mutual recognition of credits and joint degrees among universities, attract more world class experts and scholars to teach, make scientific research and to be part of the management in China and comprehensively enhance the development of disciplines and quality of talents. It is important to deepen cooperation on scientific research, encourage universities to follow the latest trends of science and technologies, conduct international academic exchanges, set up joint labs and other international R&D institutes, boost high-level basic researches and high-tech studies and jointly overcome global challenges. Universities should be supported to work with research institutes and enterprises in order to enable the win-win interactions of teaching, scientific research and industries. Universities should play a part in the process of regional economic integration and better serve the society by providing strategic studies and consultations for decision-making. They should conduct cultural exchanges, strengthen the education for international understanding, broaden exchanges among themselves, increase their students' awareness and experience of different countries and cultures and foster the capacity of students to embrace cultural diversification and cross-cultural study and research. She hopes universities worldwide participate in the cross-culture exchanges more actively and jointly write a glorious chapter in the history of human civilization and progress.
The theme of the Forum is University's New Mission and Talent Cultivation in the 21st Century. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and 163 university presidents from 68 countries and regions attended the opening ceremony and Chinese Minister of Education Yuan Guiren chaired the event. The establishment of Shenzhen Universiade International Scholarship Foundation was announced during the ceremony and certificates were issued to the first group of students receiving the scholarship.