On December 7, 2021, Sub-forum 4 of Global MOOC and Online Education Conference 2021, “Virtual Mobility and Cocurricular Programming” was successfully co-chaired by the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), Global MOOC and Online Education Alliance and UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE) to explore virtual mobility and curriculum design, tap the potential of digital technology, provide students with valuable opportunities to connect with global counterparts for new knowledge, skills and ideas, and train outstanding talents for the 21st century. The replay of the sub-forum 4 can be viewed in English and in Chinese on XuetangX.
Christopher Tremewan, Secretary-General of APRU (The Association of Pacific Rim Universities) gave opening remarks, where he pointed out the sub-forum would introduce the innovative policies and practices of various higher education institutions to promote the development of education in the global digital era, study the concept and framework of cooperation between institutions, and strive to building a more open, integrated and promising higher education system. He said that international exchanges were vital to the development of higher education in the future. Especially under the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic, higher education institutions should further strengthen cooperation to overcome difficulties and challenges.
In her keynote speech, Alan Chan, Provost and J.S. Lee Professor of Chinese Culture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong said that the pandemic had a huge impact on higher education, forcing traditional teaching models to undergo technological transformation. As a highly international institution, the Chinese University of Hong Kong is deeply aware of the need for international cooperation under the influence of the pandemic. Higher education institutions need to develop an international cooperation network to strengthen exchanges and learning. While strengthening hardware transformation, they must also pay attention to software transformation, strengthen teachers and students’ understanding of online education, and optimize the use of software and hardware. Xu Xuemin, Vice President (Education and International Affairs), Shanghai Jiao Tong University said that universities should turn challenges into opportunities, foster students’ diversified development and global vision through online education, enhance their ability to cope with global challenges, and grow as global citizens with the courage to take responsibility. With the help of online technology, Shanghai Jiaotong University has upgraded international cooperation, and creatively developed a hybrid teaching model. Eduardo Vera, Director of International Affairs, University of Chile said that technological education reform gave Chilean universities the opportunity to enable students from different backgrounds to participate in the classrooms and activities of Chilean universities. In the age of online education, technological development determines the efficiency of knowledge dissemination and education, and it is crucial to further strengthen international cooperation.
Presentations and Panel Discussions
During presentations and panel discussions, Shally Fan, Director of Academic Links, The Chinese University of Hong Kong introduced the Virtual Student Exchange Program (VSE) and joint development courses offered by the Chinese University of Hong Kong, while Seung Hyun Yang, Manager, International Mobility & Cooperation Team, Office of International Affairs, Korea University Shared three of their virtual cultural exchange projects. Wang Xiaoxiao, Director of Online Education Center, Tsinghua University introduced Tsinghua University’s Global Hybrid Classroom and four courses provided for the APRU project. Voraprapa Nakavachara, Assistant to the President for Global Engagement, Chulalongkorn University mentioned that the university had reached agreements with other universities on mutual recognition of credits and would further strengthen the application of digital technology in the future.
Jackie Wong, Director of Network and Student Programs, APRU gave closing remarks as the moderator. She expressed her heartfelt thanks to the guests for sharing their insights in online education. She said that the development of online education should be creative, deal with changes in the times, make full use of technological development for international cooperation, and improve students’ global leadership, cross-cultural communication skills and self-exploration skills. The VSE will continue to develop, combining social benefits and learning benefits to promote the global development of hybrid teaching.