Authorized by the State Council in March 2015, National Development and Reform Commission raised an initiative titled“Vision and Actions on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road”which proposes to support Fujian Province in becoming a core area of the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road. In November 2016, the Ministry of Education signed the“Memoranda of International Cooperation on the Belt and Road Educational Action”with Fujian Province, aiming to support and promote Fujian Province and the countries along the Belt and Road to carry out broader and more in-depth regional cooperation of higher standard.
Under the new historical background, the establishment of the University Consortium of 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (hereinafter referred to as“UCMSR”), led by Xiamen University and other higher education institutions in Fujian Province as well as renowned domestic and overseas universities along the Maritime Silk Road, serves as a positive response and implementation to the Belt and Road Initiative, which is also an enrichment for intercultural communication and an expansion for humanistic and educational exchanges.
Nature and Mission
UCMSR is a non-profit, non-governmental, inclusive international platform for higher education cooperation established by high-level universities worldwide on an equal and voluntary basis in an era of peaceful development and win-win cooperation. Under the Silk Road spirit of “peace, friendship, openness, inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit”, UCMSR aims to facilitate exchange and cooperation in areas of inter-university communication, talent cultivation, discipline building, technological innovation, social service and so forth. It is also dedicated to cultivating high quality and inter-disciplinary talents with a global perspective and strengthening understanding and friendship amongmember universities as to secure resource sharing, mutual benefit, and common development. UCMSR’s main framework for cooperation includes but is not limited to the MSR Innovation Campaign, the MSR Study Tour Program, the MSRTraining Base, the MSR Joint Fund and the MSR Forum for University Presidents.
Currently, UCMSR consists of 67 universities from 20 countries and regions along the Maritime Silk Road.
On 18th December, 2017, the unveiling ceremony of the Secretariat and releasing of the written proposal of the UCMSR took place at Xiamen University. Representatives from 12 Chinese universitieswere joined by representatives from 6 overseas universities, including Victoria University of Wellington, Middle East Technical University, Kasetsart University, University of Dayton, University of Peradeniya, and Tarumanagara University.
On 20th October, 2018, Xiamen University played host to the Inauguration Ceremony of the University Consortium of the UCMSR and University Presidents' Forum. The event was graced by dignitaries and officials from the government of China as well as the ASEAN Secretariat. Mr. ZHU Zhiwen, Vice Minister of China's Ministry of Education, Mr. LIN Hepin, Head of the Education Department, Fujian Province, Ms. Adeline LEE from the ASEAN Secretariat all took turns to deliver speeches. More than 120 delegates from 66 universities across 17 countries and regions along the Maritime Silk Road participated in the event, with most of them being Presidents/ Vice Chancellors/ Rectors or senior officials of the participating institutions. Following the opening ceremony was a one-day university presidents' forum. Topics critical to this forum revolved around, innovation education and industry-university partnership, university transformation and internationalization, and how to build world-class universities. The forum featured 8 keynote speeches and 23 presentations.
From 20th July to 1st August, 2019,the first ever International Summer Program of the University Consortium of the 21stCentury Maritime Silk Road (UCMSR) took place in Xiamen University.The program saw in attendance about sixty undergraduates from 40 universities of 15 countries and regions along the maritime silk road, including Nanyang Technological University, Victoria University of Wellington, Newcastle University, University of Malaya, Chulalongkorn University, Royal University of Phnom Penh, Hokkaido University, Korea University, University of Bologna, University of California Riverside, Trier University, Leiden University, The University of Hong Kong, Nanjing University, Wuhan University, Sun Yat-sen University, etc.