On June 23, President Zhang Rong attended the International Partner Summit on the Impact of Covid-19 on Universities at the invitation of Newcastle University Vice-Chancellor and President Chris Day. This event was hosted by Newcastle University (UK) with its online discussion focused on multiple topics such as scientific research, response measures and international cooperation.
President Zhang Rong began with a presentation of an overview of XMU's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the online classes, scientific research, campus safety and career support for graduating students as well as the dispatches of medics from XMU affiliated hospitals to the virus hotspots in Wuhan. In terms of international cooperation, he specifically mentioned that the university has received and sent hundreds of letters of support to and from the sister colleges, and donated medical supplies to Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education. In the meantime, XMU alumni around the world also made significant contribution to their communities by donation and voluntary services.
President Chris Day said that Newcastle University can learn much from XMU's experience. In face of the pandemic, Newcastle University has adopted social distancing policies, provided online courses and launched activities such as voluntary community services and online campus open day. Newcastle University also allowed early graduation for medical students to aid in the fight against COVID-19. He expressed his admiration for XMU's effective safety measures and career support for students, and said he would consider similar measures at Newcastle University.
Both President Zhang and President Day agreed that the internet has become the new bridge for international exchanges and cooperation. The combination of face-to-face and online communications has become the new normal. Both sides envisioned a bright future where the online courses and lectures would be shared, long-distance exchanges between students and faculties encouraged, more international dialogues hosted and mutual understanding further enhanced.
Last but not least, President Zhang extended an invitation to President Day to participate in the XMU Centenary Celebration events in April 2021, which President Day gladly accepted.
Source: Office of International Affairs