President Lionel M. NI leads a delegation to visit Switzerland: visiting FIFA, conducting research on scientific collaboration, and exploring student exchanges

After concluding the visit and exchanges in Belgium and Germany, President Lionel M. NI of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou), along with a delegation, visited Zurich, Bern, and Geneva from January 31st to February 2nd, local time in Switzerland. They engaged in extensive discussions with universities, university alliances, business associations, and international organizations, reaching broad consensus and effectively expanding HKUST(GZ)'s network of ecological partnerships in Europe.

On the evening of January 31st, President NI had just arrived in Zurich when he attended a dinner with nearly twenty friendly individuals and representatives of international students. Mr. Andries Diener, Chairman of the Swiss-Chinese Association, and Dr. Urs Lustenberger, Chairman of the Swiss-Asian Chamber of Commerce, delivered speeches during the dinner, providing valuable suggestions for cooperation in scientific innovation and talent exchange between the two countries' universities and partners. Professor Lei CHEN, the Dean of the Information Hub, and Professor Ricky Shi-Wei LEE, the Dean of the Systems Hub at HKUST(GZ), also spoke, warmly inviting Swiss researchers and outstanding students to visit Nansha, Guangzhou for exchanges, and further promoting collaboration between the two sides.

On the morning of February 1st, the visiting delegation arrived at the headquarters of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA). They had discussions with Dr. Nicolas Evans, responsible for football research and standards at the FIFA Technology Innovation Department, and also toured the headquarters. After learning about the latest technological developments related to FIFA's events, both parties explored and exchanged ideas on further collaboration between HKUST (Guangzhou) and FIFA, leveraging the university's strengths in disciplines such as artificial intelligence and big data.

On the afternoon of February 1st, the visiting delegation arrived in the Swiss capital, Bern, and paid a visit to the swissuniversities, an umbrella organization for higher education in Switzerland. Dr. Dimitri Sudan, the head of international relations at the swissuniversities, provided an overview of the Swiss higher education institutions. The participants from both sides engaged in discussions and agreed to share information and explore effective pathways for student exchanges and other collaboration opportunities.

On February 2nd, President NI and his delegation visited the University of Geneva. They had in-depth discussions with Noria Mezlef, the Head of the International Relations Office, Professor Giovanna Di Marzo Serugendo, the Director of the Computer Science Center, and Professor Martin Patel, the Deputy Director of the Institute of Environmental Science. The two sides exchanged insights on interdisciplinary teaching methods and experiences, discussed opportunities for collaboration in computer science and environmental science, and had constructive discussions on student exchange programs. Both universities agreed to establish regular communication mechanisms to effectively promote collaboration at various levels.

In Geneva, President Lionel M. NI had a meeting with Ambassador Xu CHEN, the Permanent Representative and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva and Other International Organizations in Switzerland. During the dinner meeting, Ambassador Xu CHEN provided an overview of the Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva and Other International Organizations in Switzerland. President Lionel M. NI introduced the founding experience, educational philosophy, and international cooperation approach of HKUST(GZ). Both parties engaged in in-depth discussions on topics such as global trends in higher education, technological revolution and industrial transformation, global development, and international cooperation.

In Bern, President Lionel M. NI paid a visit to the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Switzerland and met with Ambassador Shiting WANG. Ambassador WANG hosted a dinner reception for the delegation at the embassy residence. During the reception, Ambassador WANG emphasized Switzerland's commitment to educational exchanges with China, highlighting innovation as a core competitive advantage of Switzerland. He also mentioned the establishment of an innovation strategic partnership between Switzerland and China. Ambassador WANG expressed his expectation that the visit of HKUST(GZ) would further expand its network of friendships and make new contributions to the cooperation between China and Switzerland in higher education.

In Zurich, President Lionel M. NI also visited Consul General Yun CHEN at the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Zurich. Consul General CHEN warmly received the delegation and provided an overview of the higher education situation within the consular district and in Switzerland. She expressed willingness to support our university in expanding cooperation in Switzerland. During the dinner reception, President Lionel M. NI introduced the basic information about HKUST(GZ) and the main purpose of the current visit to Europe to Consul General Yun CHEN. They engaged in discussions and exchanged views on the current status and future development direction of higher education cooperation between China and Switzerland.

Professor Yang YANG, Associate Vice-President (Teaching & Learning) of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou), Professor Lei CHEN, Dean of the Information Hub, Professor Ricky Shi-Wei LEE, Dean of the Systems Hub, Professor Jie SONG, Assistant Professor of the Systems Hub, Mr. Jing FU, Head of the Global Affairs Department, Mr. Wenchao ZHANG, Deputy Head of the Talent Services Department, and Mr. Bo PENG, Assistant Head of the Public Affairs Department, all participated in the relevant activities.

Release date
05 Feb 2024
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