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Sydney Uni hosts prestigious THE World Academic Summit

This article is sponsored by the University of Sydney. Authorised by Vice-Chancellor and President Prof. Mark Scott. Enquiries: 9351 2000;


The University of Sydney has hosted over 500 higher education leaders from 46 countries at the Times Higher Education World Academic Summit 2023.

The summit was an outstanding opportunity to gather people from around the world to foster international co-operation and discuss the future of higher education. The overall theme of the conference, which ran from September 26 to 28, was collaborating for greatness in a multidisciplinary world.

We were honoured to host this important international gathering. The summit itself was a testament to the value of collaboration and perfectly aligned with the University’s focus on partnerships, multidisciplinarity, diversity, equity and the future of teaching and learning.

It was a chance to hear new ideas from institutions around the world, to create relationships and gain fresh perspectives on the way we work. In both research and education, exciting things happen when leaders and experts from different places and with different ways of thinking come together.

The summit topics included nurturing diverse leadership talent, mobilising for disaster response and climate resilience, fostering an entrepreneurial approach through partnerships, improving Indigenous access to higher education and the role of universities in shaping public opinion.

International speakers included Gary May, Chancellor, UC Davis, Professor Meric Gertler, President, University of Toronto, Professor Dawn Freshwater, Vice-Chancellor University of Auckland, Professor Rocky Tuan, President, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Professor Catherine Ris, President, University of New Caledonia, Dr Guillaume Fiquet, Vice President, International Relations, Territorial and Economic Partnerships, Sorbonne University, Professor Teruo Fujii, President, University of Tokyo and Professor Shearer West,  President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Nottingham (and Chair of Universitas 21).

More than 500 delegates participated in the summit, visiting from across the world – ranging from Azerbaijan to Botswana, Brazil to the Philippines, Sweden to Lebanon and there was substantial representation from Indonesia, Singapore, China, Korea, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The University also held two related events:

  • The Asia Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) senior leaders meeting from September 24-25 focusing on One Pacific: Breaking down education and research silos to address Asia-Pacific challenges.
  • Sydney Summit III, “Universities and the SDGs: a half-time report” was hosted by the University’s Office of Global and Research Engagement from 28-29 September and assessed the progress universities have made in tackling the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals halfway through their lifespan.

The University of Sydney has 20 research partners across North America, Europe and Asia.

This year we announced a $100 million investment in the international Sydney Horizon Fellowship scheme, to support emerging researchers in researching climate change, health and sustainability.

Phil Baty, Chief Knowledge Officer at Times Higher Education said: “Sydney Uni has consistently shown leadership and innovation: how to truly break down academic silos to deliver world-changing research discoveries; how to deliver gender equality and diversity; and how to adopt new methods of teaching and learning.”


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