Talent and creativity the key to economic success

Published on 06 April 2011

The World Bank's leading expert on higher education set out the challenges for universities, in the first session of the ACU's Conference of Executive Heads in Hong Kong today.

Talent remains the key factor in determining the success of countries – and universities are critical in providing this talent. This was the message from Professor Jamil Salmi, World Bank Tertiary Education Coordinator, in his keynote speech to open the ACU Conference of Executive Heads in Hong Kong.

The conference, which runs from 6-8 April, brings together university leaders and senior management representing institutions in 35 countries.

Professor Salmi, whose work has played a critical role in changing the World Bank's policy on universities in recent years, warned that institutions face a revolution in their organisation and methods to meet this challenge. His inspiring and wide-ranging talk embraced lifelong leaning, new pedagogical approaches, and an overriding emphasis on creativity and the ability to embrace change – a skill as critical for universities as it is for the students that they serve. All of this needs to take place within clear frameworks for quality and relevance.

Earlier, delegates had been welcomed by Professor Lap-Chee Tsui, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Hong Kong (which is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2011), and Michael Stone, Secretary-General of the Hong Kong University Grants Committee, who shared the results of his country’s groundbreaking 2010 review of provision.