The New Global Universities: Reinventing Education in the 21st Century

November 13 , 2023







“Higher education is perpetually in crisis, buffeted by increasing costs and a perceived lack of return on investment, campus culture that is criticized for stifling debate on controversial topics, and a growing sense that the liberal arts are outmoded and irrelevant. Some observers even put higher education on the brink of death. ”

Written by Bryan Penprase and Noah Pickus, The New Global Universities offers a counterargument, telling the story of educational leaders who have chosen not to give up on higher education but to reimagine it. The book chronicles the development and launch of eight innovative colleges and universities in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and North America, describing the combination of intellectual courage, entrepreneurial audacity, and adaptive leadership needed to invent educational institutions today.

Professor Noah Pickus, who has been involved in launching ventures similar to those described, offers a unique inside perspective on these efforts.He shows how the founders of new colleges and universities establish distinctive brands in a sector dominated by centuries-old institutions, secure creative sources of funding, attract stellar faculty and students, and design appealing curriculums and campuses—all while managing tradeoffs and setbacks, balancing local needs and global aspirations, and wrestling with challenges to academic freedom. His experiences offer lessons for future founders of new universities—and for those who want to renew and rejuvenate existingones.

On November 13th, the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) will host an event with the theme ” The New Global Universities: Reinventing Education in the 21st Century”. Professor Noah Pickus will deliver a speech during the event,. Professor Pan Qingzhong,Executive Dean of Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University and Expert of the CCG Academic Council, will engage in a dialogue with Professor Pickus. The dialogue will revolve around the following topics:

> What challenges do universities face today, and what unique demands does society place on them compared to the past?

> What are the common characteristics and success factors of global universities that have been successful?

> When comparing successful global universities in different regions, what distinctive features set them apart?

> What opportunities and challenges do new technologies bring to innovation in higher education?


Tuesday, 14 November, 2023 || 14:00 – 15:30

Baidu live:


14:00-14:05 Introduction

14:05-14:25 Keynote Speech

Professor Noah Pickus, Director of the Institute for Global Higher Education, Duke Kunshan University

14:25-15:10 Dialogue

Professor Noah Pickus, Director of the Institute for Global Higher Education, Duke Kunshan University

Professor Pan Qingzhong, Executive Vice Dean of Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University; Expert of the CCG Academic Council

15:10-15:30 Q&A

About the speakers

Noah Pickus

Dean for Academic Strategy and Learning Innovation, Director of the Institute for Global Higher Education, Duke Kunshan University

Noah Pickus is dean for academic strategy and learning innovation and director of the Institute for Global Higher Education at Duke Kunshan University, where he previously led curriculum design and faculty hiring as dean of undergraduate curriculum and faculty development. He is also associate provost at Duke University, with responsibilities in academic strategy, global initiatives, and educational innovation. He was formerly chief academic officer at Minerva Project, director of Duke’s Kenan Institute for Ethics, founding director of the Institute for Emerging Issues at North Carolina State University, and cohort codirector of the Arizona State University-Georgetown University Academy for Innovative Higher Education Leadership.

As a professor of the practice at Duke, his previous work focused on immigration and citizenship. He is the author of True Faith and Allegiance: Immigration and American Civic Nationalism and Immigration and Citizenship in the 21st Century, and he co-directed the Brookings-Duke Immigration Roundtable. Formerly a faculty member at Middlebury College and an American Council on Education fellow at Franklin & Marshall College, Pickus has written widely on innovation and globalization in higher education including (with Kara Godwin) Liberal Arts & Sciences Innovation in China.

Pan Qingzhong

Executive Vice Dean of Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University; Expert of the CCG Academic Council

Professor Pan Qingzhong took office as the Executive Vice Dean of Schwarzman College of Tsinghua University since 2013. Before that he has worked in four companies in the IT industry as: Engineer; Director, R&D; VP; CEO; Chairman. Prof. Pan served as Director of the Development Office at the School of Economics and Management of Tsinghua University from 2004 to 2014. In that role, he mainly responsible for international and domestic cooperation of the collaborations within the school, alongside managing the operations of the School’s Advisory Committee. He also used to be a respected researcher at Tsinghua University’s Corporate Governance Research Center.

Prof. Pan’s research areas include corporate development, corporate governance, Chinese economic history, and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). As an esteemed scholar, Prof. Pan is the Vice President of the China Public Relations Association, concurrently serving as a Distinguished Professor at Beijing Normal University and Deputy Dean of the Belt and Road Research Institute

He is a three-time recipient of an Award for Scientific and Technological Advancement from the Chinese government.

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