NUS president to chair prestigious university group at the World Economic Forum

SINGAPORE - In a boost for Asian universities, National University of Singapore (NUS) president Tan Chorh Chuan has been appointed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as chair of a prestigious forum of university leaders. From this year, he will head the Global University Leaders Forum (Gulf) for a two-year term, taking over from Professor Richard Levin, the former head of the renowned Yale University, NUS said in a press release on Wednesday.

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Here is a press release from NUS:

Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, President of the National University of Singapore (NUS), has been appointed the Chair of the Global University Leaders Forum (GULF) by the World Economic Forum for a two-year term commencing 2014. He takes over the GULF chair from Professor Richard Levin, President Emeritus of Yale University.

The GULF, which comprises the Presidents of 25 of the top universities in the world, was created by the World Economic Forum in 2006 to offer university leaders a key global engagement channel for high-level dialogue on issues of higher education and research with other sectors, including the business community; and to foster collaboration between universities in areas of significance for global policy. The members of GULF include the University of Cambridge, ETH Zurich, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Oxford, Peking University, Princeton University, Stanford University, University of Tokyo and Yale University. NUS is one of six universities from Asia in the group, and the only university from Singapore.

Initiatives that have been facilitated by GULF include the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN), the Society for the Advancement of Science and Technology in the Arab World (SASTA), and the Reseau d'excellence des sciences de l'ingenieur de la Francophonie (RESCIF), a network of universities for excellence in engineering sciences.

Said Martina Gmür, Senior Director, Head of the World Economic Forum's Network of Global Agenda Councils: "Professor Tan Chorh Chuan's appointment to serve as Chair of the Gulf reflects his first-in-class background and expertise, as well as the active and much appreciated role he and his colleagues at the National University of Singapore continue to play in the activities of the Forum.

We are delighted that Prof Tan has agreed to accept the appointment, and look forward to working with him on strategic issues of concern for the world's premier research universities."

Prof Tan, who was invited to join the GULF in 2008, regularly attends the World Economic Forum's annual meetings in Davos as a discussion leader or moderator. He is a member of the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Universities, and previously on Pandemics, and also sits on the Forum's Science Advisory Committee.

Said Prof Tan of his appointment: "It is truly an honour to chair the Global University Leaders Forum, and I thank the World Economic Forum for entrusting me with this appointment. The GULF has proven to be a critically important platform to debate and discuss major trends in global higher education and research, particularly in relation to the challenges these face, and the potential opportunities for transformative contributions to economic development, business, employment and societal advancement. I look forward, in this regard, to building on the great work done by my predecessor Professor Richard Levin, and to help contribute fresh insights, ideas and proposals to the World Economic Forum's agenda and work to address strategic issues of interest and concern around the world."

Prof Tan is currently in Davos for the Forum's Annual Meeting 2014 and GULF 2014.

The World Economic Forum is an independent international organisation with the mission of improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Headquartered in Geneva, the Forum is best known for its annual meetings in Davos-Klosters, which gather global leaders from across business, government, international organisations, academia and civil society.

The Forum's Annual Meeting 2014 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, is centred on the theme: "The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business". The Meeting is expected to provide substantial, but informal, input into the official discussions taking place at the G8 and the G20, as well as other important global processes. Participation in the annual meetings as well as the Global University Leaders Forum is by invitation only.