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Fighting COVID-19: Peking University strengthens online communication with global universities


Peking University, April 16, 2020: Having gained valuable experience from tackling the COVID-19 pandemic in China, Peking University has been proactive in sharing its experience with universities around the world. The university-wide dialogues have been conducted through participation in the Global University Leaders Forum, video conferences with partner universities and through conversation between Chinese and international medical experts.

On April 8, Peking University joined the World Economic Forum’s Global University Leaders Forum (GULF) via a video conference, with over 40 universities from 18 countries and regions in attendance. On behalf of Chinese universities, Peking University talked about the role and responsibilities universities should undertake amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the virus outbreak, the presidents of Peking University’s three affiliated hospitals led teams of more than 400 medical workers to support Wuhan, the former worst-hit city in Central China. This semester, over 2,800 teachers taught 4,437 online courses to over 40,000 students using various platforms. 60 of PKU international teachers coming from 31 different countries and regions across 5 continents overcame the difficulties posed by different time zones to continue teaching their classes.

The World Economic Forum’s Global University Leaders Forum

Following the GULF, Peking University continued to share valuable experience and best practices learned from tackling the COVID-19 outbreak. On April 10, Peking University convened a video conference with the University of Tokyo. The two universities have both written to each other expressing concerns and seeking collaboration since the onset of COVID-19, exemplifying the strong ties between Peking University and the University of Tokyo. During the online meeting, both sides shared their experience regarding online education and medical cooperation, and agreed to enhance collaboration in relevant fields under the framework of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU).

A video conference between Peking University and the University of Tokyo

Peking University has also reached out to the Middle East. On March 19, Peking University participated in a video conference with Qatar University, sharing a series of measures Peking University has adopted to ensure the safety of faculty, staff and students and stressing the importance of having classes and doing research from home while students are not allowed to return to campus. Likewise, medical experts from Peking University had in-depth exchanges with their counterparts from Qatar University regarding the prevention and control of COVID-19. Peking University also set up a committee in an attempt to help Qatar University prevent and control the novel coronavirus outbreak.

A video conference between Peking University and Qatar University

Additionally, the Peking University Health Science Center had a fruitful discussion with the Medical School of University of Michigan (U-M) on March 26.  As part of the efforts to help U-M Medical School contain the spread of COVID-19, medical experts attended the online meeting from Beijing, Wuhan, and Ann Arbor, Michigan to exchange views on various fields, including the latest development of the virus outbreak, prevention and control measures, case studies and clinical experience. Both sides have pledged to further bilateral cooperation in the fight against COVID-19.

A video conference between the Peking University Health Science Center and the Medical School of University of Michigan

In these trying times, Peking University is doing its utmost to share anti-epidemic experience with universities worldwide via video conferences. Peking University will continue to maintain online communication with higher institutions across the world during this time, and will be committed to sharing its experience to support the global fight against the pandemic.

Written by: Ng Joong Hwee

Edited by: Huang Weijian, Sam Jones

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