The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) hosted a Forum on ‘The Public Interest and the Future of Public Higher Education in the 21st Century’ as part of the WUN Global Higher Education and Research Challenge on the occasion of the visit of Chancellor David Ward from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Chancellor Ward was joined by CUHK Provost Professor Benjamin Wah, the Secretary-General of the University Grants Committee in Hong Kong, China Dr. Richard Armour, and Executive Director of the Hong Kong-America Centre Dr. Glenn Shive on the role of public universities in advancing the public good.
Prof. Benjamin W. Wah spoke on rankings, positioning, and the role of leadership in public institutions. He cautioned the audience on over-indulgence in rankings as these assessments are selective and incomplete and urged universities to use it as a tool for self-reflection and improvement. Dr. Richard T. Armour challenged the audience to consider whether higher education has a place as a public good by drawing examples from Hong Kong, China the United States and the United Kingdom. And Chancellor Ward shared his thoughts from his leadership experience at Wisconsin-Madison as well as at the American Council on Education, the leading higher education advocacy group in the United States.