The University of Newcastle, Australia

International leaders in campus and city planning meet in Newcastle

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Thought leaders from across the globe met in Newcastle this week for the 2016 Univer-Cities Conference, hosted by the University of Newcastle (UON), to explore how universities with strong medical origins are different to others and the opportunities this presents for the cities and regions they call home.

Univer-cities logo

Building on the inaugural 2013 Univer-Cities Conference in Singapore, the international forum continued conversations on the transformational role universities play in driving a city’s economic, social and cultural development.

University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen, said the economic challenges Newcastle is experiencing are in many respects similar to those facing regions in developed countries across the world.

“Communities worldwide are facing the prospect of how to navigate successfully the transition from an economy focused on traditional industries, such as resources and manufacturing, to a knowledge-based economy driven by innovation.

“Newcastle’s dominant industries have changed considerably since the 1990s, from a heavy industry focus to a growing workforce in health, education and business. Successful transition to a knowledge economy will ensure Newcastle’s future prosperity, and we can support this transformation by leveraging the University’s strengths to drive an entrepreneurial culture across the region in sectors such as clean energy, medical research and the creative industries,” Professor McMillen said.

“In partnership with the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), UON is delivering innovation and impact through patient-focused translational research.  HMRI has become an enabler for UON’s researchers and the region’s healthcare professionals, policy makers, industry and the community to work together to address health issues, locally and across the world.

“UON is delighted to be hosting highly esteemed experts from some of the world’s leading universities and organisations to continue this important conversation about the transformational role universities can play in their cities and regions, and generate networks between Newcastle and other global centres of knowledge.”

The Conference brought together international academic and professional leaders, city officials as well as campus and city planning practitioners to participate in a day of intensive sessions at HMRI on November 14.

Speakers and session contributors travelled to Newcastle from Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, the UK, and USA, representing institutions including:

  • University of California, Berkley
  • University of Cambridge
  • Carleton University
  • The University of Hong Kong
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Nanyang Technological University
  • National University of Singapore
  • National Council of Women’s Organisations of Malaysia

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