​NTU to join prestigious Global University Leaders Forum at the World Economic Forum


SINGAPORE – Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU), is the latest institution to join the exclusive group of universities in the Global University Leaders Forum (GULF), an intellectual community within the World Economic Forum (WEF) that provides thought leadership and academic stewardship on higher education, innovation and research within WEF.

Fresh from his participation at WEF in Davos, Switzerland, last month, NTU President Professor Subra Suresh said: “It is an honour to join this special group of academic leaders in high-level dialogue on topics like the future of higher education, and the role of science in research, development and innovation. It is yet another international acknowledgement of NTU’s stature and strengths as a leading global university and as a top young university, and also an affirmation of Singapore’s international standing in research and education.”

Professor Suresh has participated in a number of WEF activities, panels, IdeaLabs and Councils, as well as GULF, in his various prior leadership roles over the past six years as Director of the National Science Foundation and as university president in the United States. In his current role as NTU President, he will be the 27th university president to join this privileged brain trust. President Suresh is also co-chair of the Global Future Council on Manufacturing and Production Systems, which consists of ministers from 28 countries including Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

GULF was created by the WEF in 2006 to not only spur intellectual discussion but also to serve as a resource for the forum’s members and constituents. Its membership comprises the presidents or rectors of the world’s top universities including Ivy League universities such as Harvard, Princeton and Yale from the United States as well as Cambridge and Oxford from the UK, and ETH Zurich from Switzerland. NTU adds to the eight representative universities from Asia, including the University of Tokyo, Peking University, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and the National University of Singapore.

A study published by Times Higher Education in January pointed out that the universities under GULF collectively published more research than all of the world’s major industrialised nations except China and the US. It underlines the vast impact of the group on the global economy. 

According to that study, GULF produced seven percent of the world’s research output, compared to the 6.1 percent from the United Kingdom and Germany, and 5 percent from Japan. 

On NTU joining the GULF group, Dr Lee Howell, Managing Director and Member of the Management Board of WEF, said: “Professor Suresh is an eminent scientist, engineer and leader whose work has greatly impacted academia, industry and government. We are delighted to welcome NTU to the forum, and look forward to Prof Suresh’s continued involvement with GULF, and to his insights and ideas on strategic issues of international concern that will boost the group’s transformative contributions to economic development, business, employment and societal advancement.”

WEF is an independent international organisation that aims to improve 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, it is best known for its annual meetings in Davos-Klosters in January of each year, which gather leaders from a wide spectrum of business, government, international organisations, academia and civil society. In recent years, WEF has also held a “Summer Davos” in China that has brought together rising stars in different domains of technology, policy, business, economics and governance.

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