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ITU Leads SV Education Forum at China International Conference

International Technological University (ITU) shined a spotlight on Silicon Valley’s innovative education ecosystem at the 17th China Annual Conference for International Education (CACIE) on October 21, 2016 in Beijing, P.R. China. The conference is hosted by the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE); a Beijing-based nonprofit whose mission is to encourage international educational exchanges and cooperation.

The annual event features three main components: the China International Forum on Education, Education B2B, and China Education Expo. More than 3,000 attendees and 200 speakers participated in 12 education forums and 30 special events. The ITU-led Silicon Valley Education Forum fit well within the conference theme, “Paths to the Cultivation of Talents for Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Partnerships of Schools, Businesses and Society,” and took a deep look into the education ecosystem in Silicon Valley, including innovative education models, international programs, company expectations, and partnerships with industry and community.

The opening speaker, ITU President, Dr. Gregory O’Brien, said, “This year’s topic was especially relevant as Silicon Valley has such an entrepreneurship-rich culture. The intersection of businesses, higher education, and innovation is something many look to emulate, and it was an honor to speak as the subject-matter expert.” He went on to discuss how ITU applies a practical curriculum that prepares students for Silicon Valley’s premier companies. “This is achieved by employing industry-leading faculty, incorporating the latest trends and developments into the curriculum, and ultimately challenging students to demonstrate their knowledge with assignments and projects that prepare them for a rewarding career,” O’Brien said.

The forum also featured guest speaker, Dr. Ramjee Prasad, professor in the Department of Business Development and Technology at Aarhus University in Denmark, who spoke about innovation vision and policy, intellectual property rights, and entrepreneurship.

Dr. Dominik Schmidt, a core ITU faculty member, former CTO at Intel Custom Foundry, and 24-year semiconductor industry veteran, shared his view of Silicon Valley’s unique climate for innovation and entrepreneurship. “Silicon Valley provides a great deal of opportunity, especially for those with the technical skills to match their ambition. We can’t help with ambition, but we can definitely hone those skills.” Dr. Schmidt went on to say that ITU, together with its partners and programs, does a great job of creating an ecosystem of learning and innovation.

Closing words from the Chair of ITU’s Electrical Engineering Department and Director of Asia Development, Dr. May Huang, focused on ITU’s research projects, Silicon Valley emerging technology and how partnerships with Universities like China’s Peking University (PKU) bring student success and innovation.

This is the second time ITU has hosted a forum at CACIE and, according to forum organizers, participants expressed appreciation for the timely and relevant discussion. Last year, Dr. O’Brien’s presentation, “Accreditation, Quality Assurance and Innovation,” received an equally positive response, according to Ms. Xuesong Shen, Deputy Secretary General of CEAIE.

While in China for the conference, the ITU team also spent time visiting partner universities and speaking with higher education officials throughout the country to share best practices and collaborate on upcoming programs. Dr. O’Brien stated that ITU will continue to work with CACIE and other forums in Silicon Valley and abroad to promote educational excellence and entrepreneurship, adding that an ITU-hosted Silicon Valley conference on entrepreneurship is being planned and will be announced in the near future.