Professor John Hearn, Executive Director of WUN and Chairman of the Australia-Africa Universities Network, discusses the prolific threats that continue to plague public health and outlines initiatives in place that promote education and prevention.
In communities where livelihoods are linked to the land and sea, environmental security is of utmost importance. This is particularly true in the developing nations of the Asia-Pacific, where many localities have a high dependency on fisheries, tourism and agriculture. Moreover, global changes are increasingly resulting in challenging localised impacts, such as increased frequency of extreme events. Thus, understanding the social-environment system is imperative to providing solutions for responding to climate change.
Renmin University School of Marxism in Beijing held a high level international conference on “China’s Path in International Relations” at the end of June 2015. The purpose was to explore and develop the scholarly and practical concepts of “One Belt One Road” as articulated by President Xi Jinping. WUN Executive Director, Professor John Hearn, and WUN China Manager, Associate Professor Grace Liu, were among international speakers from Canada, USA, Russia and Europe invited to present papers.
WUN Executive Director, Professor John Hearn, and WUN China Manager, Associate Professor Grace Liu, visited WUN member Zhejiang University in June to meet with the new President Professor Zhaohui Wu, reviewing the WUN-Zhejiang Partnership and exploring greater engagement and teamwork. Zhejiang currently ranks in the top three Chinese universities and is a recognised international research leader.
Medical research and advanced mathematics are usually considered separate disciplines. But for one WUN collaboration, bringing maths and biology together could hold the key to understanding how cells in the human body signal to each other, and might potentially unlock the secrets of a range of non-communicable diseases.
In the coming months, WUN will see considerable transition in its Partnership Board, with leading figures that have helped shape WUN over the last ten years moving on from their respective universities. WUN thanks these individuals for their dedicated service and wishes them the best of luck in their future endeavours. We also look forward to welcoming their successors and continuing to build on mutual strengths.
There has been a significant increase in asthma and allergies in high-income countries over the past few decades. These diseases are also increasingly prevalent in developing countries, which can substantially increase mortality rates since proper medication is often expensive. The causes of asthma and allergies are not well understood, and there is currently neither a cure or effective prevention. At the same time, parasitic infections have decreased and have known immunological effects.
Today’s higher education landscape is changing rapidly as a direct result of globalisation and technological advancement. Key issues include access and affordability, public/private collaboration, technology’s impact on research, and the evolving roles of academics, students and administrators in light of increased internationalisation.
As the world’s population continues to rise, so does the increasing demand for water, energy and food. These three resources are inextricably linked and any shortage or disruption of one will significantly impact the other two. This is known as the water-energy-food nexus.