Social Sciences Universities Network
(2023-03-15 09:03:02)

Social Sciences Universities Network (SSUN) was jointly initiated by Renmin University of China and Luiss University in Italy. As the world’s first universities network that takes humanities and social sciences as the main field of cooperation, it brings together higher education and research institutions from all continents that have a strong focus on humanities and social sciences. With a vision to address global issues, foster future leaders, and contribute to the realization of the “UN Sustainable Development Goals”, the Network has been committed to integrating high-quality global resources of humanities and social sciences, and shaping a more equitable discipline evaluation system. SSUN has been endeavoring to building high-level platforms for international academic dialogues since its initiation, giving full play to the role of philosophy and social sciences in bridging the Chinese and foreign cultures, and contributing to a community with a shared future for mankind.


Building Multilateral Platforms for Academic Dialogue

SSUN aims at promoting bilateral and multilateral cooperation mechanism, and integrating high-quality global resources through academic dialogues and cultural exchanges. Having built a dialogue platform that’s broad, inclusive, rational, objective and equal, it allows free flow of knowledge and information, so as to foster innovation in knowledge, theories and methodologies and facilitate academic communication.

From November 11th to December 2nd, 2020, SSUN Annual Conference 2020 & “Artificial Intelligence +” Forum Series was held online. Themed at “Artificial Intelligence +”, four seminars (“AI and the Application of Big Data Technology”, “AI and Future Rule of Law”, “AI and Public Governance”, and “AI and the Digital Economy”) attracted more than 2,000 audience. Over 70 experts and scholars from SSUN member institutes and organizations were invited to have in-depth discussions on AI and higher education of social sciences.

On December 16th, 2021, SSUN Annual Conference 2021 & “International Forum for Olympic Education 2021: Sharing, Education and the Future” was held in a hybrid format. Two sub-forums focusing on “Olympic Culture Sharing and Education” and “The Prospects and Future of the Olympics” were also held. Around 200 people including experts, scholars and students from Tsinghua University, Renmin University of China, Beijing Sport University, Capital University of Physical Education And Sports and SSUN attended the meeting.

On September 29th, 2022, SSUN Annual Conference 2022 & Global Higher Education Leaders’ Forum “Networks for Globalization: The Future of Higher Education” was held in a hybrid format, as part of a series of celebration events for RUC’s 85th anniversary. There were three sub-forums, namely “Higher Education Multilateralism in the New Landscape of Globalization”, “International Cooperation on Humanities and Social Sciences”, and “Building a Future-Oriented Psychological Service System in Higher Education Institutions”, and six parallel sessions during the forum. Together with representatives from Chinese universities, leaders, experts and scholars from 32 world-renowned universities and institutions from 11 countries and regions including Republic of Korea, Japan and Singapore, attended the forum either online or onsite.


Focusing on Frontier Topics and Contributing China’s vision

SSUN Annual Conference is intended to promote mutual understanding and forge closer bonds with other peoples, while respecting the diversity of civilizations, with a view to address global challenges together. Leaders and scholars from member institutes as well as other world-known institutes are invited to the conference, exchanging thoughts on frontier academic topics and responding to social hot-spot issues. Member institutions take turns to host the annual conference and contribute to agenda-setting. Scholars from RUC are more than welcome to take an active part.

Renmin University of China has held and participated in all kinds of academic forums and international seminars, including SSUN Annual Conference 2020 & “Artificial Intelligence +” Forum Series and the 12th International Reinventing Higher Education Conference. During SSUN Annual Conference 2021 & “International Forum for Olympic Education”, experts and scholars from our member institutes discussed the sharing of Olympic culture and education. Together, we offered expertise from the academia for the integration of sports and education and sharing of Olympic education resources.

During SSUN Annual Conference 2022 & Global Higher Education Leaders’ Forum “Networks for Globalization: The Future of Higher Education”, leaders and scholars from global universities and major overseas partners were invited to have in-depth discussions on the prospects of international cooperation in humanities and social sciences, and higher education multilateralism in this new landscape of globalization. We endeavored to cross-cultural exchanges and mutual learning, offering our share of input to building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Prof. Zhang Donggang, Chair of the University Council of RUC, noted in his opening remark that, higher education institutions should march forward hand in hand, step up cooperation, face up to global challenges and facilitate innovation in higher education with more openness and inclusiveness. We should strive together for more harmonious human relations and a better international order. It’s important that universities collaborate with each other to cultivate talents with global governance capability, and learn from each other to facilitate cultural exchanges and connectivity, so that we may have a concrete cultural foundation for building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Prof. Lin Shangli, President of RUC, believes that in a globalized era, higher education must pay strong attention to human caring and always bear in mind human future and destiny. Universities should view education in a global picture, and contribute wisdom and strength to human peace and development. He also emphasized that higher education institutions must deepen collaboration and exchanges in an effort to explore a sustainable education path, and make greater contribution to building a community with a shared future for mankind.


Innovating Talent Cultivation and Enriching Youth Exchange

The Network attaches great importance to talent cultivation, and has been committed to innovating mechanism for international academic communication and cultivation of talents with global capabilities. Building on our academic strength on humanities and social sciences, it helps to cultivate high-level talents with profound knowledge of national realities, professional competence, and a global view. Various platforms were established for students to improve and develop into globally competent talents that can contribute to world development.

On April 9th, June 21st, and September 29th, 2021, SSUN Sino-German Ph.D. Workshop Series were held online. It aims at building regular platforms for cooperation and communication between higher education institutions, promoting academic and cultural exchanges, and broadening the international exposure of doctoral students.

A series of innovative talent development program under the framework of SSUN have come into operation, including dual degree master program on “Chinese Law and Sustainable Innovative Governance”, and ACE triple degree program on business administration. As these programs leveraged on excellent resources in humanities and social sciences, this new international cooperation mechanism on talent development came into shape and is playing a positive role in building a new highland of joint education. Throughout its entire process of conception, design and initiation, the programs applied the principle of “take the lead for shared benefits”, which epitomized stronger voice of Chinese higher education institutions in global education governance, and displayed our confidence in education and culture based on China’s comprehensive strength.


Improving Organizational Structure and Refining Operational Mechanism

SSUN has been improving its organizational structure and refining its operational mechanism. At the Annual Conference in July 2022, the revised Charter of SSUN was reviewed and adopted, and University of Macau was accepted as a member.

Drafted in Chinese and English, the SSUN Charter offered detailed and specialized reference for prestigious universities and extraordinary researchers around the world who are willing to learn about the Network. Staff expansion of the Luiss Secretariat was accomplished, laying a solid foundation for more exchanges in the future.

The three years since the initiation of SSUN witnessed multiple forums that drove talents development. While optimizing its own mechanism, SSUN has been answering the call of China and the world, the people and the times, through fact-based academic dialogues featuring inclusiveness and equality. It shares with the world the Chinese voice, theories and thoughts in academic language, so that the world will understand China better. With all its endeavors, SSUN definitely gives full play to the unique role of philosophy and social sciences in cross-cultural exchange and mutual learning.

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