About the
APEC University Leaders Forum

November 9, 2020
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The APEC University Leaders’ Forum, organized by the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) and the Universiti Malaya, convenes presidents of the leading
Asia-Pacific research universities together with leaders from major global corporations and government to share insights and discuss the critical issues of the region alongside the 2020 APEC CEO Summit in Malaysia. 

The November 9th Forum will focus on the theme ‘Optimizing Human Potential Towards a Digital Future’ drawn from the overarching theme for APEC Malaysia 2020. More specifically, it will discuss the role of technologies to shape the future of work and the predicted impact of technological developments on equality within the region.

About the APEC CEO Summit

The APEC CEO Summit is the Asia-Pacific´s most influential meeting of business and government leaders. Attendance is by invitation only.

The event provides unparalleled opportunities for global executives to strengthen their networks and engage in a direct dialogue with APEC Leaders, high level government officials and foremost business and thought leaders of the Asia Pacific region.

The two-day APEC CEO Summit 2020 program will inspire delegates to participate in stimulating conversations covering some of the most pressing challenges and questions facing one of the fastest growing regions of the world today.



9:00 AM
9:30 AM
10:00 AM
10:30 AM
11:30 AM
12:30 PM
2:00 PM
3:00 PM
3:30 PM
4:30 PM
Forum Opening
Welcome remarks
  • Datuk Ir. (Dr.) Abdul Rahim Hj. Hashim, Vice Chancellor, Universiti Malaya

  • Professor Dr. Gene Block, Chancellor, UCLA & APRU Chair

Keynote presentation

Coffee Break / Group Photo
Session 1: A Vision for Sustainable Prosperity in the Digital Age


Asia-Pacific economic, university, and industry leaders present their vision for prosperity in digital society. What are the most pressing challenges we face? How are we addressing the current needs of the region and adapting to change? What more needs to be done?

Session 2: Shaping an Equitable Future

Digital technology can improve access for marginalized populations to participate at all levels of education, economic development, and the labour market. How do we harness these opportunities currently and in the future? What are the opportunities to shape an equitable future?

Lunch Break/Networking Lunch
Session 3: Delivering Solutions through Digital Innovations

Digital society can play a critical role in developing innovative solutions. What are the challenges in reaching and addressing important problems in society? How do digital technologies provide new networks of information sharing and solutions? How can we ensure equal access to these solutions for everyone?

Coffee Break
Session 4: Future-proofing our society in the Digital Age
Closing Session

Asia-Pacific challenges such as the climate change, disease, skills development, and economic sustainability require innovative solutions and visionary leadership reflecting all of society. How might strengthening digital skills enhance the solutions to our region’s challenges in digital society?

Closing Session

Gene Block, Chancellor, University of California at Los Angeles and

APRU Chair;

Datuk Ir. (Dr.) Abdul Rahim Hj. Hashim, Vice Chancellor, Universiti Malaya

International Presidential Advisory Committee

Datuk Ir. (Dr.) Abdul Rahim Hj. Hashim
Vice-Chancellor, Universiti Malaya
Chair, International Advisory Committee
Dr. Christopher Tremewan
APRU Secretary General
Co-Chair, International Advisory Committee




As a network of leading universities linking the Americas, Asia and Australasia, the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) is the Voice of Knowledge and Innovation for the Asia-Pacific region. We bring together thought leaders, researchers, and policy-makers to exchange ideas and collaborate on effective solutions to the challenges of the 21st century.

Our primary research areas include natural hazards & disaster risk reduction, women in leadership, population aging, global health, sustainable cities, artificial intelligence & the future of work, the Pacific Ocean, and labor mobility.

Situated in Kuala Lumpur, Universiti Malaya (UM) is the oldest and the top university in Malaysia with a rich history of achieving numerous accolades and delivers the best academic experience with excellent research environment and world-class educational facilities. UM is one of the leading research universities in Asia and among the best in the world as well being the top university in Asia in International Research Network. With more than 50 Research Centres, 4 Research Clusters and 4 High Centre of Excellence (HiCOE), high impact research has always been championed as one of the top priorities. The university is currently ranked 70th in QS World University Ranking 2020, making it the only Malaysian higher education institution that is in the elite pool of the world’s top 100 universities and is ranked 13th in QS Asia Rankings 2020. Home to prominent and illustrious experts and scholars as well as a reputable league of esteemed and outstanding academic and research staff, the path is enhanced for world class and high impact research outputs and publications that are highly reputable worldwide and are instrumental in creating new breakthroughs and charting new frontiers.


As a world-class university, UM is currently hosting more than 3,500 international students from over 90 countries and is offering over 200 academic programmes encompassing a wide spectrum of learning with more than 32 courses being listed in the Top 200 QS World Rankings by Subjects. Extensive international recognitions and accreditations are established, with various programmes being officially accredited by top international accreditation bodies.


With more than 700 international collaborative partners, UM provides prestigious and vast opportunities and openings for students and staff through Student Mobility Programmes, Dual/Double/Joint Degree Programmes, Joint Research/Joint Publications avenues and other collaborative works and initiatives. High impact, strategic and far-sighted partnerships, collaborations and tie-ups with various prestigious universities, institutions, industry partners, and international networks and platforms have paved the way forward for the creation of productive, futuristic and value-added outcomes for the magnification of the university’s standing and eminence in the global arena.


Encompassing extensive learning and research facilities for the utilisation of both students and staff in a comprehensive learning environment, UM offers solid and extensive student support system where students benefit from dedicated training and development initiatives at all levels with the main objective of developing students to be all-rounded, holistic and comprehensive in nature. UM has produced a vast pool of distinguished alumni members that have contributed significantly and momentously towards the development of Malaysia and the global society as a whole in various capacities.


To conclude, Universiti Malaya is playing a pivotal and leading role in shaping the future of the global community and has always been at the forefront in reinforcing continuous enhancement and advancement of knowledge and values in forging the path towards the galvanisation and pursuit of societal and global development for the benefit of humanity and uplifting the essence of education empowerment for all.


For more details about UM, kindly visit: https://um.edu.my/

Dr. Nikita ANISIMOV, President, Far Eastern Federal University 
Prof TAN Eng Chye, President,
National University of Singapore
Prof Dawn FRESHWATER, Vice-Chancellor,
The University of Auckland
Prof Bundhit 
EUA-ARPORN, President, 
Chulalongkorn University 

APEC University Leaders' Forum 2020

Optimizing Human Potential Towards a Digital Future


APEC University Leaders' Forum 2020


November 9, 2020


Attendance at the APEC University Leaders' Forum is by invitation only. If you are interested in attending or recommending a speaker, please send your inquiries to the contact below. 

Contact Us:

Jackie Wong, APRU Director (Network Events)