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2023 BRAUIC Conference & Expo held at Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology (ITS), Indonesia

From November 15 to 17, 2023, the 2023 Belt and Road Architectural University International Consortium (BRAUIC) Conference and Expo were held at Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology (ITS), Indonesia.

Mochamad Basuki Hadimoeljono, the Minister of Public Works and Public Housing of Indonesia, delivered a special message to the conference. Danis Hidayat Sumadilaga, Chairman of the National Capital Development Task Force, the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing of Indonesia; XU Yong, Consul General of the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Surabaya; and Yudil CHATIM, Education Counselor of the Indonesian Embassy in China, attended the meeting and delivered speeches. With the theme of “10 Years into the Belt and Road Initiative: Future-oriented Cooperation and Innovation of Architectural Universities”, the conference consists of a preparatory meeting, a BRAUIC Conference, an expo on smart city management, education, science and technology innovation, a signing ceremony of intercollegiate agreements among BRAUIC members, as well as several bilateral events. More than 100 representatives from over 30 universities and institutions at home and abroad gathered both online and offline in Indonesia, where the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road was first proposed. During the event, all representatives worked together to summarize the achievements of the education cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, chart the future course for innovative talent cultivation in architecture and promote higher-level multilateral and bilateral cooperation. ZHANG Dayu, President of Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture (BUCEA) and Chairman of BRAUIC, led a delegation to attend and preside over relevant meetings and exchange activities.

Danis Hidayat Sumadilaga, Chairman of the National Capital Development Task Force, the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing of Indonesia

The BRAUIC Conference officially opened on the morning of November 17. Danis Hidayat Sumadilaga, Chairman of the National Capital Development Task Force read out the message from Mochamad Basuki Hadimoeljono, the Minister of Public Works and Public Housing of Indonesia. In the message, Basuki pointed out that education and capacity building in architecture and urban planning are essential in supporting national development. In the future, parties should work to form a new generation of architects and city planners with expertise in aesthetic aspects and an understanding of sustainable development, and are future-oriented by ensuring the integration of the latest technological innovations in every development process. He emphasized his hope for the BRAUIC to serve as an enabling platform for creating synergies among universities and enterprises and significantly developing the capacity and collaboration of architects, planners, and urban planners from all member countries. By sharing experience, knowledge, and the latest innovations, more holistic, effective and sustainable solutions will be produced in facing global challenges in architecture and urban planning development.

XU Yong, Consul General of the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Surabaya

XU Yong, Consul General of the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Surabaya, highlighted the fruitful results of practical cooperation between China and its partners in various fields in the past 10 years since the Belt and Road initiative was proposed, and gave a brief introduction to the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. He expressed his hope that BRAUIC members will continue their commitment to cooperation, strengthen in-depth exchanges, actively cultivate more innovative talents in architecture, and jointly compose a splendid chapter for the next golden decade of the Belt and Road initiative.

Yudil Chatim, Education Counselor, Embassy of Indonesia in China

Yudil Chatim, Education Counselor, Embassy of Indonesia in China, pointed out that BRAUIC events have transcended physical boundaries and regional boundaries to create space for amazing academic collaborations. The existence of BRAUIC has deepened educational cooperation between countries along the Belt and Road, enhancing mutual respect and understanding of the uniqueness of each nation and culture. He believed that the BRAUIC would promote cooperation between Chinese and Indonesian architectural universities. The development within the BRAUIC will also shape new directions in education that are relevant to future needs.

ZHANG Dayu, Chairman of BRAUIC and President of BUCEA

ZHANG Dayu, Chairman of BRAUIC and President of BUCEA, extended a warm welcome on behalf of all BRAUIC members, to the university presidents and guests attending the conference and events, and expressed his gratitude to ITS for its hard work in organizing the conference. He said that this year not only marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative but also the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Indonesia. Participants gathered in Indonesia, where the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road was first proposed, to witness how BRAUIC has made concrete efforts to turn a vision into a reality and promote the high-quality development of the architectural education community under the Belt and Road Initiative. He emphasized that the BRAUIC has stuck to its purpose of promoting exchanges and cooperation of architectural universities along the Belt and Road. It has made practical and fruitful progress in four aspects, i.e. promoting dialogue and communication mechanisms and optimizing the organization structure of members; creating a middle ground to share resources for in-depth communication and integration; developing mechanisms for communication to serve talent cultivation; and integrating high-quality resources of the platform and leading collaborative innovation in science and technology, which continuously improves BRAUIC’s professionalism, visibility, and impact. The year 2024 marks the crucial year of the second five-year term of the BRAUIC. The BRAUIC will expedite the establishment of mechanisms for ensuring long-term management, healthy operations, and systematic support; promote resource sharing, mechanism interconnectivity, and results sharing; and build a diversified platform with international visibility. BRAUIC will explore new models and approaches for cultivating innovative international talents, attract high-quality enterprise members, and establish an industry-university-research community with industry leaders at home and abroad. International talent development platforms will be established and initiatives and events such as summer schools, international student competitions, Global Campus: Exchange Program for Summer Schools, and BRAUIC Young Scholars Forum will be carried out, so as to practice a development concept that focuses on faculty and students, and enrich the content of international innovative talent training. Synergies will be created for the academic strengths of various members to vigorously promote education and research cooperation within the Consortium. BRAUIC will strengthen its efforts to develop the Beijing International Innovation Center for Architectural Heritage Protection and Development in the Belt and Road Region and the Joint Laboratory of International Cooperation on Safety and Energy Conservation of Ancient Buildings. By launching education and research sharing platforms, international joint laboratories, landmark international cooperation and exchange events, as well as assistance in applying for international research projects, BRAUIC aims to effectively drive forward international talent development, scientific collaboration, and cultural exchange in key areas such as urban infrastructure development, environmental protection, and sustainable development.

Mochamad Ashari, Acting Chairman of 2023 BRAUIC Conference & Expo, Rector of ITS

Mochamad Ashari, Acting Chairman of 2023 BRAUIC Conference & Expo, Rector of ITS, expressed that as the first Indonesian university member in the BRAUIC, ITS is very proud to host this year’s BRAUIC conference and Expo on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, bringing together universities from around the world to discuss remarkable achievements and future directions in innovative education and architecture under the Belt and Road Initiative. In the future, ITS will adopt a more open attitude in cooperation with BRAUIC members to achieve coordinated development among universities, governments, enterprises, and industries.

During the conference, MIN Jie, Vice President of Anhui Jianzhu University; WENG Weisu, President of Hebei University of Architecture; YU Dehu, President of Shandong Jianzhu University; and WANG Zhongliang, Vice President of Tianjin Chengjian University, delivered speeches titled “Innovation and Development: Toward Better Cooperation of Architectural Universities of BRI Countries”, “Together for a High-quality Development of Architectural Technology”, “Leveraging the Strengths of Civil Engineering and Architecture Disciplines to Foster Cooperation Among Belt and Road Architectural Universities”, and “10th Anniversary of the Belt and Road, A New Chapter of Shared Prosperity and Collaboration”, respectively.

In addition, Ewe Hong Tat, President of Tunku Abdul Rahman University in Malaysia; Zoran Tomić, President of the University of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina; Yemets Valery Sergeevich, Director of the Ryazan Branch of Moscow Polytechnic University, Russia; LIU Lin, President of Beijing City University; and Igor Koval, Deputy Chairman of Russian Highways State Company, attended the conference via video speeches.

The signing ceremony of new BRAUIC members was also held at the conference. Over the year, seven high-level universities and three enterprises joined BRAUIC, including Beijing University of Science and Technology, Tarumanagara University in Indonesia, Perm National Research University in Russia, Udayana University in Indonesia, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman in Malaysia, He’nan University of Urban Construction, Beijing City University, China Silk Road Group Co., Ltd., PIESAT Information Technology Co., Ltd., and Russian Highways State Company, bringing the total number of BRAUIC members from 74 universities from 28 countries last year to 84 universities and enterprises. For the first time, the BRAUIC has included corporate members and continues to promote the construction of an open development platform, aiming to create an organic integration of the education chain, industrial chain, and innovation chain.

BRAUIC Flag Hand-over

Upon unanimous agreement of all representatives, Tianjin Chengjian University will host the 2024 BRAUIC Conference. At the handover ceremony, WANG Zhongliang, Vice President of Tianjin Chengjian University, sincerely invited all member institutions to meet again in Tianjin next year to jointly explore innovative international talent training models with all BRAUIC members, strengthen cooperation in education and research, build an international education brand, and consolidate the Belt and Road Community of Architectural Education.

Expo on smart city management, education, and technology innovation

On the afternoon of November 17, the Expo on smart city management, education, and technology innovation was jointly held by 12 BRAUIC members. Through posters, promo videos, and booth exchange, the member institutions showcased their distinctive school-running models, the latest scientific and technological innovations in key disciplines, as well as their concepts and practical achievements in talent cultivation in the field of smart city construction and digital transformation. Over 10 Indonesian universities including the University of Surabaya, State University of Surabaya, University PGRI Madiun, Nahdlatul Ulama Sidoarjo University, Institut Teknologi Kalimantan, Semen Indonesia International University, University of Hayam Wuruk Perbanas, Universitas Negeri Semarang, National Institute of Technology Malang, Hang Tuah University, and Universitas Negeri Malang attended the on-site exchanges.

On the morning of November 16, a preparatory meeting was held for the 2023 Conference. ZHANG Dayu, Chairman of BRAUIC and President of BUCEA, summarized the work of 2023 and proposed the work plan for 2024. The representatives held extensive and in-depth discussions on the future development of BRAUIC and its work plan for next year. They also approved the admission of ten new members.

During the conference, six Chinese BRAUIC members, including BUCEA, Anhui Jianzhu University, Shandong Jianzhu University, He’nan University of Urban Construction, Hebei Institute of Architectural Engineering, and Beijing City University, signed intercollegiate cooperation agreements with the ITS to further promote diverse and practical cooperation within the BRAUIC. Participants attended exchanges and discussions with the Surabaya Public Housing and Settlement Area and Land Committee and Water Resources and Public Works Committee, as well as leaders and experts from the Faculty of Civil Planning and Geo Engineering, ITS, with the aim of promoting deeper cooperation in various aspects including construction planning and implementation, formulation of standards, joint application for research projects, training of professionals, urban architectural heritage preservation, and organic urban renewal.

The year 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative. Over the past year, BRAUIC fully leveraged its role as a vital platform to organize various landmark activities including conferences and Expos, international student competitions, the summer school sharing program, international summer schools, and the BRAUIC Young Scholars Forum, with member institutions as main players. These initiatives effectively promoted the integration and win-win cooperation among architectural universities along the Belt and Road, setting an innovative example of how professional university alliances contribute to high-quality Belt and Road development.

Looking ahead, BRAUIC will strengthen its top design, establishing long-term mechanisms to launch cooperative projects via institutional and sustainable means. It will also provide proactive assistance to its members in expanding their resources for global cooperation, exploring opportunities for joint development, and sharing the results of cooperation. BRAUIC will work hard to establish a Belt and Road Community of Architectural Education which is driven by policies, led by universities and enterprises, and actively participated by various sectors.