Professor Chris Brink served as Vice-Chancellor (President) of Newcastle University in the UK from 2007 till 2016, as Rector and Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University in South Africa from 2002 until 2007, and as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) of the University of Wollongong in Australia from 1999 until 2001. Before that he was Professor and Head of the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at the University of Cape Town, and served as the University’s Coordinator of Strategic Planning. Other positions include a Senior Research Fellowship at the Australian National University in the 1980s. Before moving into management he held the prestigious A-rating of the National Research Foundation, which ranked him as one of South Africa’s leading scientists.
Chris Brink is known as a champion of the idea of a civic university, which he has articulated in two key questions: ‘What are we good at?’ and ‘What are we good for?’. For his work with the city he was awarded the Freedom of the city of Newcastle upon Tyne. During his tenure as Vice-Chancellor, Newcastle University twice won the national THELMA (the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Award), as well as the Athena SWAN Silver Award for the advancement of gender equality. He is the author of The Soul of a University: Why excellence is not enough (Bristol University Press, 2018).
Currently he serves on the University Grants Committee in Hong Kong, where he chairs the implementation of the sector-wide 2020 Research Assessment Exercise. He is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg and a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa. He has served in an advisory or assessment capacity for various universities and organisations.
Professor Angelina Yuen-Tsang, MSW, MEd, PhD. was Vice President of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in charge of student and global affairs before she retired in 2018, and is now Hon. Professor of its Department of Applied Social Sciences.
She has been actively involved in the development of social work and higher education in Hong Kong, Mainland China and the international arena. She was President of the International Association of Schools of Social Work from 2008 to 2012 and Founding Chair of the University Social Responsibility Network. In Hong Kong, she is Chairman of the Executive Board of the Keswick Foundation, Co-Chair of the Hong Kong Social Service Professional Alliance of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Hon. President of the Hong Kong Social Workers Association and Hon. Advisor of the Hong Kong Academy of Social Work.
She was a member of the University Grants Committee of Hong Kong from 2012 to 2018. In the Chinese Mainland, she is Hon. Advisor of the China Association of Social Work Education and World Vision (China), Hon. Professor of Peking University, Sichuan University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Xian Jiaotong University and China Women’s University. She was awarded Justice of Peace in 2002, and Bronze Bauhinia Star in 2008 by the Hong Kong SAR Government.
Joy Johnson is president and vice-chancellor of Simon Fraser University, and professor in its Faculty of Health Sciences. As president, Joy is committed to enhancing student learning experiences, working towards Indigenous reconciliation, and advancing equity, diversity and inclusion across the university.
Prior to her appointment as president, Joy served as SFU’s vice-president, research and international from 2014 to 2020 where she oversaw the evolution of cutting-edge research, innovation, and international engagement across eight faculties. Under her leadership, SFU’s research income grew from $103 million in 2014 to $161 million in 2020 – the fastest growth of any Canadian university. Other major accomplishments include the launch of a groundbreaking big data initiative, hosting one of Canada’s largest supercomputers and establishing a university-wide innovation strategy.
Prior to SFU, Joy had a distinguished career in academics and research. She completed her PhD in nursing at the University of Alberta, and joined the University of British Columbia as a professor in the School of Nursing. Her commitment to research led her to the role of scientific director with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Gender and Health, where she is credited for shaping the Canadian research landscape to ensure gender is considered in health research.
Joy is an elected Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and has co-authored more than 180 peer-reviewed articles.
Duncan Ross is the chief data officer of Times Higher Education, and is the designer of the Impact Rankings. He has worked at THE since 2015, prior to which he worked extensively in the high tech industry. In his spare time he founded DataKind UK – a not-for-profit that enables data science for social good. He is working with the UN Higher Education Sustainability Initiative to try to ensure that all assessments of sustainability are effective in addressing the Sustainable Development Goals.
Ahmed Bawa is the CEO of Universities South Africa. Until recently he was Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Durban University of Technology. He has an interest in the understanding of universities as social institutions and the relationship between science and society. He is a theoretical physicist.
Antoinette Lombard is professor in Social Work and head of the Department of Social Work and Criminology at the University of Pretoria. Her practice and teaching experience are in community and social development and social and environmental justice. She has more than 80 publications and collaborates in cross country research initiatives. She represents the International Association for Schools of Social Work (IASSW) on the Taskforce of the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development, and coordinates the Global Agenda in the Africa region.
She is the Director of the Ubuntu Study Abroad programme for the Fordham University students at the University of Pretoria. The programme includes a community engagement and service learning component in South African communities. She received the James Billups International Social Development Leadership Award of the International Consortium for Social Development (2013).
She received the Association for South African Social Work Education Institution’s (ASASWEI) Distinguish Educator of the Year Award (2017). She is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAF) and in 2020, she received the Stals Price for Social Work from the South African Academy for Science and Art [Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns].
Toru Iiyoshi is Director and a professor at the Center for the Promotion of Excellence in Higher Education of Kyoto University. He is Executive Director of KyotoUx, the institutional MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) initiative in partnership with edX. He also served as Deputy Executive Vice President for Education (2015-2020).
Dr. Iiyoshi works with various international and national initiatives, projects, and organizations in an advisory role to provide vision and leadership in innovative educational development, open education, and future higher education systems. Previously, he was a senior scholar and Director of the Knowledge Media Laboratory at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and Senior Strategist in the Office of Educational Innovation and Technology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dr. Iiyoshi has served as a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Technology and Education as well as a visiting professor of Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies at the University of Tokyo. He is a co-editor of the Carnegie Foundation book, "Opening Up Education: The Collective Advancement of Education through Open Technology, Open Content, and Open Knowledge" (MIT Press, 2008).
He has an undergraduate degree in Physical Education from the School of Physical Education and Sport - USP and PhD in Exercise Science and Wellness from Brigham Young University. He is a Full Professor at USP Sport Department. At School of Physical Education and Sport he was chairman of the Research Committee, the Research Ethics Committee and the Graduate Committee. He was also head of the Department of Sport and Dean of the School. He held the position of Associate Director for International Academic Relations and currently is USP’s Provost for International Cooperation.