2020 – ASPIRE Forum

Vice Presidents and Senior Staff Meeting (VPSSM) 2020

Date: Thursday, July 2, 2020

Time: Tokyo and Daejeon 14:00-16:30

    Beijing, Hong Kong, and Singapore 13:00 – 15:30

Vice Presidents and Senior Staff Meeting (VPSSM) 2020 Report

The annual ASPIRE League Vice Presidents and Senior Staff Meeting (VPSSM) was hosted online by Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) on July 2, 2020.

Since 2010, the ASPIRE Forum, which encompasses the Student Workshop, the Symposium, and the Vice Presidents and Senior Staff Meeting, has annually been hosted by the chair university of the League. However, due to the global spread of COVID-19, only the Vice Presidents and Senior Staff Meeting was held in 2020, and the meeting was conducted online.

The Chairperson of the ASPIRE League in 2019 and 2020, Tokyo Tech Executive Vice President Tetsuya Mizumoto, welcomed vice presidents and senior staff of the member universities to the 2020 VPSSM.

Following the Chairperson’s opening remarks, the ASPIRE League Secretariat reported on the League’s activities for the period July 2019- July 2020.

Vice Presidents from each member university introduced their respective university’s efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on a proposal by Dr. Mizumoto, a joint message from the Vice Presidents to the League’s students, emphasizing the importance of international cooperation, was adopted.


Joint Message to the ASPIRE League’s students


Adoption of the Joint Message

Next, a virtual ceremony was held for the signing of the “Extension of the MOU on the Implementation of the ASPIRE League.”

Attendees discussed a range of topics on the agenda. Tokyo Tech’s proposal to extend its term as Chair University through 2021 was approved, and Chairperson Mizumoto proposed June 28 to July 2 for ASPIRE Forum 2021. KAIST also proposed the dates of July 4 to 9 for the ASPIRE Undergraduate Research Academy (UGRA) in 2021. The Secretariat reported that the IDEA League had invited ASPIRE League students to participate in four IDEA League Summer Schools, which would be held online in 2020.

Attendees also discussed the ASPIRE League Partnership Seed Fund. HKUST reminded attendees of the selection results and briefed them on project implementation in the 2019 cycle. Turning to the 2020 cycle, HKUST reported that a total of 17 applications had been received, though of these, one application was disqualified. The vice presidents and senior staff discussed the eligible proposals and selected projects to be funded.

Following the ASPIRE League Secretariat’s review of the League’s activities for 2009-2020, attendees also discussed the future direction of the ASPIRE League.

Virtual signing ceremony on the extension of the ASPIRE League MOU