In Pursuit of Excellence with focus on Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology
In Pursuit of Excellence

This webinar is a part of an Innovative Universities Global Webinar Series.

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Oxford is a university with a unique historical background, with a history of nine centuries of continuous existence. Oxford established major new research capacities in the natural and applied sciences, including medicine. In so doing, it has enhanced and strengthened its traditional role as an international focus for learning and a forum for intellectual debate. Which makes this university extremely competitive for students. A study carried out by London Economics – The Economic Impact of the University of Oxford – measured the University’s impact on the UK economy in 2018/19. Therefore, every year since 2017 Oxford has been ranked the first in the world in the Times Higher Education. 

After retiring from Oxford, Prof. Peach became the founding Dean of Faculty Affairs at the Okinawa Institute for Science and Technology (OIST), which was created by the Japanese Government in 2011 as a pioneering graduate university, conducting research that bridges disciplines to explore new frontiers of scientific knowledge while educating a new generation of scientific leaders and catalysing innovation in Okinawa:

“In the academic world, the pursuit of excellence comes naturally – we want, for our own satisfaction, to be “the best” at something, and we would like to be part of an institution that is perceived as excellent. The old joke – that an academic is someone who studies more and more about less and less until they know everything there is to know about nothing at all – has more than a grain of truth. But it is this curiosity – the desire to know “everything that there is to know about something” – that motivates, and through which progress and discoveries are made. Excellent institutions are founded upon excellent individuals, who form the units in the organization – groups, departments, faculties; all want to be, and be seen as, “excellent”, if only over a restricted domain. One example of a modern, innovative university is OIST – the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University, founded in 2011 and already, by some measures, among the best in the world. But how do we achieve excellence? And how do we know when we have achieved it? Based on experience and observation, I will discuss ways in which excellence can be encouraged, promoted, and recognized.”

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Ken Peach

Prof. Dr. Ken Peach

Professor Emeritus at Oxford and Honorary Professor at Edinburgh

  • Experimental particle physicist, working mainly on K0 decays and CP-violation, as well as accelerator science.
  • Dean (2014-16) and Senior Advisor to the President on Strategy (2018-21) at the Okinawa Institute.
  • Director of the John Adams Institute for Accelerator Science (2004-05).
  • Author of “Managing Science” (2017) and “Presenting Science” (2010).
Professor Isak Frumin
Professor Isak Frumin
"We designed the 'Innovative Universities' global webinar not merely as conversation, but a one-of-a-kind assembly of forward-thinking scholars poised to reshape the educational landscape. This isn't just about what's new; it's about what's next.”
Dara Melnyk
Dara Melnyk
"Currently, there are no seminars exclusively devoted to innovation in higher education. We want to change that. Our webinar series are meant to give both creators of unusual institutions and idea collectors like us a space to discuss what's possible."
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