Tuesday 23 May 2017 -
09:30 to 10:45

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Listen to the entire session through the audio podcast.


The growth of cities with populations greater than ten million residents has escalated into a global phenomenon.

In the last forty years the world has seen cities grow in size and autonomy with only three megacities in 1976 soaring to more than thirty in 2016. Megacities account for 13% of the world’s urban inhabitants and 7% of the world’s total population. Living, working and leading these cities presents opportunities but also challenges. Population intensity can give innovation a welcome boost but the demands for water, energy, good health and housing can be a challenge. A high density of universities and research centres means knowledge and development is at the heart of the city economy and increasingly informing city decision-making and leadership.

Representatives from across the world host a city table to discuss the challenges of large cities in their region and highlights the role higher education, through growing talent, research & innovation and city leadership, is playing in responding to the many challenges and opportunities of 21st Century urbanism.


  • Nigel Carrington, Vice-Chancellor, University of the Arts London, UK (Chair)
  • Chris Rawlings, Country Director: Hong Kong, British Council, UK (Facilitator) 
  • Professor Dr Mohd Ismail Abd Aziz, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs and Alumni), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia
  • Nasima Badsha, Chief Executive, Cape Higher Education Consortium, South Africa
  • Tanveer Faiz, Rector, Vice Admiral, Bahria University, Pakistan 
  • Dr Fahad Al Tuwaijri, Chief Executive Officer, Colleges of Excellence Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia
  • Professor Andy Hor, Vice-President and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research), The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR
  • Professor Takehiko Kitamori, Professor of Applied Chemistry, University of Tokyo, Japan


See also our related news story:

Going Global sessions Going Global 2017 session