Magazine article Times Higher Education

Asia Universities Summit: Caltech's Size a 'Majo R Advantage'

Magazine article Times Higher Education

Asia Universities Summit: Caltech's Size a 'Majo R Advantage'

Article excerpt

The small size of the world's top-ranked university is a "major advantage" that allows it to foster groundbreaking interactions between researchers across disciplinary boundaries, a major higher education summit has heard.

Giving a keynote address at the inaugural Times Higher Education Asia Universities Summit, hosted by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and featuring more than 30 university leaders from institutions across Asia, Europe and the US, Caltech president Thomas Rosenbaum (pictured) defined his role as maintaining "a culture where people dream" and are "fearless" in taking on big ideas.

Dr Rosenbaum - who leads an institution with about 300 faculty and 2,000 students that tops the THE World University Rankings 2015-16 - gave an insight into what makes Caltech so successful during his speech on 20 June.

After discussing the institution's key role in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) - the large-scale physics project that detected gravitational waves - he told the audience: "When people ask me what my job is as president of Caltech, I say it's to maintain a culture where people dream; that they want to come to Caltech; that they believe it's the place where they can realise their dreams; and we have the resources - physical, financial, intellectual - to make those dreams come true."

Dr Rosenbaum added that the institution takes "an enormous [amount] of time and scrutiny choosing the people who come to Caltech. We then create an environment of fearlessness; we're trying to find people who are unafraid of big ideas and unafraid to change what they do in the pursuit of those big ideas. …

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