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Agora ELITE Education Innovation

Offering Holistic and Affordable Education with Reframing Oxbridge Model Speech delivered at receiving the Paul Nystrom Entrepreneurial Education Strategist Award for Global Education Innovation at Academy of Strategic Management Oxford Conference, Thatcher Business Education Centre, Said Business School, Oxford University

Professor Richard Li-Hua 21st November, 2022

Dear Colleagues and Friend, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honor for me to receive this distinguished award by the Academy of Strategic Management for the creation ELITE Innovation College Cambridge with Agora ELITE Education Model, at Academy of Strategic Management at Oxford 2022 Conference, along with the other recipients – including AACSB Fernandes Leadership Award to Dean Professor Soumitra Dutta Said Business School, Oxford University and Champion Award of Free Enterprise to Dr Charles Huang, Founder and Chairman of Pasadena Capital. However, this award is not only to me but belongs to all the team members of EICC, our co-founders and founding members. Could I take this opportunity to say a big thank you to Professor Yinshan TANG, Reading University, Professor Jin CHEN, Tsinghua University, Professor John HAN, Davis College, Professor Phillip Laird, Trinity Western University and Professor Shawn Carraher, Harvard University for their strategic advices, great work, continuous support, friendly support and significant contribution?! Finally, thanks to my wife, Dr Lucy LU, and my family, who support me selflessly and forcefully behind me all the way during this challenging times.

Frankly speaking, there could not be any better gift to me than this distinguished award on this very special day of 21st November.

I arrived in the UK on this special day 25 years ago in 1997 for the start pursuing my PhD. I delivered my keynote entitled as “China Embracing Invitation Leads to the Future” in the UN Headquarters New York on this special day in 2017 and the UN General Assembly endorsed the day three days later as the World Innovation Day.

We re-launched EICC on this special day in CAHE Annual International Conference - World University President Forum in 2020, where I delivered Perspective of ELITE O2O Innovation University: A Revolution in the Global Higher Education in Post COVED-19 Era. Today it is really for EICC a date of cerebration.

When MOOC was launched in 2008, it was only twenty-five students attended the course on the campus of the University of Manitoba while 2300 from around the world participated online. Hardly anybody could predicate that over one billion students around the world have to study online courses in 2020 after 12 years of the birth of MOOC. Today more emerging online innovative universities have begun to penetrate into the global higher education systems which post challenges in changing the traditional university model of 800 years old. When Professor Clayton Christensen published his book Innovation University in 201, the main message that he wanted to convey was that 50% of the private universities will go bankruptcy without understanding the emerging technology and innovation. He could not imagine that his concept of Innovation University has to fact in the impact of COVID-19. However, interestingly, I delivered my keynote on ELITE O2O Initiative for Creating Innovative and Entrepreneurial University in the Global Higher Education at MoE Conference, 2016, Wenzhou, China. The ELITE O2O Concept that I created based upon the effectiveness and efficiency of knowledge transfer – Explicit knowledge can be delivered and transferred online while tacit knowledge has to be delivered face-to-face.

However, could the online innovative model substitute the traditional one? Could the vision and mission of the university be delivered online without compromising the quality?

We are proud that we have pioneered Agora ELITE O2O Innovative Model. We offer holistic education and affordable education through reframing Oxbridge model. We are very privileged to have strong connection with Oxbridge with the state of art of technology and world class collegial, inspirational and academic ambiance and environment. We are also creating a global O2O innovation university alliance with over 20 universities/colleges around the world, including, Asia, Africa, MENA Region, etc., which service our ELITE Global Colleges.

Agora ELITE O2O Model: An Conceptual Innovation

Agora, a Greek word, means a public space used for assemblies and market. The literal meaning of the word "agora" is "gathering place" or "assembly". In our term, the “gathering place”, is not only physical but also virtual, which means online and offline. ELITE is an acronym of e-learning of innovation, technology and entrepreneurship within an O2O Innovation University@[1] in the global higher education. Agora and ELITE have organic relation which complement each other and provide philosophical answers to the challenges and opportunities of GHE in the post COVID-19 era. Almost all the universities and colleges are currently delivering courses online based upon the MOOC experiences since the outbreak of Covid-19. In fact, there is similarities of online delivery around the globe as universities and colleges have been forced to do so. The strategic intention of establishment of Agora ELITE O2O Innovative Education Platform is an exploration of an innovative education pedagogy of integrating the delivery of programmes, knowledge, contents and education ethos with a global vision embedded in the teaching and learning strategy built into the technological system of O2O university. This technological innovation system demonstrates how various features and objectives of innovative and entrepreneurial university is created, translated, articulated and achieved in a learning organization context.

The Agora ELITE O2O university makes every endeavor to convert this special knowledge into general education knowledge in the liberal arts education delivered though its well- crafted teaching and learning pedagogy in its well-established FOUR ELITE Colleges for the enhancement of the student journey and experiences through extra curriculums, mentoring and coaching and ELITE Global Talent Programmes as well as our prestigious ELITE Fellowship and EICC Internship scheme.

  • College of Innovation

  • College of Technology

  • College of Entrepreneurship

  • College of Leadership

Which are led by a well-known global faculty, connecting its offline delivery centres/campuses in our ELITE Global Colleges around the world. The Agora O2O demonstrates the important feature – One O sits in Oxbridge while the other O sits globally.

Stanford University was founded in 1885 and rebuilt after the devastating 1906 earthquake and it became the world-famous Stanford today. Henley Business School was set up in 1945 during the Second World War at Henley-on-Thames and it became a global known institution today. ELITE Innovation College Cambridge (EICC) has been known as “the little peach tree borne in Tsinghua in 2006 and grown up and settled in Cambridge in 2014”. However, our college was re-launched in late 2020 during the pandemic, which has a strong capability of survival.

Dear Colleagues and Friends, Again many thanks to everyone in the conference, Academy of Strategic Management and Said Business School which offer me this opportunity.

We are also honored being co-branded strategic partners with Trinity Western University (TWU), Canada, along International University of Applied Science (IU), Germany, Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU), UK, and in the delivery of degree and non-degree undergraduate, postgraduate, and taught & research programmes in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

We look forward to having sincere cooperation with like-minded people and institutions to meet the opportunities and challenges of global higher education in the epidemic and post-epidemic era. Leading educational innovation and promoting educational innovation together.

Author’s note: Please note that the speech has been amended and extended when published.

[1].Please see further details on Working Paper ELITE Initiative for Creating Innovative and Entrepreneurial University in the Global Higher Education presented by Richard Li-Hua at MoE Conference, 2016, Wenzhou, China.

Profile of ELITE Innovation College Cambridge(EICC):

ELITE Innovation College Cambridge (EICC) is a British Educational Institution that provides undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes with our co-branded academic partners, and executive education, workshops, conferences, and seminars in various subjects, locally, internationally, and globally, working with Partners in the United Kingdom, Asia, Africa North America and the Middle East.

ELITE is an acronym of E-Learning of Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship. It was during the COVID-19 pandemic that ELITE Innovation College Cambridge (EICC) was consolidated and re-created. Still, its history can be traced back to 2006, when a group of outstanding management scholars launched CAMOT[1] during IAMOT [2] International Conference in Tsinghua University.

IAMOT [2] International Conference at Tsinghua University

The four colleges: Innovation College, Technology College, Entrepreneurship College and Global Leadership College that we have established based upon the 15 years of accumulation of global academic resources. The colleges provide an academic arm of EICC, as well as extra liberal arts curriculum to our degree and non-degree programmes, and qualifications that we deliver for the enhancement of student journey which delivers alongside our degree awarding power universities.

Four colleges of EICC

Further, our Agoura ELITE O2O Innovative Structure is what differentiates EICC from conventional higher education. This structure is based upon the education of innovation and entrepreneurship, delivered through a novel platform that challenges the traditional ways of learning. Coupled with prestigious academic quality, global engagement, and strategic collaboration with worldwide partners, EICC provides significant value to its students.

EICC headquarterat St. John's Innovation Centre, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Our strength lies in our innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that underpins a holistic educational framework and a unique pedagogy with online capabilities to create a focused and flexible environment for our learners. This environment combines online learning and offline delivery centres in cities around the world, which extends access to provide engaged social learning experience. This learning model combines explicit and tacit knowledge transfer that is entrenched in human learning behaviour and contributes to the delivery of an enriched and enhanced student experience.

EICC headquarterat St. John's Innovation Centre, Cambridge, United Kingdom

In addition, EICC's global research and engagement, which includes EICC’s Global Innovation Webinar series and the Global University President Forum, develops and sustains worldwide higher education, research and global engagement, creates globally connected learning and practice communities so as to enhance the learning journey and student experience. We are privileged to be a strategic partner of United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI).

Over a decade, we have been successfully organizing international conferences and forums with global universities, including Tsinghua University (CAMOT Conference 2014 Beijing) and University of Cambridge (CAMOT Conference 2016 Cambridge) and University of Law (University President Forum 2021 London) with university presidents, vice-chancellors, deans, experts, scholars, government officials and doctoral candidates in the field of higher education participated in the events.

We are also honored to be Agora co-branded strategic partners with Trinity Western University (TWU) in Canada, along with University of the West of Scotland (UWS) and University of Law (ULaw), Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) in the United Kingdom. We are also in the delivery of degree and non-degree undergraduate, postgraduate, and taught & research programmes in Cambridge, United Kingdom. We look forward to having sincere cooperation with like-minded people and institutions to meet the opportunities and challenges of global higher education in the epidemic and post-epidemic era. Leading educational innovation and promoting educational innovation together.

[1] China Association for Management of Technology (CAMOT). [2] International Association for Management of Technology (IAMOT). For more information about us, please read our website: For collaboration, please contact our Global Engagement Office at:

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