Innovation park to grow with society
Xi’an Jiaoda president wants latest Project to help social development
Wang Shuguo, president of Xi’an Jiaotong University in Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi province, has put in a lot of thought and effort into building a 3--million--square--meter town so that he can realize his dream of integrating education with social development.
“It is a ‘wisdom town’ without walls, which is a concept that shows we are trying to open the doors of our university and completely merge it with society,” Wang told China Daily.
The Western China Innovation Park of Science and Technology project is set to be built in Xixian New Area, a national-level urban development zone between Xi’an and neighboring Xianyang, with the four functional blocks of research, education, scientific and technological progress.
“We call it a town because we’re designing it as part of society; our teachers and students are its residents,” Wang said.
The campus-mode university, which is “isolated by walls” from society, does not suit the increasing demands of education,he said.
“I hope my students become members of society with positive attitudes and areself-moti-vated to acquire knowledge.”
Wang, 56, is a professor and PhD supervisor. He was president of the Harbin Institute of Technology before taking up his post in Xi’an in April,when he brought his novel ideas and concepts of developing Xi’an Jiaotong University, known as Xi’an Jiaoda, into one of China’stop 20 universities.
He also wanted to build the new part of his school as a town because he knew that many successful foreign universities such as Cambridge,Oxford and Yale similarly integrate their campuses with society.
“Students in those famous foreign universities can work in the restaurants in their town like campuses after class or tutor local residents. They interact with residents and get social experience with their studies at the same time, which is good to help them adapt to work and life after graduation.”
Xi’an Jiaoda’s newly designed town should also learn from the experience of Silicon Valley and Taiwan’s Hsinchu Industrial Technological Research Institute (ITRI), hesaid.
“I have been paying great attention to the promotion of science and technology for social development,and I want our town to be a pioneerin the cooperation between industry and university research.”
ITRI is the driver of technological innovation for Taiwan’s electronics industry and aglobal leader in the field. Silicon Valley creates a great atmosphere for technology enterprises to innovate,Wangsaid.
Xi’an Jiaoda’s project will also help fuel scientific and technological innovation, drawing high-level talent for national strategic needs and global technological development,hesaid.
The university has a history of nearly 120 years.It has eight national-level disciplines, five national key laboratories, three national engineering research centers and 58 provincial and ministry-level key scientific research institutions,which have produced a large number of research achievements.
As one of the major national universities, Xi’an Jiaoda has important strategic positions in western China for regional development,Wang said.
In 1956, the State Council decided to move the school from Shanghai to Xi’an, in line with national economic development strategic needs. The school should now play an important role in the country’s new development strategy, Wang said.
To that effect, the university has pushed ahead with the innovationpark.
“We tied the park with western China instead of just Xi’an Jiaoda because we wanted it to act as a hub for social resources to promote regional development,”Wang said.
Early this year, Xi’an Jiaoda also established a collaborative innovation center with the cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce for the construction of the Silk Road economic development belt, a strategic concept proposed by President Xi Jinping in September 2019 to promote the common development of the countries along the ancient Silk Road, a trade channel established more than 2,000 years ago to link China and Central Asia as well as Europe with Xi’an(then Chang’an) as its starting point.
“Xi’an Jiaoda is a first-class universityinChina,and I think a first-class university should make greater contributions to the country. We want to be aworld first--class university,” Wang said.
To further promote cooperation among the universities along the Silk Road economic belt for regional development, Wang plans to establish a college league with the educational institutions of the countries involved.
“We plan to build the innovation park as a new mode of China’s top universities, so that they can also be an important par tof social development and become the new engine of economic and social growth.”
A: I love my students and I want them to see me as their elder brother and close friend.
I have also often thought hard about how all these achievements we have created today will no doubt be handed over to the students and the following generations. If they cannot undertake such responsibilities, what we have created today will be wasted.
So I have repeated many times that we should pay much more attention to the students’ future because they are the heirs of the nation and society. I want them to be aware of these issues and I
hope they not only learn from the books in school, but also get to know about their social responsibility.
However, I do not want my students to see me as a president on a pedestal; I want to be their friend, to tell them great ideas in close whispers.
I sometimes visit the students’dining hall to eat and talk with them. I let them know what is on my mind and what I want to do. If I have no time to talk to the students face to face, I will communicate with them through the school website, receiving their e-mails and suggestions on our school’s development.
A: I often say that a person can have nothing except his or her ambition,a person can forget anything but his motherland, and a person can lose anything but his career.
When I graduated from school, I remembered these words and I repeated them many times.These words have been inspiring me and I think these words will benefit the graduates all their life.
A:Xi’an Jiaoda is one of China’s best universities. As it is located in the western region, which has not developed as fast as the eastern region, I want our school to take much more responsibility in the economic and social development of western China.
As one of the measures, we have aproject—the3-million-square-meter Western China Innovation Park of Science and Technology in Xixian New Area, a national-level urban development zone between Xi’an and its neighboring city Xianyang, with four functional blocks of research, education, scientific and technological achievements, interacting and incubating with integrated services.
Early this year, Xi’anJiaoda set up a collaborative innovation center with help from the Ministry of Commerce to aid the Silk Road Economic Development Belt, a strategic concept proposed by President Xi Jinping in September 2019 to promote the common development of the countries along the ancient Silk Road, a trade channel established more than 2,000 years ago that linked China and Central Asia as well as Europe, with Xi’an, then known as Chang’an, as its starting point.
In line with its goal of becoming a world-class university,Xi’an Jiaotong University,or Xi’an Jiaoda, has been working to establish a comprehensive,multichannel, highlevel and extensive network of international cooperation and exchanges.
The university has been tapping into an increasing number of resources to help support its global drive.
Xi’an Jiaoda has worked closely with 135 world-famous universities, including Harvard,Cambridge, MIT, Stanford,UC Berkeley, Hong Kong UniversityofScience andTechnology,and Politecnico di Milano in joint research and training ofdoubledegrees, student exchanges and young teachers. The depth and breadthof various international exchanges and cooperation have improved significantly.
Since 2019, Xi’an Jiaoda has established 11 joint research centers with foreign universities,hostedmajor international conferences 109 times, and forged 38 new university-level partners and 47 new college-level partners. It also sent more than 5,000 teachers and students abroad to participat in international conferences.
The school has received more than 5,000 foreign visitors and sent 2,800 Chinese students to other countries and regions for training and short-termstudy.
Since 2019, Xi’an Jiaoda has sponsored nine new international academic journals, seven of which were founded by the school and two have become major source journals. Xi’an Jiaoda’s impact on academic journals has significantly increased to help its comprehensive advantages and international influence in the fields of energy, electronics, medicine,mathematics and law.
Many foreign students enjoy living in Xi’an Jiaotong University in Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi province, and have made great progress in their studies.
Bilal Haider Shansi came to Xi’an Jiaoda from Pakistan in 2019 to earn a master’s degree in clinical pediatrics and has published five high-level articles in the pediatric field under the guidance of his Chinesementor.He has also participated in four International Pediatric Association conferences and been involved in the writing of a book, Technological Innovations in Major Oil Crops.
And he learns and loves to write poetry in Chinese in order to express his deep affection for China, his second homeland, with this beautiful language form.
After successfully completing his master’s degree,Bilal chose to stay in Xi’an Jiaotong University to pursue his doctorate.
During the past four years studying in Xi’an Jiaoda, the Pakistani young man was also a two-time winner in the Chinese-language speech competition for foreign students who were studying in Shaanxi province.
“Studying in Xi’an Jiaoda,the knowledge palace, I have learned medical knowledge and learned to be a realman.I will serve my people and country with my knowledge,and I will work hard to build the friendship bridge between Pakistan and China,”Bilal said.
There were 1,986 foreign students from 86 countries studied at Xi’an Jiaotong University in 2019, according to the university’s institute of international education.
Xi’an Jiaoda’s foreignstudent education started as early as 1995 and the institute was established in 2019,receiving 12,419 foreign students till now. The school is responsible for the academic affairs of all foreign students,including formulating and supervising the policies,student recruitment, immigration and logistics, students’ daily life affairs,coordination of students academic work, undergraduate students programs of Chinese language teaching and academic development.Xi’an Jiaoda’s medical education for foreign students,which began in 1995,made the school wellknown.It began all-English medical education to foreign students in regular college courses in 1995 and started to give all-English classes to graduate students in 2000.
From 1995, the school has trained about 1,000 foreign medical students from 63 countries, and its number of medical graduates is the most in the country.
In 2019, the Ministry of Education introduced quality control standard for foreign medical students. Xi’an Jiaoda started to follow this rule to train students from 2019.
In 2019, the central government issued a plan of study in China, and Xi’an Jiaotong University paid much attention to high-level training for foreign students.
From 2019, the university launched a special scholarship for graduate student education with English in school of management,school of electrical engineering,telecommunication institute, dynamic college and school of mechanical engineering, in order to cultivate international expertise in the relevant fields.
By now, more than 100 excellent foreign students have been supported by the scholarship in their study in the university, and Xi’an Jiaoda also plans to start all-English education for all graduate students of the university.
In order to implement the long-term education reforms and development plan of China (2019-2020)made by the Ministry of Education, Xi’an Jiaotong University plans to enroll 3,000 foreign students by 2020.
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