A delegation led by Professor Shirley Congdon, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford, UK, visited Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) on the morning of April 13th.
Professor Youmin Xi, Executive President of XJTLU, and Professor David O’Connor, Dean of Research and Graduate Studies at XJTLU, welcomed the guests.
Professor Xi firstly gave a brief presentation of XJTLU, explaining how the model of XJTLU has brought benefits to both Chinese students who want to experience international education and international students who come to China for study, and had also helped with the reformation of Chinese higher education.
He emphasised the Five-star Education Model XJTLU has developed to help students grow from children into young adults who are also global citizens. “We make a great effort to change students’ studying motives from exam-driven to interest-driven,” Professor Xi said, “and we are keen on constructing a better research-led university environment for our students and staff.” On this point, Professor Xi introduced the south campus which is under construction to the guests, especially the International Technology Transfer Center which is being built, and which has great potential for enhancing collaboration with global institutes and enterprises.
Professor Shirley Congdon reflected that she was amazed by the fast growing and great achievement of XJTLU as a really young university, especially the diversity of the academic staff here. “That is true, we have outstanding staff, and I am glad they tend to be very adventurous in this new university, this development is providing exciting opportunities for better innovation,” commented Professor Xi.
Professor Shirley Congdon did also enquire about XJTLU’s management hierarchy system, which Professor Xi responded to by mentioning how XJTLU’s new model has only four main service centers of administration, with everyone in the center playing a role which is flexible enough to respond to emerging challenges, whilst at the same time enabling different centres to quickly work together towards common goals.
Dr. Karen Jackson, the Development Director (China and East Asia) of Bradford University, asked about XJTLU as a Chinese university, and if students are required to take certain classes according to Chinese government requirements. “The answer is yes, because we grant students dual degrees, including a Chinese degree,” Professor Xi explained, “but we manage to do it in our way, and transfer the courses into a general education curriculum of Chinese history, culture, law, career planning and many other valuable areas.”
Professor Congdon then quickly introduced the recent developments of the University of Bradford. “Mostly we have been reestablishing our advantage as a technology university,” she emphasised then went on to highlight the three major missions of Bradford University, namely “quality, sustainability and diversity.”
“I especially agree with XJTLU’s mission to cultivate students into global citizens, Bradford also want this”, added Professor Congdon.
These shared views potentially therefore bode well for future collaborations, as they may bring more opportunities for potential partnerships between the two universities in teaching, cooperative research, international technology transfer and other businesses opportunities, such as with the International Business School Suzhou at XJTLU.
Other guests who attended the meeting from Bradford University were: Dr. William Mitchell, Director of International Development and Mr. Lei Ding, Recruitment Manager (China Office).
The University of Bradford, founded in 1966, is a public university located in the city of Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. Bradford was the first university outside London to offer part-time degree courses, and its courses are designed in response to the changing business, social, scientific and environmental landscape developments.