The Department of Chemistry at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University has become the first at an independent Sino-foreign university in China to achieve professional accreditation for its undergraduate degree programme.
The BSc Applied Chemistry programme was granted accreditation by the Royal Society of Chemistry in the United Kingdom, one of the world’s foremost professional bodies for chemical scientists.
The accreditation means that upon graduation, BSc Applied Chemistry students will have partially gained the academic requirements needed to achieve chartered status and be able to demonstrate internationally recognised standards of competency as chemists.
Professor Rudi Marquez, head of the Department of Chemistry at XJTLU, said: “Gaining chartered status as a chemist recognises that individuals have well-developed skills, knowledge and professionalism, all key to advancing their careers.
“The accreditation of BSc Applied Chemistry means prospective students can be confident that they will study a programme that is seen as amongst the best in the world, which supports them in developing skills that are in line with global practice and in high demand from employers.”
The accreditation was granted after a rigorous quality assurance process that involved an on-site visit by a team of Royal Society of Chemistry representatives and academics from Imperial College London and the University of Malaya.
They toured the department’s facilities and laboratories, teaching rooms and the XJTLU library, as well as talking to current students about their experiences on the programme. The visiting delegation also spoke to staff to learn about teaching practices at XJTLU.
A report, compiled after the on-site visit, commended a wide range of aspects of the programme, including the facilities, which were highlighted as “some of the best” the site visit team had seen.
The department enjoys state-of-the-art equipment that allows students to conduct cutting-edge research in the fields of energy, environmental chemistry, materials science and biological chemistry.
The experience of students on the programme was also praised in the report, including the amount of hands-on experience students gain with equipment, and the relationship between staff and students in the department.
Ricardo Lopez, a student in the department, said: “The Department of Chemistry at XJTLU is small and allows students direct and easy access to great equipment. I have learned a lot of very useful skills while studying here. The size of the department also makes it really easy to make connections, not just with staff in the department itself, but from others around the University. I have been able to work very closely with researchers in biology, which has given me new perspectives and lines of enquiry, as well as allowing me to better understand the applications of my work.”
Toby Underwood, accreditation manager at the Royal Society of Chemistry, said: “Accreditation of degrees is an important aspect of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s duty as a professional body for chemistry. Not only does it allow us to share global best practice, but through peer review we give staff and students reassurance that the quality of a degree is appropriate for their future careers, and help with mobility if they wish to continue studying overseas. We are delighted with this new engagement with XJTLU and look forward to future interactions.”
Professor Marquez added: “We’re delighted to have achieved this accreditation, which, in addition to demonstrating the high-quality of the programme, is a testament to ambition of staff in the department to develop a programme that is a leader amongst chemistry degrees in China.”
Founded in 2006, XJTLU is the largest independent Sino-foreign university in China, a partnership between Xi'an Jiaotong University in China and the University of Liverpool in the UK.
XJTLU is part of a small group of independent Sino-foreign universities operating in China, defined as legally independent entities formed as joint ventures between Chinese universities and international partners.