Dr Kai Liu from the Chinese Cultural Teaching Centre at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University has been named as ‘Outstanding Teacher’ at the fourth XJTLU Annual Teaching Prizes for his teaching excellence and innovation.

Organised by XJTLU’s Academic Enhancement Centre, the annual teaching prizes aim to identify and share best teaching practices across the University and are awarded to those staff who have made an outstanding contribution to teaching and the enhancement of students’ learning experiences at XJTLU.

Among the award categories, the prize of ‘Outstanding Teacher’ is given to individuals whose teaching is stimulating, enthusiastic and consistently challenging, stemming from expert knowledge of the subject, how to teach it and how learners learn. The outstanding teacher not only encourages and facilitates active learning, but gives prompt and quality feedback to help students’ learning.

Dr Liu currently teaches the bilingual module ‘Law and Morality’ to Year One students. “Law is a precise and complex discipline, so I need to stimulate students’ interests in this course. Because 80 percent of students will study abroad, I teach them some useful and practical law knowledge combined with my own experiences.

“For example, when it comes to contract law, I’ll refer to real life situations in foreign countries, such as signing a housing rental or labour contract. I teach them how to read the contract items and how to use laws to protect their own rights. The effect of teaching is very good and students often discuss things with me after class,” said Dr Liu.

XJTLU’s Year One public elementary courses were initially taught in Chinese only, however Dr Liu started to try bilingual teaching with the support of centre leaders. He said he has to take into consideration Year One students’ levels of English at the same time as introducing them to commonly used professional English terms and concepts.

Dr Stuart Perrin, dean of learning and teaching at XJTLU and chairman of the Annual Teaching Prizes panel, commented on Dr Liu’s teaching: "He used U-talk, an online chat community and platform for the students to discuss and develop ideas, and he took those ideas and used them in lessons."

Dr Bo Xie, director of the Chinese Culture Teaching Centre, said: “Dr Liu is passionate about teaching and is very innovative. His classes are always well prepared, which makes students participate and learn actively. He is one of the most diligent teachers I have met. Apart from a lot of teaching work, he spends his time on research, which makes him rich in high-quality academic achievements.”

“Dr Liu winning the award helps promote and highlight the work of CCTC,” Dr Perrin added.

Dr Liu joined XJTLU in 2014 and holds a PhD in commercial law, particularly focused on comparative corporate governance, from the National University of Malaysia. He has 12 years’ experience of legal study, research and teaching across countries and dedicates much of his time to academic activities such as exploring teaching reform, conducting comparative surveys, participating in international conferences, giving seminar presentations and drafting journal articles.

The Chinese Cultural Teaching Centre is responsible for teaching general social sciences courses and research, and aims to cultivate students’ active learning habits.

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