Participants of the Jiangsu Development Conference visited Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, one of the stops on their ‘education field research route’.
The Conference is organized every two to three years by the Jiangsu provincial government to increase contact, communication, and cooperation among the elites of Jiangsu Province.
Professor Youmin Xi, executive president of XJTLU, introduced the University and its educational model, saying: “It has been 11 years since the University was officially established. In its first year, we recruited 160 students. Now we have almost 12,000 registered students, including 8 to 9,000 at our Suzhou campus, studying disciplines such as science, engineering, humanities, social sciences and more.”
President Xi also stressed that the University’s official language is English, and has an international teaching faculty and many international students. He also noted that according to the QS World University Rankings, nearly 20% of XJTLU graduates have been admitted by the world’s top 10 universities for further study.
The guests were interested in the underground tunnel connecting XJTLU’s north and south campuses. President Xi explained the design concept behind this tunnel:“The grey bricks represent traditional Chinese culture, while the red ones evoke the ‘red brick universities’ of the U.K. This colourful tunnel symbolises the integration of Western and Eastern cultures, and showcases XJTLU’s diverse, creative, dynamic, and international culture.”
The guests also visited the International Academic Exchange Centre on the South Campus where they had in-depth discussions about XJTLU’s operation model, teaching features, cultural exchanges, and other topics.
“How do XJTLU’s students arrange their extra-curricular activities?” asked Tao Xie, chairman of Suzhou Hierstar Intelligent System Co., Ltd., and an advisor on China’s Thousand Talents programme for recruiting global experts.
President Xi explained that XJTLU students spend fewer hours in lectures compared with traditional Chinese universities, and are guided to develop their own independent learning skills. He described the large amount of extra-curricular activities that are available to XJTLU students to enable them to improve in their areas of specialty, including volunteer work and Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship projects.
President Xi also described the University’s Syntegrative Education project, a new initiative aimed at adapting to future education trends through cooperation with enterprises that will provide students with opportunities for internships and industry experience.
Nathanael Dwight Pelton, an XJTLU alumnus, teacher at Suzhou Foreign Language School, and a winner of the Jiangsu Province Friendship Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the economic and social development of the region, who was also in attendance, said: “XJTLU is a place that fuses traditional Chinese and modern international cultures. I’m very glad that I was able to learn fluent Chinese while studying at XJTLU.”