Examining the challenges and opportunities for information technology departments at Sino-foreign universities operating in China was the focus of a conference held at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University last month.
Representatives from the IT departments of nine Sino-foreign joint venture universities came together to discuss new innovations and applications in IT infrastructure and services to better support the collaborative and international environment of joint venture institutions.
Professor Minzhu Yang, vice president of XJTLU, addressed the conference, highlighting the important role the University’s Management Information Technology and System Office has played in XJTLU’s development.
“Our Management Information Technology and System Office has been indispensable in establishing XJTLU as an international university in China,” he said.
“It is critical that university IT departments continually renew and upgrade their IT to ensure they meet the changing demands of their institutions, and remain at the forefront of new advancements.”
Xudong Feng, head of XJTLU’s Management Information and System Office (pictured below) said Sino-foreign joint venture universities shared many of the same challenges.
“Compared to public universities in China, Sino-foreign joint venture universities have much more complicated requirements in IT services,” he said.
“For example, we need access to overseas websites for teaching and research purposes yet there are some barriers to getting access to this data, due to certain policies.
“There are also very few past examples to learn from. That is why it is so important for us to work together to explore new methods and find the best way forward for Sino-foreign universities.”
During the conference, IT directors and engineers from New York University Shanghai, University of Nottingham Ningbo China, Chinese University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen, Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College, and International Campus Zhejiang University shared their experiences and views on a variety of topics including applications, systems, operation maintenance, service support and infrastructure construction.
It is the third conference and seminar of its kind organized by the Joint Venture University IT Alliance.
Feng said that if the joint venture universities become the first pilot institutions to gain full access to overseas websites, the IT alliance could make history.
By Heyang Liu; photos by Sifan Yan; translated by Xiangyin Han; edited by: Guojuan Wang and Rosanna Galvin