During the past month, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University was mentioned in media reports from outlets including Xinhua News Agency, China Social Sciences Today, Southern Weekly, Xinhua Daily, Southern Metropolis Daily, Suzhou Daily, Gusu Evening Post, JSChina Net and Tencent Net. Topics included opportunities for Sino-foreign joint venture universities, XJTLU’s exploration and development, experts’ views, external communication and collaboration and scientific achievements.
Representatives from XJTLU have also been included in stories or sought for comment in English-language media outlets including The Conversation, Times Higher Education, SupChina and That’s Magazine.
1. Opportunities for Sino-Foreign Joint Venture Universities
XINHUA NEWS AGENCY:
Summary: On 19 December, 2020, Xinhua News Agency reported on the 11th Annual Conference of Sino-Foreign Cooperation in Administering Schools. Professor Youmin Xi, Executive President of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, said in a keynote speech that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sino-foreign cooperative education faces both challenges and opportunities. For example, China has witnessed the vigorous development of online and offline hybrid education. More emphasis has been placed on the development of international universities and internationalisation of higher education in China. In addition, with the current increase in job cutbacks at universities abroad, universities in China have the opportunity to attract more excellent international educators.
Summary: On 9 January, Southern Weekly looked back on the hot topics in education in 2020 and released an article concerning the crisis and challenges facing Sino-foreign cooperation in administering schools. Professor Youmin Xi, Executive President of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, said he believes that the flexibility and capacity of Sino-foreign cooperative schools to integrate resources are being tested. Although overseas education is faced with obstacles in the short term, the trend of intercultural communication and cross-cultural cooperation is irreversible in the long run, he said.
2. XJTLU’s Exploration and Development
Summary: The Suzhou Dushu Lake Science and Education Innovation District is at the forefront of China’s higher education internationalisation. Featuring a unique blend of teaching, research and industry, in recent years the area has continuously promoted university-business cooperation to increase industrial innovation.
On 15 January, Suzhou Daily featured the XJTLU Wisdom Lake Academy of Pharmacy, which is located in this innovative area. The article focused on the Academy’s unique advantages for employee training, basic research, and the transformation of academic findings to benefit industry.
WORLD EDUCATION INFORMATION:
Summary: On 7 January, World Education Information published an education feature written by Professor Xi Youmin, Executive President of XJTLU. The article discussed how to maximise distinct higher education with minimum legitimacy based on HeXie Management Theory and the University’s practices.
3. Experts’ Views
CHINA SOCIAL SCIENCES TODAY:
Headline: Scholars re-examine global rankings
Summary: On 21 January, Dr Debora Malito of the Department of International Studies at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University was one of three academics asked to share insights about global rankings in China Social Sciences Today, a publication of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. In the article, Dr Malito suggested that although quantification is instrumental in guiding policy-making, the drawbacks brought about by global rankings cannot be ignored.
SOUTHERN METROPOLIS DAILY:
Summary: On 4 January, Southern Metropolis Daily published an editorial by Dr Yaoyao Fan, Assistant Professor at the International Business School Suzhou of XJTLU, about the banana industry in Guangdong province. The article highlights how using digital methods in international promotion can provide impetus to the local banana industry. For brand reputation, product quality remains a top concern.
4. External Communication and Collaboration
GUSU EVENING POST:
Summary: On 12 January, Gusu Evening Post reported on the signing ceremony of the education and internship program organised by the Overseas Chinese Academy of Chiway Suzhou and XJTLU. The bilateral agreement aims at promoting collaboration in internships, employment opportunities, talent training, teaching and academic research programs.
5. Scientific Achievements
Summary: On 27 January, Xinhua Daily reported that blocking a specific cell immune messenger can reduce the effects of the most common type of arthritis from progressing, according to new research undertaken at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University.
This news was also reported by Yangtse Evening Post.
6. English Media Highlights
Summary: On 23 December 2020, The Conversation released a co-authored article by Professor Johannes M H Knops of the Department Health and Environmental Sciences at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. The article discussed research indicating that online misinformation significantly impacts biological invasions of Canadian goldenrod across 13 countries. The report advocates that legislation keep up with scientific advice to ban goldenrod trade in affected countries.
TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION:
Headline:How high can China fly?
Summary: On 7 January, an article in Times Higher Education considered the possibilities for China’s universities to continue their rise in global rankings. The article noted that, as in all countries, most funding goes to highly ranked and outward-facing universities – and especially to those with programmes that fit national goals.
“The government needs to pay serious attention to reforming resource allocation and also evaluation procedures,” said Professor Youmin Xi, XJTLU’s Executive President, in the article. He noted concern that if too many universities chase government priorities without regard for their institutional goals, programme provision across the country will become unbalanced.
Professor Xi also said he thinks China’s universities could improve quality with a more flexible teaching approach, such as one that embraces lifelong learning. In addition, he stated they should take care to avoid becoming too vocationally focused, especially in research.
The article noted the fact that Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University opened an Academy of Pharmacy in November.
Summary: Online shopping surged in China last year in response to the closure of physical stores during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the boom of the digital economy has led to growing worries about its environmental consequences.
In an article published 15 January in SupChina, Dr Ellen Touchstone, Associate Dean for Responsible and Sustainable Business Education, International Business School Suzhou, urged Chinese companies to engage in greenhouse gas accounting and set specific, measurable reduction goals.
In addition, Dr Shih-Yang Kao of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University’s Department of Urban Planning and Design said that keeping plastic packaging out of landfills and incinerators is crucial.
Headline:Hands-on experience makes graduates more valuable
Summary: On 15 January, That’s Magazine reported on the advantages of studying at the XJTLU Wisdom Lake Academy of Pharmacy. Professor Mu Wang, Executive Dean of the Academy, says the international nature of XJTLU combined with the wealth of internationalised pharmaceutical companies in the Suzhou BioBAY area makes the Academy a good choice for students both from home and abroad.
Summary: The COVID-19 pandemic forced universities around the world to redefine the way education is delivered to students. On 22 December 2020, Exbulletin reported on the final China Talk delivered by Professor David Goodman, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. He noted that the pandemic could be an opportunity to redefine what international higher education means and advocated embracing change and looking forward to a bright new future.
By Yunji Tao, Guojuan Wang and Tamara Kaup