On 5 September, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University officially held the launch ceremony of its award-winning Taicang campus. The campus, which will be the new home of XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang), was made possible with help and investment from the local Taicang government.
It was designed with entrepreneurialism, industry, interdisciplinarity and the community in mind. The main building has a circular structure linking its magnet-shaped schools, connecting them physically and symbolically.
Professor Stuart Perrin, Associate Principal of XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang), says: “I’m excited about how the campus will bring together staff and students from different schools. Every space is a potential learning space.”
The first cohort of students joined XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang) in September 2019. Now, more than 1,200 students, including over 100 master’s and doctoral students, have moved to the new campus.
During the launch ceremony, two innovation platforms, the XJTLU Yangtze River Delta National Technology Innovation Centre Demonstration Base and XJTLU Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Platform, were unveiled.
Professor Youmin Xi
The launch also saw the kick-off of the XJTLU Global Entrepreneur Dream-Chaser Competition and the signing ceremony of three research centres: the Global Financial Market Research Centre, the Talent Strategy Innovation Research Centre, and the Regional Data Intelligence Innovation Centre.
University of the future
Speaking at the launch ceremony, President Youmin Xi, Executive President of XJTLU, said: “XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang) is a major project launched after the first decade of XJTLU’s successful development to mark the start of the second decade.
“The College aims to undertake four missions. First, with syntegrative education, the College will explore the training of future talent for multiple industries. Second, in an era when the university’s role is being redefined, the College will provide a plan for developing universities in the future. Third, by connecting the University with businesses, industry, and society at large, we hope to set an example for university campuses of the future. Fourth, the newly launched campus will facilitate our exploration of an effective system for multi-campus management.”
Also speaking at the ceremony, Qingwen Wu, deputy secretary of the Suzhou Municipal Party Committee and mayor of Suzhou, said: “The launch of XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang) means that the school has entered a new stage. With its innovative programmes and research centres, XJTLU is poised to empower skills training and business growth simultaneously, providing intellectual support for the coordinated development of the University and the local economy.”
Xiangyuan Wang, secretary of the Taicang Municipal Party Committee, said: “The launch of XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang) is a long-awaited event for citizens of Taicang as well as an important chance for the city to attract talent for its high-quality development. XJTLU is known for its international learning environment, and the launch of the new campus will help the city gain popularity and recognition. The municipal government will also fully support the development of the new campus so that XJTLU and the local government can work together to help XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang) grow into a world-class college.”
In addition to XJTLU’s partnership with the local government, the College features industry partners for each school, giving students a unique learning environment and experience.
XJTLU Taicang campus main building
ECOVACS, a robotic vacuum cleaner company, is one of the College’s partners. Liang Zhao, Dean of Research Institute of Innovation Ecology at ECOVACS, believes the industry-supported labs will “provide fertile soil for developing cutting-edge scientific research projects and innovative technologies.”
Xiang Ao, manager of Xingwen Zhijiao Company, a branch of partner Haier Group, says the College combines a love of learning with hands-on experience. “When our corporate engineers go to the College to teach, they find that the students actively ask questions, and our engineers actively help them solve their queries.”
The physical component of the XJTLU Learning Mall will be moving into the new Taicang campus as well.
At the launch ceremony, Dr Xin Bi, director of XJTLU Learning Mall, said: “By incorporating high-quality learning resources from around the world, XJTLU Learning Mall combines online resources with offline ones and has thereby created an interest-oriented platform for learning, innovation, and entrepreneurship which can be enjoyed by all users regardless of their location, age, and educational background. This enables XJTLU’s teaching philosophy to be applied both on and off campus.”
XJTLU’ Taicang campus
Students at the new campus will continue to benefit from the College’s guest lectures from experts, site visits and internships for students.
Tianhe Sun, Year Three student in BEng Data Science and Big Data Technology with Contemporary Entrepreneurialism, says: “I secured my second internship thanks to Taicang’s Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Hub courses. Learning here is different – we can get real-world experience.”
Malaysian student Adrian Heng Hwa Onn, a Year Three student in the same programme, says: “When I first came to XJTLU’s SIP campus, I was impressed with the gorgeous architecture and well-equipped facilities. But I’m more excited about studying in Taicang. Who doesn’t want to be a part of something new?”
By Patricia Pieterse, Luyun Shi, Tingting Wang and Xinmin Han
Translated by Xueqi Wang