PhD Supervisors

PhD Supervisors

Professor Youmin Xi

Professor Xi gained his undergraduate degree in physics from Xi’an Science and Technology University and his master’s in system engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University. In 1987 he was the first person in Mainland China to be awarded a doctoral degree in the field of management engineering, while in 1993 became the youngest supervisor of Ph.D. candidates in management engineering in China.

As a visiting professor, he has conducted joint research projects in universities in Canada, America, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Much of his research in China has been designated as national key projects. His research and teaching areas cover strategic management and policy analysis, decision-making and decision support systems, management behaviour, and firm theory.

He has successfully supervised over 100 master’s and PhD students, while as an author or co-author has published more than 300 academic papers and 20 books. He has received many prizes at provincial and ministerial levels.

As well as sitting on a variety of national-level boards and holding a wide range of titles, including standing committee member of Xi’an Municipal People’s Congress, Professor Xi is also chief editor of Manamaga, a magazine and journal focused on management, as well as an editorial board member of several Chinese academic journals.


Professor Qiuling Chao

Professor Qiuling Chao has been vice president for student affairs and information at XJTLU since March 2018. Professor Chao is a professor of School of Public Policy and Administration at Xi’an Jiaotong University (XJTU) and currently the deputy director of the Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges. Professor Chao has a professional background in English, pedagogy, and psychology, and has many years of experience engaging in higher education research. In 2005, she received her Ph.D. in education supporting her in-depth knowledge of higher education.

From October 2009 to June 2013, Professor Chao worked as dean of the Liverpool Confucius Institute at the University of Liverpool. During her work in the UK, she conducted in-depth cross-cultural communication in English. This international working experience provided her with direct access to and an understanding of the management modes, operation processes and cultural issues of foreign universities, offering valuable experience and reference for her work in the future in Sino-foreign cooperatively-run universities and international institutions.

Professor Chao started her work as deputy director of the Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges at XJTLU in 2015. With almost three years experience working in this position it has provided her with a more systematic and in-depth understanding of international exchange within universities, project cooperation, and the construction of internationalisation. She also organised and accomplished several large-scale foreign affairs visits and receptions, which shows high organisational and coordination ability and business level.


Dr Xiaojun Zhang

Dr Xiaojun Zhang got his PhD degree at Xi’an Jiaotong University. He joined Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University as the Deputy Director of Institute of Leadership and Education Advanced Development (ILEAD) in 2013, which was created by him under the support of university leaders. Now Xiaojun is Chief Officer of Education at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University and Team Leader of Entrepreneur College (Taicang) Collective Leadership Team. He also takes roles including inaugural Executive Dean of the Academy of Future Education, and Acting Dean of Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Hub.

Xiaojun is an edupreneur who initiated all the four units within the Academy of Future Education. He was appointed as Head of ILEAD in 2017 when ILEAD became a department of Education. He restructured the faculty development centre at XJTLU and built the team of Educational Development Unit (EDU) in 2018. The Department of Educational Studies (EDS) was created by Xiaojun in 2019, and Learning Institute for Future Excellence (LIFE), as an innovative platform to support student transformation and global citizenship competence development at XJTLU, was created by him in 2021.

Dr Zhang led the development of several projects with national level impact. He created XJTLU National University Teaching Innovation Award in 2016, developed the Association for Sustainable Faculty Development in Higher Education in 2018 with more than 90 institutional members, and initiated the ILEAD Talk series established in more than 20 cities in China. Since August 2023, Xiaojun was appointed as Chief Officer of Education to lead on the educational development and innovation at XJTLU, and in particular to facilitate the exploration of syntegrative education as team leader of XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang).

Dr Zhang is a Principal Fellow of Higher Education Academy (PFHEA) in UK.

One of Xiaojun’s current work focuses on educating the educators in universities, including teachers, professionals, and institutional leaders and managers. He has developed many professional development programmes for educational practitioners across the country. His programmes were attended by more than 15,000 staff from more than 500 Chinese universities. Since 2013 he has been invited for more than 200 speeches for educational practitioners and researchers on the topic of education and teaching innovation. Xiaojun created one of the most influential community for teaching innovation in China: XJTLU National University Teaching Innovation Award. More than 4,250 innovative teachers from 500 Chinese universities applied for this award since 2016. Every year there are millions of online visits to this events, and there has accumulated more than 500 excellent teaching innovation cases.

Dr Zhang’s research area includes institutional change and institutional logics; Educational leadership; Internationalization in Higher Education, especially the Sino-foreign Cooperative universities; Future education in the AI era; Syntegrative Education; University transformation and teaching innovation, in particular research-led learning and teaching; student-centred education; student transition etc. Dr Zhang welcomes PhD applications in these areas.

Xiaojun has published more than 100 academic papers and 5 books. His research focus on problems in practice and pay attention to practical implications. Most of his research has been adopted in his training programmes for higher education practitioners. One of his most recent books titled “University Transformation: From Teacher Dominated to Student-Centred” published by Tsinghua University Press is a guidebook for education practitioners who want to transform their education. Xiaojun proposed the “diamond model” of teaching innovation in AI era and highlighted ten key directions of teaching innovation in his another recently published book “Future-oriented Teaching Innovation” by Economic and Management Press.


Professor Moritz Bilagher

Moritz Bilagher is honoured to be a member of the Academy of Future Education and, in particular, the Learning Institute for Future Excellence (LIFE), as a Professor of Practice in Global Citizenship Education (GCED). He holds a Doctorate in Education from King’s College London, a Master’s of Science in Educational Research Methodology from the University of Oxford and a Master’s of Science in Science Dynamics from the University of Amsterdam. He holds a diploma in Civic Education and a teaching license from Hogeschool Holland.

As Professor of Practice, Moritz Bilagher obtained the majority of his work experience outside academia, mainly in international cooperation and development in education, with UNESCO (Nairobi, Santiago, Bangkok and Paris), UNRWA (Amman and Beirut), the World Bank-based Global Partnership of Education (Washington, DC) and the British government Agency for ICT in Education Becta (Coventry) in education management, research and evaluation. Professor Bilagher hopes to bring his experience in the field to the university context, to the benefit of students and colleagues.

His research interests include international education, GCED, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, peace education, educational assessment (psychometrics), ICT in education, educational planning and socio-emotional learning (SEL).


Dr Layhuah Goh

Dr LayHuah Goh possesses solid academic and professional credentials, including a PhD in Management (a postgraduate qualification in management of change and ICT integration in education), a Master in Education focusing on management and language teaching and a Certificate in TESOL as well as a professional IT certification as Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP). She has 30 years’ experience as a teacher, trainer, coach and mentor. She demonstrates high-level skills in instructional leadership, teacher education and education studies at tertiary level. Dr Goh has successfully supervised to completion TESL and Education Management doctoral students with their research. Dr Goh demonstrates strong evidence of academic success in educational research, facilitating and leading educational research and research consultancy skills. She is passionate about educational action research, and believes that the cycles of improvement and reflection allow an individual to grow professionally. Her numerous research has been published in various indexed journals since 2013. She also makes it a point to share her research experiences in international conferences, at the same time learning from like-minded researchers. Her current research focus is technology integration in teaching and learning, English Language teaching and educational management and leadership.


Dr Yan Huo

Dr Yan Huo is Assistant Professor at the Learning Institute for Future Excellence (LIFE) at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. Guest Research Fellow at Tsinghua University Center for Youth Moral Education.

Before she joined XJTLU, she was a postdoc at Tsinghua University, where her research focus was on youth moral development and character education in the school context. Prior to that, she obtained her PhD in the UK and followed by one year of working experience as a Research Fellow at one of Russell Group Universities – the University of Birmingham, where her research focus was on Aristotelian character education (moral virtues) and how to measure character strengths.

Yan’s research approach has benefited from her cross-cultural and interdisciplinary experiences. Her research orientation can be summarized as the application and practical exploration of moral philosophies and positive education theories inspired by virtue ethics, with special emphasis on the concept of character and virtues in education and learning. Her research areas include moral development and character education, character strengths and virtues – and how to measure them, professional ethics education and positive education.

Yan has published in a range of international journals, including the Journal of Moral Education (SSCI), Journal of Positive Psychology (SSCI), Current Psychology (SSCI), and Asia Pacific Journal of Education (SSCI), as well as book chapters in Routledge collections. She is also a reviewer for several international journals. Yan has been entrusted as the treasurer of the Asia Pacific Network for Moral Education (APNME), and she has presented a list of conference papers at APNEM and other conferences (e.g., Association for Moral Education, AME).

“for we are inquiring not in order to know what virtue is, but in order that we may become good, since otherwise our inquiry would have been of no use” – Aristotle


Dr Lei Jin

Dr Lei Jin is the Lecturer at the Department of the Educational Studies in the Academy of Future Education at XJTLU. Dr Jin received her master’s degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Colorado and her doctoral degree in Human Development and Family Science from Syracuse University.

Dr Jin’s research interests include examining the impact of the acculturation process on family relationships and individual psychological adjustment in Asian immigrant and transnational families. Additionally, Dr Jin is interested in assessing how sociocultural and familial factors and individual child-level characteristics shape children’s growth in the Chinese context. Dr Jin has been involved in a few research projects targeting cultural values, family SES, parenting behaviors, parent-child/teacher-student relationships, and child outcomes in Asian immigrant and Chinese families and worked collaboratively with colleagues from different universities. A few papers are in preparation for publication.

Before joining XJTLU, Dr Jin was the Clinical Lead at a top multi-disciplinary educational organization leading specialists (e.g., speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and mental health counsellors) to support local and international families and children in Shanghai and Greater China. Dr Jin is also a qualified examiner to provide psycho-educational assessments in Mandarin and English, particularly for children with learning difficulties as well as Autism and ADHD.


Dr Na Li

Dr Na Li is an Associate Professor, Director of the MSc Digital Education Programme in the Department of Educational Studies, and Co-Director of the Research Centre for AI and Education within the Academy of Future Education (AoFE) at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU). Na is a Senior Fellow of Advance HE (SFHEA), Associate Editor of the European Journal of Education (SSCI), and journal reviewer of several high-impact SSCI international journals (e.g., British Journal of Educational Technology, Distance Education, Interactive Learning Environments, Education and Information Technologies, Australasian Journal of Educational Technology).
Dr Na Li is the first PhD graduate from the AoFE. She holds a PhD degree in Education, jointly supervised by XJTLU and the School of Psychology at the University of Liverpool. Her research focus includes Virtual Learning environments (VLE/LMS), Artificial Intelligence In Education (AIED), and Digital Game-based Learning (DGBL). Since 2006, Na has been deeply engaged in the practice of the information technology industry, digital education teaching and research, and has published many high-quality publications. For more details, please check:


Dr Yingchun Li

Dr Yingchun Li obtained her PhD from the School of Education and Lifelong Learning at the University of Exeter in the UK; she is currently a Fellow in the UK Higher Education Academy. She was once an Associate Editor of the Asian ESP Journal. At more than twenty international conferences, she has presented and shared her research with professionals in the same field. These international conferences included IATEFL and BAAL in the UK, TESOL Convention and Exhibition in the US, Worldwide Forum on Education and Culture in Italy, TESOL Arabia in the UAE, and TESOL Singapore in Singapore. She published a monograph in Taiwan. She has also co-authored a book with scholars from different countries and regions in the world—Educational Landscape in the 21st Century. Dr Li’s main research interests include: language teaching and research, classroom culture, the construction of learning opportunities, education and technologies.


Dr Peng Liu

Head of HeXie Management Research Center in Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Dean of XIPU HeXie ACADEMY (GBA); Deputy Secretary of the Organization and Strategic Management Committee, Chinese Academy of Management; Advisory Member of the Industrial Internet Professional Committee, China Association of Small and Medium Enterprises. His academic research interests focus on HeXie Management Theory, entrepreneurship and the strategic transformation of enterprises, governance innovation and succession of private (family) enterprises, leadership and mindfulness (reflexive wisdom), big data driven and intelligent collaborative decision-making, innovation eco-system and industrial internet. He has published more than 30 high-level academic papers in Group & Organization Management (GOM), Management and Organization Review (MOR), Journal of Management World, and Journal of Management Science In China, et al.


Dr Tim London

Dr London is a Senior Associate Professor and the Director of Learning & Teaching. His training is both inter- and multi-disciplinary: a BA in Psychology (Colgate University, USA), a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership (University of Illinois-Springfield, USA), a Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Teaching (PGCHET) and a Master of Laws in Corporate Governance & Public Policy (both from Queens University Belfast, UK), a Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Development (Indiana State University, USA), an MBA with a focus on Entrepreneurship (University of Liverpool, UK), and a Doctorate in Leadership, Policy, and Organizations (Vanderbilt University, USA).

He has worked in the K-12 sector in the USA, Egypt, and Saipan as both a teacher and school leader; he also worked for the second largest teacher’s union in America as well as a non-profit organization providing educational opportunities to underserved families. In higher education, he has worked at the university level as well as in Schools of Education (USA and Northern Ireland), an Institute of Continuing Education (England), and a School of Business (South Africa) in both faculty and leadership roles.

He has published articles, book chapters, and a book on leadership issues. His current work focuses on how leaders and organizations develop purpose and core values, changes to the educational landscape, and the future of education and learning.


Dr Jinjin Lu

Dr Jinjin (Helen) Lu has over 15 years of international experience in educational research and professional roles in education. Dr Lu obtained her M.A. from the University of Wisconsin in the U.S.A and her PhD in the Faculty of Education at the University of Tasmania. After she finished her PhD, Helen successfully completed a range of education research projects in interdisciplinary teams in Tasmania and New South Wales in Australia. She has developed her professional and academic skills in China, Europe, USA and Australia and her leadership skills as a leading researcher. Between 2018 and 2020, Dr Lu attracted a large amount of funding from the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme in Europe. In the last two years, Helen closely collaborated with senior staff at the Czech Ministry of Education and Early Start UOW, Australia to assist multilingual and multicultural young children and their families in Europe and Australia.

Currently, Dr Lu’s research interests include language and literacy in early years, developmental psychology, and social media technology in early childhood education.


Dr Samiullah Paracha

Dr Samiullah Paracha has recently been moved from England to join this amazing new family of ‘Light & Wings’ in China. He holds a Ph.D from the Faculty of Technology, University of Sunderland, UK. His background is in Tech-enhanced Education particularly in the use of VR, ITS, Game-based Learning, Learning Analytics and HCI. Samiullah has amassed over 20 years of experience in teaching, research, programme management, and worked with the UNO, JICA, NPOs and eminent universities in Europe, Asia and Africa. He has served, both as a PI and as a member of the interdisciplinary research teams on several externally funded projects. His scholarly work has received Gold Medals (IIER), Silver Shields, Best Research Paper Awards (IEEE, IEEJ, IIER) and First Prize Paper Awards (IEEE). He has over 45 graduate completions and some of his graduate students received the highest distinctions. Samiullah is actively engaged in knowledge exchange activities, working with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe, Africa and Asia particularly in the creative, digital, and IT sectors to bridge the gap between academia and industry.


Dr Jike Qin

Dr Jike Qin is an assistant professor and the postgraduate research (PGR) director at the Academy of Future Education. She obtained her Ph.D. in Psychology (developmental area) from The Ohio State University, the U.S., in 2021, her master’s degree in Developmental and Educational Psychology from the State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning at Beijing Normal University in 2015, and her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from South China Normal University in 2012. Dr Qin’s research explores children’s development of numerical cognition and mathematical learning by employing rigorous experimental and statistical methodologies. She is also interested into the topics such as home numeracy environment, mathematical learning difficulty, analogy, and visuo-spatial reasoning.


Dr Benazir Quadir

Dr Benazir Quadir is an assistant professor in the Learning Institute for Future Excellence (LIFE) at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China. She was a lecturer in the Business School (Management Information System (MIS) department) at Shandong University of Technology (SDUT) from September 2017 to July 2022. She supervised ten multinational students. Some of them made journal publication and conferences from their study. She experienced two postdoctoral jobs at the E-Learning Research Center and the Graduate Institute of Network Learning Technology, Taiwan, from April 2014 to April 2017. She has published over 30 academic papers in international journals, book chapters and conferences, including 10 SSCI-Q1 quality journals. She received the Springer Nature top 10 downloaded journal award in 2017. She received the “outstanding best full paper award” at the 13th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT, Beijing, 2013). Her research interests include educational robots, educational technology, digital game-based learning, e-learning, intelligent agent technology, learning behaviour analysis, learning analytics, and big data in education. She is a reviewer of several international journals and a committee member for several international conferences.


Dr Lixin Ren

Dr Lixin Ren is associate professor at the Academy of Future Education. She obtained her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2015, with a specialization in developmental psychology. Before joining Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Dr Ren worked as associate professor at the Department of Early Childhood Education at East China Normal University (2017-2022) and a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Science, Mathematics & Computer Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (2015-2016).

Dr Ren’s research interests center on how various familial and extrafamilial factors may impact young children’s development in the Chinese context. She has conducted projects focused on Chinese parents’ changing childrearing beliefs and practices, mother-father and parent-grandparent co-parenting, and young children’s involvement in organized extracurricular activities (xingqu ban). She is also interested in cross-cultural psychology and has been involved in cross-cultural research projects on parents’ perceptions of children’s maladaptive behaviors, young children’s experiences of COVID-19, and mothers’ metacognitions during mother-toddler interactions. Dr Ren is a strong believer in interdisciplinary research. Although most of her research utilizes quantitative methods so far, Dr Ren tries to integrate qualitative methods and mixed methods in her research as well as to bring knowledge in other disciplines, such as anthropology and sociology, into her research.


Dr Irina Shcheglova

Dr Irina Shcheglova is an Assistant Professor at the Academy of Future Education at Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University. Dr Irina holds a Ph.D. in Educational Sciences from HSE-University (Russia) and M.Ed. in Evaluation of Education from KSU (USA). She has more than 7 years of research, teaching, and administration experience in higher education. Before joining XJTLU, she worked at HSE University as a Lecturer and a Researcher.

Dr Shcheglova has published her works in top tier education journals including Quality in Higher Education, Education and Information Technologies, Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management and presented at leading international conferences related to higher education such as ASHE, CHER, BERA and RHEC. Her research is related to one goal – to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Her research interests are students’ experience and development, assessment of education, cross-cultural research.


Dr Juming Shen

Dr Juming Shen is a local resident of Suzhou. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Soochow University in 2007 and 2010 respectively. To further explore his interest in academic studies, he went to Australia with the fund from China Scholarship Council after graduating from Soochow and obtained his Ph.D. in higher educational studies from Queensland University of Technology in 2013. He returned to his hometown immediately and started working at Soochow University as a lecturer in its School of Foreign Languages. In 2016, Dr Shen joined the Language Centre of Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University where he taught modules on English for Academic Purposes and established the new module of Developing Students’ Intercultural Awareness and Skills. In 2019, he transferred to ILEAD as a lecturer for the programme of M.A. Global Education.

Dr Shen started publishing academic papers in peer-reviewed journals as early as in 2008 and his research interest ranges from intercultural communication and language studies to semiotics and educational policy and practice analysis. He holds membership and leadership in a number of national and international academic associations and journal editorial and advisory boards. Apart from academic research, Dr Shen has been dedicating passionately to the development of students and local educational communities. He is on the teaching and learning advisory board of several international middle and high schools and has personally coached dozens of students for national and international contests and competitions.


Dr Tingting (Juliana) Tay

Dr Juliana Tay is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Educational Studies, Academy of Future Education, XJTLU. Her research interest includes identifying and serving students/children with gifts and talents and the evaluation of gifted programmes. She has published in various SSCI (Social Sciences Citation Index) journals, such as Computers & Education and Gifted Child Quarterly. She has also presented at national and international conferences such as the American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual conference and the Conference of the European Council for High Ability.

Dr Tay earned her MA and PhD degrees in gifted education from Purdue University in the US. Before starting her studies at Purdue, she worked as an educator in Singapore, teaching students with gifts and talents in visual arts and developing programmes and curricula that met the needs of these students. At Purdue University, she was also a coordinator for enrichment programmes and summer camps for young children with gifts and talents. Before joining XJTLU, she worked as a Research Fellow at the National University of Singapore, where she was part of a team studying the use of digital game-based learning approach on working adults.


Professor Ping Wang

Professor Ping Wang joined Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University (XJTLU) in June 2023 as the Head of the Higher Education Division,who holds a BA, an MA in applied linguistics and an Ed. D in language education. Before he joined XJTLPU, Professor Wang was a professor (level three) at Jiangsu University of Science and Technology.

He has published 86 peer-review papers (21 SSCI-indexed papers) and two monographs on language education in Applied Linguistics, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, International Journal of Multilingualism, International Journal of Multicultural and Multilingual Development, British Journal of Educational Technology, European Journal of Teacher Education, Cambridge Journal of Education, European Journal of Education, and International Journal of Applied Linguistics. Professor Wang was awarded the Wiley Certificate for the Most-Highly Cited Researcher in 2022 due to high-impact research. He has a forthcoming monograph examining the translanguaging pedagogical phenomena in EFL classes in Neidi Xinjiang and Neidi Tibetan Classes.

He has completed one project funded by National Office for Philosophy and Social Sciences, one financed by Qianjiang Talent Scheme (Type C), and one supported by Zhejiang Office for Philosophy and Social Sciences. Professor Wang has taught Research Methodology in Education for many years to graduate students, who have welcomed his teaching.


Dr “Sarah” Qian Wang

Dr Sarah is the Research Director and Programme Director of M.A. in Global Education. She has a background in MBA, social-organization psychology, and education. She received her Master’s and doctorate degrees from Teachers College (TC) Columbia University in New York and served as the programme leader/lecturer of the “Summer Youth Leadership Training” programme at TC. She went to study abroad since high school and lived in the United States for twenty years. During her doctoral study, she proposed to combine leadership, organizational development, and education to conduct interdisciplinary research on the leadership of Sino-foreign cooperative schools. Her doctoral thesis, Exploratory Study of the Experience of Chinese-Foreign Cooperative School Managers, applied critical incident research method and interviewed 14 managers from ten Sino-foreign cooperative universities in China. Dr Sarah is the Provost Doctoral Research Award Recipient at Teachers College Columbia University. In addition to her academic work, she prefers to describe herself as a research-practitioner in education. While in the United States, she was invited by businesses and schools to provide training and consulting on cross-cultural communication and organizational development. She has directed international cooperation programmes in many British and American schools. She has published many articles in well-known journals domestically and internationally, a winner of the 2020 China Education International Exchange Association Research Project, XJTLU Research Development Fund Recipient. Her research interests include organizational development, educational leadership, teacher development, and self-directed learning.


Dr Qingwei Wang

Dr Qingwei Wang is Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. Dr Wang graduated from Renmin University of China with a bachelor degree in Environmental Economics. He received a master’s degree in Public Administration from Cornell University and doctoral degree in Population Health Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr Wang’s research examines the broader social, economic, and political factors that drive the development of health system. His current work includes studies of the role of intersectoral governance, leadership and partnerships to stimulate and guide population health improvement, key issues in China health policy, comparative analysis of health policies in China and the US, and application of the HeXie management theory in public health.


Professor Rong Wang

Dr Rong Wang is the Professor and Head of the Department of the Educational Studies in the Institute of Leadership and Educational Advanced Development (ILEAD) at XJTLU. Dr Wang holds a Ph.D. in the Higher Education and Student Affairs programme and a Graduate Certificate in Institutional Research at Indiana University. She obtained a master’s degree in the Higher Education programme from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr Wang has more than ten years of research, teaching, and administration experience in higher education. Before joining XJTLU, Dr Wang was the Director for Assessment, Planning, and Accreditation in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She also worked as the Assistant Director for Academic Strategy and Policy at Virginia Tech. Dr Wang’s research interests focus on college teaching and learning, student engagement, institutional research and assessment, and international comparative higher education. She worked as the Research Project Associate at Indiana University’s Center for Postsecondary Research for five years. Dr Wang has led several research projects using large-scale multi-institutional datasets from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE), and the Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE). Her studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at international conferences, from research and methodology focused conferences to practical-oriented conferences. Dr Wang’s cross-cultural teaching experiences ranged from the undergraduate level to the doctoral level and ranged between China and the United States.


Dr Jing Wu

Dr Jing Wu is Assistant Professor at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. She achieved her Ph.D. degree in Spatial Planning and Environment at the University of Groningen (the Netherlands) in 2021. Prior to this, Dr Wu worked as a senior consultant at Savills, and has been involved in several consultancy projects on regional/urban development, strategic community planning, and real estate property in both China and abroad.

Her research focuses on governing the energy transition, integrated energy planning, climate change adaptation, and sustainable urban development. She has a particular interest in theories of complex science, decentralization, transitions and management. She is working on bridging the theory-practice gap in energy transition as well as exploring HeXie Management Theory in energy transition management.


Dr Shuangshuang Xu

Dr Shuangshuang Xu is the lecturer in the Department of the Educational Studies, Academy of Future Education. Dr Xu holds a Ph.D in Cultural Psychology at Aalborg University, Denmark. She obtained her master’s and bachelor’s degree from the School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University. Her research interest centers on the general area of cultural developmental psychology. Particularly, she is interested in using art-based methods (e.g. drama-in-education) as an innovative qualitative method to research and intervene child development. Her research topics cover educational and developmental intervention, art-based qualitative methods, imagination and affective semiosis.


Dr Rong Yan

Dr Rong Yan is currently a senior associate professor of developmental and educational psychology in the Institute of Leadership and Education Advanced Development (ILEAD) at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU). Before coming to ILEAD, he was a full professor in the School of English Language, Literature & Culture, Beijing International Studies University. Dr Yan obtained his Ph.D. from the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2007. Two years later, he was honored by the Patton College of Education, Ohio University, to further his study in bilingual education as a Post-doc researcher. His primary research areas are developmental and educational psychology, language acquisition and bilingual education.

Dr Yan has presented his work internationally and served on various committees in China, US and Canada, including Chinese Psychological Association, China National Society of Early Childhood Education, Association for Childhood Education International, Center for Language Acquisition & Precision Education, Canada (CLAPE), Family-School-Community Education Professional Committee of China Family Education Institute and Special Education Specialist Committee of SIP. So far, as PI and key member, he has led and participated more than 20 research projects, some of which were funded by the China National Humanities and Social Science Foundation, the State Ministry of Education of China and Beijing Municipal Government. With more than 18 years of teaching and research experiences in language education, developmental and educational psychology, he has published 5 books and over 40 research articles. In 2013, Dr Yan received the Top Award for Outstanding Education Research by Beijing Municipal Education Commission.


Professor Jeong Jin Yu

Jeong Jin Yu is Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU). Professor Yu has severed at universities in the US, South Korea, Australia, and Sweden before joining the faculty of XJTLU.

His research centers on key aspects of socioemotional functioning among children and adolescents. His work falls into two areas that have a clear intersection. The first area includes children’s and adolescents’ relationships with others (e.g., parents, siblings, peers, teachers). The second area of his research is an effort to better understand self-systems (e.g., self-esteem, self-control, self-criticism, body image) among children and adolescents. Furthermore, he situates himself at the intersection of these two themes where the quality of children’s relationships with other people and their self-systems are closely intertwined and interacted in complex ways.

He has published more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, 18 of which list him either as sole or first author. His publications have been cited more than 1,200 times in Google Scholar for an h-index of 16:…

A part of his research was funded by the Swedish Research Council:…

He served as consulting editor for Developmental Psychology published by the American Psychological Association (APA) from 2011 to 2016 and currently serves on editorial board for Youth:


Dr Sam Zare

Dr Sam Zare has a Ph.D. in Linguistics and Second Language Teaching from Massey University, New Zealand. Sam has been in language education since 1997 and has extensive experience and expertise in language teaching and learning, including Second Language Acquisition, Principles of Language Teaching and Learning, Assessment in Education, and TESOL Teacher training. As a qualified teacher trainer, Sam has trained both native speakers and non-native speakers of English (New Zealand, Iran, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia) on different teacher training programmes, including Trinity College London Cert-TESOL.

Sam is currently the Director of Global Digital Citizenship Centre (GDCC) at the Institute of Leadership and Education Advanced Development (ILEAD). In this role, he is working on the improvement of XJTLU Digital Literacy profile by designing modules, workshops, and products for XJTLU students and staff, and other Chinese academic entities.

As a Ph.D. student supervisor at ILEAD, Sam’s research interest covers issues in English Language Teaching and Learning, Teacher Training, Intercultural Communication, Socio-cultural Studies, Sociolinguistics, Discourse Analysis, Language and Identity, Cultural Identities, New Media Discourse, Virtual Communities, Weblogs, Online Social Networks, Social Network Analysis, Migration and Transnationalism, and Emotion.


Dr Yiran Zhao

Dr Yiran Zhao recently received her Ph.D. in educational theory and policy from the Pennsylvania State University in the USA. Prior to that, she obtained her Ed.M. degree in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the USA. Her bachelor’s degree in Communications (Media Market Survey and Analysis) was awarded by the Communication University of China. Dr Zhao is a mixed methods researcher with a primary focus on quantitative methods. Her research interests include the development of 21st century competencies, particularly creativity, the underlying psychological processes that enable self-directed learning, technology in education, educational equity, and educational innovations. Aside from her research work, Dr Zhao has also worked with the OECD and the Flow Learning to apply research to policy making and commercial practices to promote 21st century competencies and enhance young people’s ability to navigate their own life.


Dr Qing Zhang

Dr Qing Zhang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the Academy of Future Education. Prior to joining XJTLU, Qing worked as an Assistant Professor in the Human-computer Interaction (HCI) programme at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Oswego. She also worked at the Information Technology Services at Washburn University and IT Experience and Engagement at Virginia Tech.

Dr Zhang received her PhD in Instructional Design and Technology with a graduate certificate in Human-computer Interaction from Virginia Tech, and MEd in Learning Design and Technology from Penn State University. She has published several peer-reviewed articles in top journals. During the past few years, she supervised graduate and undergraduate students’ projects. Her current research focuses on virtual/augmented reality, online education, computational thinking, and user-experience design.