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University nears completion of innovation park
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Xi’an Jiaoda president says zone will help solve challenges faced by undeveloped countries

You certainly can’t call Xi’an Jiaotong University President Wang Shuguo bashful.

“Xi’an Jiaotong University should be one of the top schools in the world,” he recently said.

But what makes the top university the best in the world? To Wang, the top university should be able to solve formidable global problems.

“If you can solve the problems in China’s development, you should be the top university in China, and if you can solve the world’s development problems, you should be the top university in the world,” Wang said.

The president hopes his school can contribute more to the cultivation of talent and socio-economic development.

As part of that effort, Xi’an Jiaotong University — also known as Xi’an Jiaoda — is currently focused on speeding up the development of the Universities Alliance of the New Silk Road.

On May 22, the alliance, first proposed by Xi’an Jiaoda, officially launched across 100 well-known universities from 22 countries and regions, along with the Xi’an Declaration.

According to the declaration, the alliance will promote “peace and cooperation, openness and tolerance, mutual learning and mutual benefit” to build a platform for educational cooperation and to promote regional development.

At present, 114 globally leading universities from 29 countries have joined the alliance. The alliance’s secretariat is set up in Xi’an Jiaoda and the permanent venue is located in China West Scientific and Technological Innovation Park in Xi-Xian New Area, a national-level urban development zone between Xi’an and its neighboring city of Xianyang.

Xi’an was the starting point for the ancient Silk Road more than 2,000 years ago, linking China and Europe via Central Asia. The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013 aims to use the ancient Silk Road as a template to create modern linkages of exchange, development and cooperation for countries along the ancient route.

Wang said China, with its population of some 1.4 billion and a history of more than 5,000 years, is destined to have its own voice on the global stage.

“We want to promote the Silk Road spirit of peaceful cooperation, openness and tolerance, mutual learning and mutual benefit for a win-win purpose, which is also advocated by the alliance,” Wang said.

More opportunities

Part of the alliance’s aim is to study and solve problems faced by weaker, underdeveloped countries. That goal should provide more opportunities for Xi’an Jiaoda, a university with a history of nearly 120 years, to promote itself as a top university in the world.

The construction of China West Scientific and Technological Innovation Park is another effort made by Xi’an Jiaoda to promote itself as a top university.

The project is designed and built by Xi’an Jiaoda and Xi-Xian New Area and construction began on April 9. With total construction area of more than 291 hectares, the park will be a sprawling campus for scientific research, high-level talent training and high-tech business incubation.

The park is divided into four major functional sections for research, education, incubation and production as well as infrastructure.

“I have been working for higher education for decades and I have thought for a long time about how the university should develop. Now, the universities around the world have extended their function from imparting knowledge to scientific and technological research,” Wang said.

The president said the project is considered a scientific and technological research and innovation park rather than a campus because Xi’an Jiaoda wanted to put the project closer to the public.

“I hope that our research achievements are fully used by the public and I hope our school can make more contribution to the development of the local region and the country,” Wang said.

According to its development plan, the park will be completed in 2020 and the four major functional sections are expected to help generate big economic and social benefits.

A city’s cog for global education cooperation

The Universities Alliance of the New Silk Road (UANSR) for promoting the exchange and cooperation among universities in the world has got gratifying achievement after it was established on May 22, 2015.

According to Xi’an Jiaotong University — or Xi’an Jiaoda, the founder of the alliance, a number of activities to promote cooperation were held after its establishment, including the first university president forum, an education exhibition, a festival of overseas students of from countries along the Silk Road, a theme concert and a series of discussions among the alliance members.

Member universities have also signed more than 20 cooperative agreements,according to Xi’an Jiaoda.

The alliance has received a lot of attention from the media both at home and abroad.

Within the framework of the alliance, Xi’an Jiaoda has carried out a number of programs with other universities,including teacher and student exchanges, talent training, scientific research,the establishment of thinktanks, medical services and the construction of the China West Scientific and Technological Innovation Park in Xixian New Area in Shaanxi province.

Xi’an Jiaoda has been an active participant in the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping by promoting international cooperation in higher education.

A major part of the effort, the Universities Alliance of the New Silk Road is designed to be a nongovernmental and not-for-profit platform for international cooperation in higher education.

According to Xi’an Jiaoda, alliance members should carry forward the “Silk Road spirit of peace”, cooperation,openness and tolerance,mutual learning and mutual benefit to promote educational exchanges, talent training, scientific research,cultural understanding,policy studies and medical services.

Xi’an Jiaoda put forward the initiative to establish the alliance on Jan 22 during the Silk Road High-End International Forum and received strong support from dozens of universities in Russia, Kazakhstan, Singapore,Kyrgyzstan, France,Italy, Switzerland, Australia,Germany, Britain, Pakistan,South Korea, Thailand andFinland, as well as from the Hong Kong Polytech University and the Harbin Institute of Technology.

A total of 114 universities from 29 countries and regions have joined the alliance and more than 10 universities are waiting for confirmation to join.

On Sept 12 and 13, Xi’an Jiaoda shared the concept and values of the alliance with Arabian universities at the third China and Arabian University President Forum in Yinchuan, the Ningxia Hui autonomous region.

By the end of 2014, the school had established partnerships with 145 universities in 43 countries that lie along the ancient trade route.

Xi’an Jiaoda is currently preparing to establish the Silk Road China West Post-Doctoral Innovation Demonstration Center, which will be an important international exchange and cooperation platform for post-doctoral training.

School makes mark on international stage

Xi’an Jiaotong University, one of Chinese top Universities based in Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi province, makes its full effort to enhance its international competitiveness and tries hard to build itself a top university in the world.

The school, also known as Xi’an Jiaoda, understands that the internationalization of higher education is the inevitable requirement of the global economic integration in 21st century and the only way to build itself a world top university with Chinese characteristics. One of the important symbols of running a university at international level is the influence in the global higher education field.

Xi’an Jiaoda issued a plan in January to raise its standards for curriculum,training professors and staff members, and scientific research.

As part of the effort to further improve the school’s competitiveness internationally, Xi’an Jiaoda initiated the Universities Alliance of the New Silk Road, which has thus far attracted 114 universities from 29 countries and regions, and is currently constructing the China West Scientific and Technological Innovation Park.

The school has implemented a number of cooperation programs with foreign universities to jointly train its students about creative innovation.

To date, Xi’an Jiaoda has signed agreements with more than 200 universities in over 60 countries and regions to establish exchanges for its teachers and students in foreign universities.

The university has also introduced foreign teachers and experts to participate in research. In 2014, the number of long-term working foreign teachers and experts reached 150 and 3,040 foreign experts had come to the school for long and short-term work by 2014, including four Nobel Prize laureates.

The university is a key school under the Ministry of Education and one of the earliest institutions of higher learning in China. The predecessor of the university was Nanyang Public School,founded in 1896 in Shanghai.It was renamed Jiaotong University in 1921.

In 1956, the school moved to Xi’an and was named Xi’an Jiaotong University in 1959.

In April 2000, Xi’an Medical College and Shaanxi Institute of Finance and Economics were merged into Xi’an Jiaoda. It is currently a research-oriented university with 10 major fields of study—including the sciences,engineering, medicine, economics,management, literature,law, philosophy, education and the arts.

The school has 34 colleges or departments and 12 affiliated teaching hospitals and 2,861 teachers. Among the teachers, more than 1,700 are professors and associate professors, and 26 are academicians from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering.

At present, the school has 30,682 full-time students, including 14,697 postgraduates.

The school has eight national first-level disciplines, eight national second-level disciplines, 27 provincial (ministerial) first-level disciplines and 155 provincial (ministerial) second-level disciplines. It also has 25 postdoctoral stations, five national key laboratories, four national engineering research centers and 59 provincial or ministeriallevel research institutes.

Since 2000, Xi’an Jiaoda has invited 14 Nobel Prize laureates and one Fields Medal winner as well as more than 2,000 foreign professors to give lectures to its students. It has also received more than 17,000 scholars, company executives and government officials from around the world for cooperative research and academi cexchange.

This year, 1,786 foreign students from 86 countries are studying at Xi’an Jiaoda.

http://pub.chinadailyasia.com/lib/file/epaper-1022.htm

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