[Southeast News Network, Dec. 18] (Correspondent: Xu Taotao) From Dec. 9 to 12, the delegation of President Zhang Guangjun of Southeast University, upon the invitation by presidents of University of Manchester and Queen's University of Belfast as well as the British Council, visited the U.K. to promote and deepen international cooperation and exchanges between universities. Relevant principals from the Graduate School, the Scientific Research Institute, the International Cooperation Office and the College of Physics of l of Southeast University accompanied the visit.
During the visit to the University of Manchester, President Sir Nancy Rothwell received the delegation of PresidentZhang Guangjun. During the talks between both parties, Zhang Guangjun introduced the historical evolution and disciplinary characteristics of Southeast University to Nancy Rothwell. As President Zhang introduced, upon 117-year development, Southeast University has always been adhering to the school-running concept of openness and has undertaken the important mission of serving the country and the society. Facing the future, Zhang Guangjun put forward two suggestions on the cooperation between the two universities: first of all, we should continue to expand and deepen the student exchanges. The mutual visit of students from both parties will be conducive to deepen the mutual understanding of each other's culture, cultivate their innovation and global vision, and provide opportunities for their participation in major national projects; secondly, it is conducive to deepen scientific research and cooperation. Under the support of relevant Chinese local governments, we can jointly apply for high-level joint research centers to carry out targeted scientific innovation and technical transfer researches, and thus to solve many challenges confronted by human society in the course of economic development. Nancy Rothwell completely agreed with Zhang Guangjun’s suggestions and indicated his willingness to conduct substantial cooperation with Southeast University as soon as possible in terms of joint cultivation of graduate students, summer school, joint scientific researches, innovation and achievement transformation, and also expressed the interest in joining Sino-British University Engineering Education and Research Alliance based on the future cooperation between both parties. The delegation also visited the National Graphene Research Center and the Photonics Science Research Center, conducted fruitful discussions on cooperation with Prof. Martin Schr?der, Vice President and Dean of the Institute of Science and Technology, Prof. Wang Zhongdong, Deputy Dean in charge of international affairs of the Institute of Science and Technology. Both parties agreed to explore and try joint cultivation of interdisciplinary talents in the future.
In the morning of Dec. 12, Zhang Guangjun attended the Winter Graduation Ceremony and Honorary Doctoral Awarding Ceremony of Queen’s University of Belfast. As authorized by the school’s council, Prof. Ian Greer, President of the Queen’s University of Belfast, awarded Zhang Guangjun an honorary doctorate of science in recognition of his outstanding achievements in engineering education and scientific research, as well as his contributions to international exchanges and cooperation in Sino-British education. It is reported that the honorary doctorate degree of Queen’s University of Belfast aims at recognizing outstanding scholars, scientists or well-known politicians and social activists for their outstanding achievements in social development and human progress such as academic, economic, educational, scientific, cultural and health contribution, etc.. Before the ceremony, Zhang Guangjun also talked with Ian Greer. Both parties exchanged views on the Alliance’s future development, especially in respect of the expansion of talent cultivation and the deepening of scientific research cooperation.
During the visit to the British Council, Steve Woodfield, Director of Global Online Education Policy Affairs, met with the delegation. Zhang Guangjun introduced to Woodfield the major activities as conducted and progress as achieved since the establishment of the Sino-British University Engineering Education and Research Alliance, and expressed his gratitude for the support provided by the British Council to the Alliance’s establishment and development. Woodfield introduced the organizational structure and main functions of the British Council to the delegation, and affirmed the Alliance’s recognition by the governments of both countries and the substantive achievements of cooperation as made. Zhang Guangjun said that the Alliance would focus on talent cultivation and joint scientific research for the next step to expand the scale of talent exchanges between the alliance members and actively seek the government support on the one hand, on the other hand, to promote nine first-class British universities and nine Chinese universities to realize technological innovation and transformation of scientific and technological achievements via this alliance platform. Based on the huge potentials of the Chinese market, more scientific research achievements can be implemented in China. Woodfield acknowledged this and said that the British Council would further support the Sino-British University Engineering Education Alliance.
During the visit to the U.K., Zhang Guangjun also met with Chinese Consul General Zheng Xiyuan in Manchester and Consul General Zhang Meifang in Belfast, visited the alumni in Manchester and talked with students and scholars from world-class British universities. Zhang Guangjun introduced the development of Southeast University to the students and scholars present in the talk, answered a series of questions that all cared about, expecting them to become leading talents highlighting both patriotism and international views, return and serve the mother country as soon as possible cause.
It is reported that the University of Manchester was founded in 1824, as a founding member of the Russell University Group in the United Kingdom and ranked 27th in the 2020 QS World University Rankings. The school highlights three faculties: the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, the Faculty of Science and Engineering, and the Faculty of Humanities. Many major achievements in the world, such as the atomic split, the invention of the world's first storable computer and the discovery of graphene all originated from this school. 25 Nobel Prize winners graduated from this school.
Established in 1845 as a member university of the Russell Union, Queen's University of Belfast is a famous and world-class research university in the U.K.. Since 2009, Queen's University of Belfast and Southeast University have been conducting extensive and fruitful cooperation in student exchange and academic cooperation. In May 2017, under the strong support of the governments of the two countries, Southeast University and Queen’s University of Belfast took the lead in the establishment of the “Sino-British University Engineering Education and Research Alliance”, which is composed of 9 first-class universities from China highlighting engineering education and 9 well-known universities from Russell Group. It is the first university alliance of its kind highlighting engineering education and research as established by China and the U.K.. In December 2017, the joint declaration forwitnessing the official establishment of the alliance was incorporated into the Sino-British high-level humanities exchange mechanism, which was highly recognized and greatly supported by both the Chinese and the British governments. Since its establishment, the Alliance has conducted a variety of academic and student exchange activities, including academic seminars on energy and manufacturing, the “Sino-British University Engineering Education and Research Alliance Principals Forum”, and the “Future Engineer Leadership and Innovation School” PhD Program, etc., which have effectively consolidated and deepened the cooperation between the two universities, and made positive contributions to the development and cooperation of China and Britain in higher education.
Submitted by: the International Cooperation Office
(Editor-in-Charge: Cong Jie, reviewed by: Song Xiaoyan)