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UC Berkeley, Tsinghua Uni new joint institute

The Tsinghua-UC Berkeley Shenzhen Institute will launch by the end of the year. Photo: Cap'n No One

The institute has already raised 10m yuan (US$1.63m) for scholarships and another 12m yuan for supporting students in starting their own projects

The Tsinghua-UC Berkeley Shenzhen Institute will include a research centre for nanotechnology and nanomedicine, low-carbon and new energy technologies, and data science.

Students will spend time at the partner institution for up to one year of research or study and have two supervisors, one from Tsinghua and one from UC Berkeley as well as the chance to undertake internships in Shenzhen-based companies.

“This joint institute has a broader significance for the globalisation of higher education in China and is a showcase of high-level educational cooperation and exchange between China and the US”

“With this new partnership, we seek to develop a research programme that will enable the sort of complex, multidisciplinary collaborations necessary to successfully confront societal and economic challenges we face in China and California, as well as those that are global in scale and know no national borders,” commented UC Berkeley’s Chancellor Nicholas Dirks.

The two institutes established a strategic partnership agreement in 2012. Subsequently, Associate Dean for Strategic Alliances at UC Berkeley, Connie Chang-Hasnain, initiated the idea for the institute with her Tsinghua collaborator after spending a sabbatical year at Tsinghua’s Beijing campus.

Chang-Hasnain told The PIE News that she received “overwhelming enthusiasm” for the collaboration from chancellors, presidents, faculties and deans of both universities and she feels the institute could rapidly grow in research capabilities and student intake.

“One may say that this initiative itself is already the first exhibit of collaboration between teams of faculty and staff of both universities,” she said.

Around 50 Tsinghua students and 30 UC Berkeley students are expected in the first intake of doctoral students from 2015 and Master’s students from 2016.

And already over 10m yuan (US$1.63m) has been raised for scholarships and another 12m yuan for supporting students in starting their own projects.

Speaking at the signing, Shenzhen Mayor Xu Qin commented that the joint institute “has a broader significance for the globalisation of higher education in China and is a showcase of high-level educational cooperation and exchange between China and the US”.

Further developing Sino-American higher education relations, University of Maine at Presque Isle has recently signed an agreement with Siyuan University to launch a China-based campus set to open next year in the northwest province of Xi’an.

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