In the face of global economic uncertainties, China needs to present itself in a more “globally ready” way with Chinese universities as the bridge, according to Professor Li Jinliang, director of the Office of International Cooperation and Exchange, Tsinghua University.
“I think it's expected we are going to see more frictions in global economic exchange, imports and exports,” Li said. “But as we expect other countries to make more efforts to understand Chinese people, economy and development, we also need to do more to present ourselves in a more globally ready way.”
In that process, Li noted that Chinese universities should play a part. “We determine that Chinese universities, especially our university, should consider growth, development and service in a global context. Our key function – the university should work to serve China and the world, not just one country but also the entire globe.”
And this idea partly explains why Tsinghua University is pushing forward its global strategy. “Our purpose is to facilitate the communication between Tsinghua University and Chinese people with people in the global community. So better communication or better planning of a global presence is important for our government, companies and universities,” Li said.
Tsinghua University, one of China's leading institutions of higher learning, signed strategic academic cooperation agreements with five top international universities last year, a move to further explore innovative research and education collaborations across borders. The partnership program, which officially started in 2016, has so far covered 48 projects in such fields as quantum computing, advanced manufacturing, smart city, biomedicine, new energy, and international law.
Not long ago, Tsinghua University launched a regional center in Chile as the latest move in its global strategy. Li mentioned that international communications between China and Latin America “is not significant enough to meet the benchmark.” One of the main reasons to set up that regional center is “to facilitate people-to-people dialogue between Tsinghua University and Latin American countries,” added Li.
And the university is ready to “reach out to other regions” to develop a global university.
“… We have set up the Global Innovation Exchange in Seattle, jointly with the University of Washington. We set up China-Italy design innovation hub in Milan jointly with the Politecnico di Milano. We set up Tsinghua University Southeast Asia Center in Indonesia,” he said.
“Now we have a complete mapping of important regions in our global strategy, not only economic excellence but also global impact.”