To mark its 15th anniversary, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou launches new academies and opens its innovative lifelong-learning platform to the public
Just one and a half decades ago, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, a partnership between the University of Liverpool in the UK and Xi’an Jiaotong University in Shaanxi province started with one building and 164 students.
Today, with 18,000 students, XJTLU is the largest joint-venture university in China. It boasts more than 1,000 staff from 50 countries and regions. The University’s successful alumni study at global top universities and work at world-leading companies. XJTLU’s teaching, laboratory, research and support facilities have won architectural awards and rival the best worldwide. Located in a district dubbed “the Silicon Valley of China”, the University, where all programmes are taught in English, is 25 minutes by train from Shanghai.
Key to its success is its unique blend of educational styles, which enable its students to develop into global citizens with an international mindset.
“XJTLU took reference from the flexibility offered by the American education system, the emphasis on a robust quality control system from the British system, and the focus on building fundamentals commonly seen in the Chinese system,” says Professor Youmin Xi, Executive President of XJTLU.
With the arrival of an era driven by digital, artificial intelligence and robotics enabled innovations, XJTLU has added focus on educating future international industry experts to lead those fields, and on industry-focused academic programmes. It’s recently added an emphasis on connecting the resources of education with society at large.
“It is our mission to explore the future and impact education,” says Professor Xi. As an institution constantly looking to the future, it’s fitting that XJLTU is celebrating its 15th anniversary with the launch of new academies and plans to expand outside its home province of Jiangsu.
Cross-disciplinary industry leaders
In April, the University and Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute jointly established the XJTLU-JITRI Academy of Industrial Technology, which offers masters and PhD programmes aimed to develop professionals with industry and innovation skills who are capable of cross-discipline leadership.
A key attribute of the JITRI Academy is the fact that its masters and doctoral programmes are entirely demand-driven, said Dr. Fei Ma, Executive Dean of the Academy.
“JITRI and its cooperative companies put forward their need for talent cultivation first, and then our Academy considers whether to make a corresponding enrolment plan,” he said.
Education innovation for the future
On 22 May, the University launched XJTLU’s Academy of Future Education – unique in that it encompasses not only research and education activities, but also training for educators in and outside of the University, support for students’ educational growth, and a platform for online and onsite lifelong learning around the globe.
“The future of education is not focused on teachers imparting knowledge to students, but instead on how educational institutions will support lifelong learning,” says Dr. Xiaojun Zhang, Executive Dean of the Academy.
Platform for lifelong learning
To provide those tools, XJTLU and the Academy of Future Education in May also opened the XJTLU Learning Mall – previously launched in 2020 to XJTLU students and staff – to the public. Available educational offerings at www.learningmall.cn continue to grow, with partners including Adobe, Microsoft, McGraw-Hill Group, Alibaba Cloud and Digital China providing educational content, training and online certification tests.
Cultural and creative industry leaders
May also saw the founding of XJTLU’s Academy of Film and Creative Technology, which spans three locations – the School of Film and TV Arts at XJTLU’s main location in Suzhou, the School of Cultural Technology at Taicang and, in its second phase, the XJTLU-Enlight Film School in Yangzhou. “Partnering with media and creative industries will enable us to meet industry needs and train students and professionals to be cultural and creative industry leaders,” says Professor Stuart Perrin, Associate Principal of XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang).
Developing education-societal ecosystems XJTLU’s plans for the future include additional exploration of online-onsite educational models, as well as expansion to other sites like China’s Greater Bay Area (Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau), where the University plans to establish the XIPU Innovation and Education College (GBA).
“In the future, XJTLU will redefine its social functions, acting as the catalyst and connector between the school and society,” says Professor Xi. “It will leverage the vast resources available to create a new educational ecosystem that promotes lifelong learning, innovation and entrepreneurship.”
> For more information, please visit www.xjtlu.edu.cn.
[Images provided by XJTLU]