The Theory and Practice of New Research University Forum held at SUSTech

On December 19, 2021, the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) hosted the 2021 Conference on the World-class Research Universities, its third annual forum to discuss the development of first-class research universities in China. The theme of this conference was “The Theory and Practice of New Research University.”


Fengliang LI, University Council Chairperson, Zhifeng CHEN, Deputy Director of the Shenzhen Municipal Education Bureau, Jianling XU, President of Shenzhen Polytechnic (SZPT), Songshan XIAO, Chinese Associate Director of Georgia Tech Shenzhen Institute, Tianjin University (GTSI), and Lixin SUN, Secretary of Guangdong Provincial Association of Higher Education, attended the conference.


Other members from the SUSTech leadership team that attended the event included Ling ZHANG, University Council Vice-Chairperson, Dongxiao ZHANG, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Li JIN, Acting Vice President for Humanities and Social Sciences, Qin YE, Chief Financial Officer, and Siqi CHEN, Secretary-General and Director of the Office of Party Affairs and Administration.


Almost 200 experts, scholars, and university administrators from across China, including the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), ShanghaiTech University, West Lake University, Peking University (PKU), Fudan University, Xiamen University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT), and Wuhan University of Technology (WUT)  attended the event.


Vice President Dongxiao ZHANG welcomed all the participants and delivered a speech at the opening ceremony. He pointed out that country must rely on the development of science and technology, advances in higher education, and the training of top innovative talents.


He said that the development of higher education is facing unprecedented challenges and opportunities. The proposal of new research university has brought a new direction and perspective to the reform of the higher education system.


He hopes that the participating experts in this forum would discuss the theoretical development and practical operation of new research university from different perspectives and insights and contribute toward their future development.


Fengliang LI gave a keynote report at the conference and noted that the new research university carries the important task of cultivating innovative talents and exploring the frontiers of science.


He believes that the development of new research university has four major orientations: “new” in its concept, “new” in its governance model, “new” in cultivating talents, and “new” in its vision.


He added that SUSTech is striving to explore the development path for new research university in China through its governance, education, discipline structure, talent, scientific research management, technological transformation, and cultural innovation.


Xiaoli NIU, Vice President of USTC, also presented a keynote report at the conference. She said that the core of integrating science and education is the transformation process of curriculum teaching, organizational structure, faculty development, and results-led transformations.


She said that the USTC has formed a highly compatible university-running system in terms of its management system, faculty, training, and scientific research work. She added that it has established a set of efficient scientific and educational resource integration and sharing mechanisms.


Jie YIN from ShanghaiTech University, Xiaoyun ZHU from West Lake University, and other scholars from various universities also presented reports. They discussed the practices of their universities, how they integrate science and education, and how they implement a system and mechanism towards building new research university.


Qingnian XIONG, Visiting Professor of SUSTech and Hong SHEN, Director of the Center for Higher Education Research (CHER), gave speeches at the closing ceremony.


The annual conference on World-Class Research Universities is hosted by SUSTech and organized by CHER. Since 2019, it has established dialogues and exchanges among experts, scholars, and policy decision-makers in the higher education sector.