Internationalization of advanced education is not only the development trend of the times and a necessary process in the context of global economic integration, but also a requirement for China to cultivate the innovative talent it needs for future development.
Shanghai Jiao Tong University was one of the earliest Chinese universities to develop an internationalization strategy, and it has completed a series of bold moves over the past few years to create a multicultural campus atmosphere and develop talent with a global outlook.
"Shanghai Jiao Tong University is committed to cultivating top-level competitive professionals who have a global perspective and deep understanding of the multicultural workplace. In this regard, we have long been working to promote our international development," says Zhang Weimin, director of its international cooperation and exchange department.
The university has established several joint institutes through cooperation with top international higher education institutions over the past decade.
The China Europe International Business School, co-founded with the European Foundation for Management Development in 1994, has become China's leading business school.
The University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong Joint Institute has also been widely acclaimed for its success over the past 10 years and in 2014 received an Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education, the first time an award of this caliber has been given to a Chinese university.
Other successful joint institutes include the Shanghai Jiao Tong University Paris Tech Elite Institute of Technology, established in 2012, and the University of Southern California-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Institute of Cultural and Creative Industry, established in 2014.
To develop international practices and establish benchmarks, almost every school or department at Shanghai Jiao Tong University has developed long-term partnerships with overseas institutes that are in leading positions in their own fields.
"But we don't simply reproduce or copy overseas education methods and experiences," Zhang says. "What we do is absorb international advanced teaching methods and concepts, while paying close attention to the appropriate features of China's higher education and its national conditions.
"We've created an education mode that has absorbed the essence of East and West, which helps cultivate the talent needed to meet the needs of China's economic development."
The university has a multicultural environment thanks to the large number of international students and foreign faculty members. The university receives more than 5,000 international students every year, and it has also attracted about 200 full-time foreign faculty members. In recent years, Shanghai Jiao Tong University has offered many courses in English, which have proved popular.
Since 2007, 450 world-class professors and top-tier faculty members of international standing have joined the university, and more than 250 existing faculty members have transferred to its tenure-track system.
As an important move in its development, Shanghai Jiao Tong University implemented a university-wide incentive system to motivate faculty and students in 2007, aiming to "develop a high-quality faculty comparable to that of the best Western universities by 2020".
"Establishing a high-quality faculty has been the key to building a world-class research institution," says Zhang Jie, president of Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
As the first Chinese college to join the Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise project in Singapore, Shanghai Jiao Tong University has become an international collaborator with partners such as MIT and Cambridge University. Its teachers and students are also working with counterparts at the National University of Singapore on a flagship program, Energy and Environmental Sustainability Solutions for Megacities, which is exploring the feasibility and implementation of initiatives for the sustainable development of the cities. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is also funding a project led by teachers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University that is conducting clinical trials for a combination drug for tuberculosis and HIV.
Source: the China Daily