Univer­sity to ‘guide, help, serve’

First joint-ven­ture in­sti­tu­tion in China grows up quickly af­ter its birth 12 years ago

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By ZHAO XINYING in Ningbo, Zhe­jiang zhaoxiny­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China’s first Sino-for­eign co­op­er­a­tive univer­sity is mak­ing ef­forts to build it­self into a high-level one that of­fers lib­eral arts ed­u­ca­tion and at­tracts bril­liant stu­dents from in and out of China, founders and op­er­a­tors of the univer­sity said.

“I hope that in the near fu­ture, the Univer­sity of Not­ting­ham Ningbo China will be widely rec­og­nized for the lib­eral arts ed­u­ca­tion it of­fers to stu­dents, just like some of the best lib­eral arts col­leges over­seas en­joy,” said Yang Fu­jia, pres­i­dent of UNNC and an aca­demi­cian at the Chi­nese Academy of Sciences.

Jointly es­tab­lished by the Univer­sity of Not­ting­ham in the UK and Zhe­jiang Wanli Univer­sity in 2004, the UNNC is the first of its kind, which was be­lieved to have of­fered a third way for high school grad­u­ates of China to pur­sue higher ed­u­ca­tion, in ad­di­tion to study­ing a do­mes­tic or over­seas univer­sity.

Yang, a for­mer pres­i­dent of Fu­dan Univer­sity and for­mer chan­cel­lor of the Univer­sity of Not­ting­ham, re­mem­bered clearly that the ven­ture was noth­ing but a blue­print 12 years ago when its first co­hort of 256 stu­dents had to study tem­po­rar­ily in the class­rooms of Zhe­jiangWanli Univer­sity.

Nowthat the univer­sity has al­most 6,000 stu­dents on a beau­ti­ful, west­ern-style 60-hectare cam­pus and is re­cruit­ing do­mes­tic stu­dents with in­creas­ingly high scores on China’s na­tional col­lege en­trance ex­ams, Yang, a renowned nu­clear physi­cist, has be­gun to feel that the “child” he had wit­nessed is grow­ing up.

“More fra­ter­ni­ties are hear­ing • 2003 Fe­bru­ary:

New leg­is­la­tion in China is passed that per­mits the es­tab­lish­ment of Si­no­for­eign univer­si­ties. The Univer­sity of Not­ting­ham is the first for­eign univer­sity to re­ceive

our name and story, which makes me very proud be­cause it is re­ally not easy to gain recog­ni­tion from in­sid­ers,” he said.

ShenWeiqi, vice-provost of UNNC, said the spe­cial po­si­tion the univer­sity pos­sessed helped it to learn from the best univer­si­ties abroad.

“I have to say that Sino-for­eign co­op­er­a­tion is a short­cut in build­ing a high-stan­dard univer­sity within a short pe­riod of time,” he said.

Cur­rently, the univer­sity has 682 in­ter­na­tional stu­dents, ac­count­ing for more than 11 per­cent of its stu­dent body. a li­cense to op­er­ate a joint ven­ture cam­pus.

• 2004 March:

The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion ap­proves plans to es­tab­lish Univer­sity of Not­ting­ham Ningbo China.

“Al­though the pro­por­tion is fairly high among thou­sands of univer­si­ties in China — maybe only lower than that of the Bei­jing Lan­guage and Cul­ture Univer­sity and the Univer­sity of In­ter­na­tional

• 2004 Septem­ber:

• 2006 April:

UNNC ad­mits its first stu­dents.

The Chi­nese Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion ap­proves UNNC to award masters de­grees.

Busi­ness and Eco­nomics — we still want to bring it to around 20 per­cent in the com­ing years,” Shen said.

To make the joint ven­ture a greater suc­cess, Yang be­lieved that con­tin­u­ing to pro­vide qual­ity lib­eral arts ed­u­ca­tion is the proper ap­proach.

He be­lieves that the idea of ed­u­ca­tion pop­u­lar in West­ern coun­tries of­fers a wide range of cour­ses in­clud­ing arts and sciences, small classes to en­sure learning, and en­cour­ag­ing stu­dents to chal­lenge their teach­ers.

But most im­por­tantly, Yang • 2008 De­cem­ber:

UNNC is granted a li­cense to ac­cept PhD stu­dents by the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion.

• 2014 April:

UNNC cel­e­brates its 10-year anniversary.

said, is that lib­eral arts ed­u­ca­tion should be stu­dent-cen­tered. Re­flected in the re­cruit­ment of the univer­sity’s fac­ulty, Yang said the UNNC never re­cruits teach­ers solely on the ba­sis of their re­search back­grounds or how many influential aca­demic pa­pers they have pub­lished.

“Th­ese things are im­por­tant, but we paid more at­ten­tion to whether the teach­ers have the abil­ity to guide, help and serve the stu­dents,” he said. Wang Ze­hua con­trib­uted to this story.

WEI XIAOHAO / CHINA DAILY

Grad­u­ates at­tend com­mence­ment at Univer­sity of Not­ting­ham Ningbo China, in Zhe­jiang prov­ince on July 2.

Yang Fu­jia, pres­i­dent of Univer­sity of Not­ting­ham Ningbo China

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