Tsinghua, Berkeley prepare joint institute

Updated: 2014-09-08 01:35

By CHEN HONG in Shenzhen(China Daily)

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

Grad school, research center to be set up

Tsinghua University and the University of California, Berkeley, signed an agreement on Sunday to establish a joint institute in the economically pivotal city of Shenzhen in South China to promote research collaboration and graduate student education.

The two universities aim to integrate their research programs to address social needs and global challenges through the partnership, said UC Berkeley's Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks at the signing ceremony.

Under the agreement, the Tsinghua-UC Berkeley Shenzhen Institute, to be located on Tsinghua's Shenzhen campus, will be launched by the end of the year.

The institute will start with research centers in three areas: nanotechnology and nanomedicine, low-carbon and new energy technologies, and data science and next-generation Internet.

It intends to start enrolling doctoral students early next year and master's students in 2016. "There will be about 50 doctoral students, 30 percent of them from abroad," said Tsinghua University President Chen Jining.

In addition to faculty from the two universities, the institute plans to recruit top researchers globally who are able to conduct "innovative, cutting-edge research" in which the graduate students can participate, Chen said.

Calling it "a milestone", Chen said the new partnership between Tsinghua and UC Berkeley is expected to provide a unique environment for transformational technology research and education. "It will be essential to cultivate tomorrow's entrepreneurs and world leaders in science and technology," Chen said.

The graduate students will spend time at the partner institution for up to one year of research or study and have two supervisors, one from Tsinghua and one from UC Berkeley, said Connie Chang-Hasnain, associate dean for strategic alliance at Berkeley's College of Engineering.

The institute, in the Pearl River Delta area, one of China's major manufacturing hubs, will be able to offer UC Berkeley graduate students internships at companies in Shenzhen to gain international experience, Chang-Hasnain said.

She said the participating graduate students from UC Berkeley might reach 100.

The institute has already received support from the local government and companies, said Kang Feiyu, dean of graduate schools at Tsinghua University-Shenzhen.

It has raised 10 million yuan ($1.63 million) for scholarships and another 12 million yuan for supporting the students in starting their own projects, said Kang.

Shenzhen Mayor Xu Qin said the city, a national leader in innovation, will continue to attract top-notch innovative talent.