The Role of Westlake University in China’s Higher Education TechNode

Publicado: 22 septiembre 2022 a las 2:00 pm

Categorías: Artículos

by Shawn Johnson

The Role of Westlake University in China’s Higher Education TechNode

China is still lagging behind competitors in building state-of-the-art research capacity in higher education institutions, according to a well-known scientist and president of a private Chinese university, often referred to as the “Caltech of China”. More effort is needed to transform the country’s college education system into a truly global hub of leading talent, Xi added as part of a speech at Beyond Expo 2022.

BEYOND Expo 2022 opens online on BEYOND Metaverse on Wednesday. The tech event will feature over 40 talks and panel discussions, where leaders and experts from all sectors will take an in-depth look at topics from consumer tech, health tech, global investment, sustainability and Web3.

Please see below a transcript of the Inaugural Day speech by Shi Yigong, President of Westlake University and academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The following transcript has been edited for clarity:

Greetings to everyone. I am shi yigong. It is my great pleasure to have the opportunity to share my views on the future development of China’s technology at the International Technology Innovation Expo.

Today, I want to share my thoughts on the topic of “exploring China’s future innovation-driven development model”. Since we are talking about technology innovation, it is related to our education, technology and talent. These three elements – technology, education and talent – ​​ultimately form the core of innovation-driven growth.

First let’s talk about education, especially higher education. It is safe to say that China is the world leader in terms of scale and is well on its way to becoming a world power in higher education. By the end of 2020, there were more than 40 million students enrolled in all 2,000 institutions of higher education in China.

The quantity is certainly the biggest in the world, and the quality is also constantly improving. For example, as of 2021, in both the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the QS World University Rankings, Chinese universities were moving up the list in the world, with six to seven Chinese universities making the top 100.

But there are some problems regarding higher education in our country. We have high educational attainment rates, but we lack state-of-the-art researchers. We usually pursue a general and comprehensive education but there are no significant benefits or distinguishing features. We emphasize wisdom and practicality, but there is still a gap between us and other countries regarding innovation. We have developed far more common talent than the most outstanding and innovative talents. There have been many academic achievements but relatively few successes.

Second, let’s briefly talk about the current state of China’s technology. Over the past 20 years, thanks to long-term stable investments in technology, China is now one of the top three countries in the world in terms of technology indicators. Whether it is the number of articles, quoted times, or the number of patents applied for, approved, approved, etc., all of our technology indicators have consistently entered the world’s top three.

Third, let’s briefly talk about China’s talent. In 1978, the third plenary session of the 11th Central Committee of the CPC marked the beginning of China’s era of reform and opening up and opened the door for Chinese students to study abroad. On 26 December of the same year, 52 scholars from mainland China left for the United States. With an average age of over 42, this was the first group of students to study abroad since reform and opening up began.

As of the end of 2019, more than 6 million Chinese students had traveled abroad to study in other countries of the world, and more than 4 million of them had returned home after their studies, bringing great impact on all aspects of Chinese society. Impact and change had come. It is safe to say that China has the largest talent team in the world. Of course, although we have a wealth of talent, when it comes to being No. 1 in the world, there is still a problem with our talent team. ie the cream of the crop; Top talent is relatively rare.

In short, in terms of higher education, technology and technical talent, China is one of the top countries in the world and is well on its way to becoming a world power. However, there is an innovation index that reflects a country’s innovation potential, and so far, China is still out of the top 10 in the global technology innovation index.

In other words, although China has become a great power in technology, higher education and talent cultivation, and is on its way to become a world power, we have not become a major power or a world power that deserves the name of innovation potential. . We still have a long way to go.

Therefore, judging from such analysis, China’s future development can only depend on high-end leadership and innovation-driven development strategy. And the core of this strategy is top talent. The top talent we are talking about is not only core talent in basic research, applied research, core technology and cutting edge research, but top talent in all fields from law to finance. , for social governance, for national management. I think top talent will be the most important factor in the country’s high-level leadership and innovation-driven growth strategy.

I want to give you an example, which is Westlake University. The establishment of Westlake University was designed as the basis and goal of a high-end leadership and innovation-driven growth strategy. 11 years ago, a group of returned scholars at the Western Returned Scholars Association were discussing the future of technology and education in China.

They reached a consensus to establish a new type of university, which would be small but perfect and research-oriented, would gather first-class teachers, create first-class curricula, educate first-class talent, and provide first-class talent. will give range results. They will adopt a new model to create a new type of world class university. Such a university has been successfully established in Hangzhou, and is called Westlake University. It was officially approved by the Ministry of Education in February 2018 and was officially established in Hangzhou in October of the same year.

Westlake University is a new type of university. What is new about it is that it got a lot of support from the country and was established by social forces. Westlake University was founded to help develop technology, implement innovation-driven development, develop talent, and make some exploratory improvements to science education. Such a position of the university was strongly supported by all aspects of the country as well as by all walks of life including individuals, enterprises and local governments.

After four years of hard work, Westlake University now has 201 PhD supervisors. Most of them are world-leading scientists in their respective fields of research. The aim of high quality teachers is to develop high quality students. With the active support of the Ministry of Education, Westlake University is actively improving and innovating in all aspects of admissions and competence training.

After years of hard work, Westlake University now has over 1,200 PhD students.

With the support of their PhD supervisors, these students are conducting innovative scientific research on key research topics and core technologies, striving for breakthroughs.

Today, as a new concept, the new research university is gradually incorporated into the country’s top-class design and is increasingly accepted and recognized by the whole society. In the future, there is no doubt that Westlake University will become a first-class university that reflects Chinese knowledge and is held in high esteem around the world.

This university will have the world’s most outstanding scientists, will be able to develop the best young talent to conduct the most advanced basic and applied research, will be able to explore the mechanisms and systems of scientific research and education that are best suited to China’s national conditions. , and provide a model that can be used for the sustainable development of high-tech in China, and contribute to the human civilization that makes the Chinese nation proud.

I think that maybe 10 to 15 years later, Westlake University will fully represent the intelligence and potential of the Chinese people and rank among the best universities in the world.



The Role of Westlake University in China’s Higher Education TechNode