SMU Establishes Fruitful Collaborations with Six Leading Chinese Partner Universities

11 Dec 2017

Leading a senior delegation from 18-23 November 2017, SMU President Prof Arnoud De Meyer visited six partner universities in Shanghai and Beijing. The trip culminated in productive meetings with the leaders of these reputable Chinese universities and the signing of a number of partnership agreements that would strengthen the links of SMU and its schools with their Chinese counterparts. 

On 18 November 2017, President attended the grand Centennial Celebration ceremony of Shanghai University of Finance and Economic (SUFE) and presented a specially-engraved pewter plate as a congratulatory gift to its Vice President, Prof Yao Lingzhen. SUFE has been one of SMU’s valued partner universities in China since both institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on academic and educational cooperation in April 2013. Plans are under way for SMU and SUFE to jointly organise a Global Forum in April 2018 in Shanghai. The 7th edition of this annual Global Forum series is aimed at elevating SMU’s profile in China and at showcasing our high-impact and relevant multi-disciplinary research in specific areas of excellence.   

President visited Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) on 20 November 2017. He paid a courtesy call on his SJTU counterpart, Prof Lin Zhongqin, and exchanged views on the progress of the newly-launched Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) programme between SMU and SJTU. Both university leaders also discussed other potential areas for collaboration. Dr Zhang Zhigang, CEO of neoBay, then briefed President and IIE Director, Hau Koh Foo on the capabilities and achievements of neoBay as an incubator for start-ups. neoBay is a tripartite joint venture between SJTU, Shanghai Land (Group) Co Ltd and Minhang District Government. Having established contact with each other, neoBay and IIE will work together to identify and pursue synergistic projects. 

In the second leg of the week-long visit to China, the six-member SMU delegation visited four key partner universities in Beijing. President paid a courtesy call on Peking University (PKU) Vice President, Prof Tian Gang on 21 Nov 2017. After exchanging views on tertiary education management and development, both leaders witnessed the signing of a new exchange agreement between PKU Guanghua School of Management (GSM) and Lee Kong Chian School of Business (LKCSB). This collaboration enables both undergraduate and postgraduate students of LKCSB to do exchange semesters at GSM, an acclaimed business school in China. A collaboration and exchange agreement between SMU School of Social Sciences (SOSS) and PKU School of International Studies was also inked on this occasion. The SMU School of Information Systems (SIS), meanwhile, concluded a collaboration for its Master of IT in Business programme with PKU School of Software and Microelectronics. In addition, President and PKU Vice President, Prof Tian Gang signed a Strategic Framework Partnership MOU to foster greater cooperation between the two universities.  


On the afternoon of 21 November, President called on Tsinghua University’s (THU) Vice President, Prof Shi Yigong, and exchanged views on China’s tertiary education landscape and the trends driving it. Both leaders also discussed the changing roles and responsibilities of universities in contemporary society and possible areas for collaboration, such as innovation and entrepreneurship education; social sciences and information technology.  This was followed by a visit to THU School of Law, where Associate Prof Goh Yihan, Dean, SMU School of Law (SOL), signed an exchange renewal agreement with his counterpart, Prof Shen Weixing. The two deans explored new opportunities for collaboration in a joint LLB or JD programme and in sharing expertise/resources in Intellectual Property Law and Dispute Resolution and Arbitration.

The close ties forged by SMU with Renmin University of China (RUC), another leading Chinese university, was evident when RUC President Prof Liu Wei hosted the courtesy call by President and the SMU delegation on 22 November 2017. The leaders affirmed the warm ties between the two universities and pledged support for several pipeline initiatives including joint programmes and research, as well as a joint profiling activity in 2019, which would enhance the hitherto productive collaboration.

The China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) is one of SMU’s newest partner universities, after an exchange agreement was established in January this year by the two universities. CUPL Vice President, Prof Ma Huaide warmly welcomed President and the SMU delegation on 22 November 2017.  Both leaders agreed to broaden collaboration in areas of mutual interest, such as joint or interdisciplinary programmes, faculty exchange and research, in due course. A University-level MOU on academic and educational cooperation was signed by the two leaders after the meeting to pave the way for a promising partnership. 

During his visit to China, President made time for two dinners with SMU alumni (Shanghai and Beijing Chapters) in Shanghai and Beijing, organised by the Office of Alumni Relations on 18 and 22 November, respectively. Each session was attended by some 20 alumni, who took the opportunity to receive updates on the latest initiatives of their alma mater from President himself, as well as to renew and build ties with one another.


[Feature photo: SMU President Arnoud De Meyer presenting a University gift to SUFE Vice President Prof Yao Lingzhen on 18 Nov 2017 to congratulate SUFE on its centenary.]

Photo credits: SUFE, PKU, THU, RUC and CUPL.

Last updated on 18 Dec 2017.

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