UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ and Tsinghua University Council Chairperson CHEN Xu Sign Dual Degree Memorandum of Understanding

Shu Kan                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              September 29, 2017

Tsinghua University Council Chairperson CHEN Xu and other key Tsinghua members visited UC Berkeley on September 28, 2017. The occasion was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Tsinghua and UC Berkeley to initiate the planning of a new two-year dual-degree program of Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute (TBSI) to promote research and educational cooperation between the two universities.

First row from left to right: Tsinghua Univeristy Council Chairperson CHEN Xu and UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol T. Christ. Second row from left to right: UC Berkeley Electrical Engineering Professor Chenming Calvin Hu, Tsinghua University Dean of International Office Li Jinliang, UC Berkeley Vice Provost for Academic and Space Planning Tsu-Jae King Liu, College of Engineering Dean S. Shankar Sastry, The Coleman Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership Program founder Mr. Coleman Fung, College of Engineering Associate Dean for Strategic Alliances and TBSI Berkeley Co-Director Connie Chang-Hasnain, TBSI Berkeley Co-Deputy Director and Mechanical Engineering Professor Liwei Lin. Third row from left to right: TBSI Tsinghua Co-Director Lin Zhang, UC Berkeley Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Patrick Schlesinger, Director of Coleman Fung Institute for Engineering LeadershipProfessor Lee Fleming. [Photo by Peg Skorpinski] 

Tsinghua delegation was warmly welcomed by UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ.  This is the first meeting between UC Berkeley and Tsinghua after Prof. Carol Christ’ official succession to Chancellor on July 1st, 2017. During the meeting, Chairperson Chen Xu praised the long history of collaboration between Tsinghua University and UC Berkeley and particularly the progress made by TBSI.  TBSI was officially inaugurated on October 20, 2015 in Shenzhen, China, as a joint research institute providing a platform for innovative research and graduate student education, to fuel the economy, solve global problems, and train industry leaders. TBSI  is now the flagship program in Tsinghua University’s international education to help advancing internationalization and deepening China-US educational exchange. During the meeting, Chairperson Chen invited Chancellor Christ to visit Tsinghua Campus in Beijing and Shenzhen next year. Chancellor Carol thanked chairperson Chen for her support and the achievements made by the two universities in various fields including academic exchanges, research collaborations and cooperative education.

College of Engineering Dean S. Shankar Sastry, UC Berkeley Vice Provost for Academic and Space Planning Tsu-Jae King Liu, College of Engineering Associate Dean for Strategic Alliances and TBSI Berkeley Co-Director Connie Chang-Hasnain, TBSI Tsinghua Co-Director Lin Zhang, TBSI Berkeley Co-Deputy Director and Mechanical Engineering Professor Liwei Lin, The Coleman Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership Program founder Mr. Coleman Fung, UC Berkeley Electrical Engineering Professor, Member of Academy of Sciences Chenming Calvin Hu, attended the meeting.

Tsinghua University Council Chairperson CHen Xu is meeting with UC Berkeley College of Engineering Dean S. Shankar Sastry, with TBSI Leaders — Zhang Lin (bottom left), Connie Chang-Hasnain (bottom right), Liwei Lin (top right) and other Tsinghua University Officals. [Photo by Peg Skorpinski]

Chairperson Chen and Chancellor Christ signed the MOU of ‘ON THE ENHANCED COOPERATION OF POST-GRADUATE LEVEL CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT FOR ENGINEERING LEADERSHIP’ during the meeting. Berkeley and Tsinghua believe that globalization is an inevitable trend in social development, and technology-driven economy will certainly become a new model. Leading institutes for higher education in engineering will need to prepare students with capabilities in cutting-edge technology and engineering management, as well as prepare them with global competence to promote technological transformation in different cultures. On the basis of a common understanding of the above, Berkeley and Tsinghua intend to establish a new two-year dual-degree program with TBSI as the facilitator. The program will be based on the existing Master of Engineering from Berkeley and a new Master of Global Technology Innovation degree from THU. TBSI is currently already facilitating a dual Berkeley MEng and Tsinghua MS degree program.  The new program will focus more on entrepreneurship and globalization.

Berkeley and THU will engage in further cooperation to explore an innovative model of the new program, aiming at the cultivation of talent that will innovate and lead in the high-tech sector by integrating the technology and innovation models of Berkeley and Silicon Valley with the rapid development of Shenzhen's emerging industries and entrepreneurial culture

Chairperson Chen Xu met with TBSI faculty and Students at the TBSI office in Berkeley. [Photo by Peg Skorpinski]

Prior to the meeting, Chairperson Chen Xu met with TBSI faculty and students at the TBSI office in downtown Berkeley. During the meeting, students and faculty exchanged views on issues such as talent cultivation, cross-disciplinary research and industrial cooperation. Chairperson Chen Xu listened to the opinions and expressed the hope that TBSI students and professors will strengthen the multi-disciplinary research and interdisciplinary education collaborations between Tsinghua and UC Berkeley.

As a joint research institute founded by two top universities from China and US, research directions in TBSI follow closely to the needs of industrial upgrading in Shenzhen, focusing on the city’s emerging industries including information technology, new energy technology, precision medicine & healthcare, and sensors & internet of things. More than 200 graduate students and postdocs are enrolled in TBSI programs. About 20 PhD students in the first class of TBSI are currently spending their 1-year research residency as visiting research scholars in Berkeley. TBSI also funds 26 Berkeley PhD students and post-docs who will, in turn, spending their residency in TBSI Shenzhen.