Near Chaohu Lake, one of the five biggest freshwater lakes in China, is Hefei University of Technology in the Anhui provincial capital.It is among the nation’s top universities in China and has been included in major national initiatives that seek to enhance the international competitiveness of educational institutions.
The Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Anhuiprovincial government jointly preside over HFUT.
Since its establishment in 1945,the university has been committed to cultivating talent, advancing science and technology and promoting culture. Its motto is “pursuing virtue and knowledge, seeking truth and innovation”.
It has one national key cultivating discipline, 12 postdoctoral scientific research stations, 12 first-level doctor degree authorization subjects, and 32 first-level master degree authorization subjects. Together, the disciplinary structure emphasizes the sciences, technology and liberal arts. In its endeavor to become a globally renowned educational institution,it is employing a strategy to expand its range of international communications, sharing its educational resources and establishing cooperation platforms. The university has partnership with more than 30 colleges around the world. It has also broadened its recruitment efforts to attract the best students, domestically and abroad.
Attracting overseas experts
Noel White, a geologist from Australia and an expert in ore deposits and exploration, is the chief geologist for BHP Minerals, the world’s largest mining company. He is also a part-time professor at theUniversityofTasmaniaand theUniversityofQueensland.
Fifteen years ago, White became interested in the ore mining downstream from the Yangtze River and in HFUT’s ore deposit research. In 2010, he accepted an invitation from HFUT to pay a half-month visit to the university.During his visit, he gave lectures to undergraduates, began a geological inspection of ore deposits in the area with graduate students and teachers,and held discussions with professors.White said his impression of HFUT’s level of research, expertise and academic environment convinced him to join a project by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs and the university.
He later taught and conducted research at HFUT’s School of Resources and Environmental Engineering. He has done research across the region, in the provincial cities of Zongyang, Lujiang,Wuhu; in tongling,Anhuiprovince;Zhenjiang,Jiangsuprovince; andNanjing.
In 2013, he received tenure at HFUT. He is currently the professor and dean of the university’s Ore Deposits and Exploration Center. He has applied for a key international cooperation project with the National Natural Sciences Foundation and has published multiple academic papers both domestically and abroad.
For his achievements, he was received China’s Friendship Award in 2013, the nation’s highest award for foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to the country’s economic and social progress,and a lifetime achievement award from the Society of Economic Geologyin 2014.
White is an example of HFUT’s leadership and ability to attract internationally renowned experts. The university is actively recruiting foreign experts and building platforms for international communications.It has expanded its overseas technical cooperation and communication efforts with scientific cooperation,expert lectures, teacher exchanges, forums, conferences and jointly establishing laboratories.
It has been recruiting elite-level talent in recent years and its teaching and research environments have enabled these experts to expand the school’s curriculum and resources,including new disciplines, courses and laboratories.
Between 2008 and 2014, 487 talentintroducing projects were launched at HFUT. Ninety-nine foreign experts received long-term positions at the school in that span.
Pushing scientific research
Reinhart Kühne from Germany is a full-time professor at HFUT. In 2014, he was invited by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs to represent foreign experts in China at a celebration ceremony for the 65th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Kühne has worked as the head of the transportation research center at Daimler AG, a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley,a professor at the University of Stuttgart, and director of the German Aerospace Center’s transportation research institution.
In 2012, he was involved in China’s Thousand Talents Plan and received full tenure at HFUT, where he not only teaches undergraduates and graduate students, but also builds new scientific research platforms for international cooperation.
His team of researchers has published 20 academic papers and 10 conference papers for the world’s top academic journals including Operations Research, Fuel, and Transportation Research Part B. Supported by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, HFUT’s laboratory for future transportation and energy recently launched.
The international cooperation in scientific research at HFUT was also recently upgraded to a national strategic level.In 2012,Chinaand the UnitedStates signed two agreements to enhance bilateral cooperation to build an eco-friendly economy, one of which became a partnership between HFUT andOhioStateUniversity.
The project utilizes resources from both schools to co-develop electric vehicles, with both sides having sent teachers and students to each campus.The program has created new types of vehicle management and fault diagnostic systems.The alliance aims to develop new types of electric vehicles with extended range and it has already made achievements in combining scientific research, co-bidding on projects, academic communications and nurturing talent.
HFUT has also employed its scientific instruments and technologies,consistently ranked among the country’s top for universities, and several key provincial-level laboratories to organize a team of overseas experts.
Scholars from theUS,Germany,theUK,Switzerland, theRepublicofKorea, andJapanhave formed a research hub at HFUT.
“Studying in HFUT has been a great experience for me. The school is well equipped with materials for every academic field it offers. Not only am I developing good academic skills, but life skills in general. Here,I have also had the chance to meet people from different countries by engaging in school activities. I feel honored to be a student of this great school, and I could not ask for more.I can say this is my second home,”says Edna Laurinda Muianga, a 24-year-old postgraduate student from Mozambique who is majoring in management of science and engineering.
Abundant campus activities at HFUT give young foreigners passion and happiness to pursue not only their own dreams but the “China Dream”. Many have become ambassadors connecting the country and their homelands.
Nearly 200 overseas students are currently studying in HFUT.There are various events to help overseas students become more immersed in their lives and studies inChina. They are encouraged to participate in activities nurturing their interests in Chinese culture,especially the uniqueAnhuiculture,which has a long history.
Soccer and basketball leagues for overseas students have been created to pit them against students from other universities.In September 2013, the Overseas Students’ Home, the first overseas students’ union at HFUT, was established to strengthen communications with Chinese people.
Students from more than 40 countries currently study at HFUT and courses like martial arts, Mandarin and Chinese culture have been created for these students.
The school has endeavored to expand their recruitment channels and attract more overseas students.In 2009, HFUT was authorized by the Chinese government to provide scholarships for overseas students and it was enabled to have autonomous enrollment for the studentsin 2012.
Education special ,Thursday, April 7, 2016ChinaDaily