On January 7, Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) President Chen Shiyi addressed the 6th Session of the Sixth Session of the Shenzhen CPPCC. His speech was titled “Advanced Higher Education in the Pioneering Demonstration Zone.” This year’s meeting sought to implement the spirit of the CPC Central and Provincial Committees
President Chen Shiyi analyzed the goal of developing Shenzhen into a pioneering demonstration zone, stating that innovation of higher education is at the core of Shenzhen’s strategic positioning. He pointed out that universities have an essential relationship with their host cities, as universities gather and train talents for cities, along with developing innovative scientific and technological achievements that serve society. These leading talents see the progress of culture and the spirit of cities, which provide the financial, logistical, governance, and environmental support for these institutions of higher education to exist.
President Chen Shiyi cited Singapore’s higher education sector, providing Nanyang Technological University (NTU) as a prime example of the integration of industry-university research and their close relationship with top companies throughout the region. He noted that much could be learned from Singapore’s experience as the industrial transformation of the Greater Bay Area and the pioneering demonstration zone of Shenzhen provide unprecedented and unheralded development opportunities for higher education in the city.
Turning locally, President Chen Shiyi looked at the development of SUSTech to explain how higher education promotes its own development within the framework of municipal development. He said that SUSTech has developed disciplines that support the technological needs of society by establishing the College of Engineering, the College of Science, the School of Medicine, the School of Business, the School of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and the College of Design and Innovation. SUSTech’s development had seen it ranked 9th in mainland China in the 2020 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
President Chen Shiyi pointed out that seizing new opportunities required the willingness to explore new paths. Universities across the city must seek closer integration with Shenzhen. The transformation of technological achievements comes from basic research, so forming an active connection between basic research & the transformation of technological achievements will see Shenzhen become a leading regional center for urban development. SUSTech’s philosophical pillars of “research, innovation, and entrepreneurship” are closely aligned to the core of Shenzhen’s development. Thus, the rapid growth of SUSTech into a world-class research university serves the economic and social development of Shenzhen into a modern and international city.
President Chen Shiyi proposed some models for higher education development in Shenzhen. He said that higher education institutions in Shenzhen should be given sufficient autonomy for their own development, as part of a broader goal to develop a high-quality brand in Shenzhen. There are lessons to be learned from the experiences of higher education in Western countries, to implement within the Shenzhen speed and Shenzhen quality of higher education development. It must also seek to promote regional innovation and support Shenzhen’s scientific & technological development organically. The development of higher education in Shenzhen would support the creation of a global e the experience om western highresource system that supports an international and modern city.
President Chen Shiyi emphasized the role of universities in promoting the city and society. He anticipated that in the next ten to fifteen years, Shenzhen can cultivate several world-class universities to support Shenzhen’s regional development, enhancing its domestic and international status. Through Shenzhen’s growth over the last forty years, it had been a postcard for significant progress around the world, and President Chen Shiyi hoped that higher education would match this development.