Tsinghua University and the Global Innovation Exchange (GIX)
On Thursday, 29 November 2018, the director of Peking University HSBC Business School (UK), Professor Guy Liu met with the Tsinghua University Director of Operations, and member of the leadership at Global Innovation Exchange (GIX), Mr Qiang Wan and his team of representatives. The meeting is unique and exciting because of the international nature of both GIX and PHBS-UK; They are both the overseas arm of China’s premier universities - Tsinghua University in the United States and Peking University in the United Kingdom respectively. ￼
The meeting started with an introduction by Professor Liu on the serendipity surrounding the establishment of the UK campus of PHBS. The current site of PHBS (UK) - Foxcombe Hall - on Boars Hill, with its tower and pond, it mirrors that of the iconic tower and pond at Peking University in Beijing. Secondly, there is the shared academic history between the Lord who built Foxcombe Hall and the first Principal of Peking University; Both Lord Randall Berkeley (the Eighth Earl of Berkeley) and Principal Yan Fu both attended the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, England during the 1870s. Finally, both Lord Berkeley and the previous Principal of Peking University, Dr Jian Hua Lin, are both chemistry trained. This historical serendipity is extraordinary. As Professor Liu put it, it seems as if a deal was made in the heavens above that Peking University was meant to be at the current site. Professor Liu then took our visitors through the structure of the different types of courses offered by the UK campus, namely the three cross-border Masters Programme: PHBS UK-China Masters of Finance, and PHBS UK-China Masters of Management, both of which culminate in a Masters of Arts (MA) qualification respectively and the PHBS UK-China Masters of Business Administration (MBA). Professor Liu also shared with our visitors the University’s vision, which is to develop PHBS (UK) academically by offering a larger variety of courses which would appeal to both local and international students.
Mr Qiang Wan returned the gesture in kind and took Prof. Liu and the staff of PHBS (UK) through the equally interesting history and founding of GIX, as well as the eventual collaboration between Tsinghua University and the University of Washington. GIX is the brainchild of the President and Chief Legal Officer of Microsoft, Mr Brad Smith, who on his flight to China, envisioned an institution which would be a bridge across the Pacific linking the Pacific Northwest of the United States of America with China, and the rest of Asia, and a link between the higher-education community and the business community. Upon landing, Mr Smith immediately put his plan into action and discussed the potential with Tsinghua University and the University of Washington. It was at that moment when GIX was born and a solid academic partnership between the United States and China was established. Like PHBS (UK), GIX offers a cross-border Masters programme - Masters of Science in Technology and Innovation (MSTI) - and students are awarded masters degrees from both the University of Washington and Tsinghua University. The aim of the MSTI programme is to realise the vision of GIX, which is to teach the students to “take an innovation from concept, to development and launch”. ￼
Both Mr Wan and Professor Liu discussed the global nature of education and the potential of working together in the future to take the students of both institutions to greater heights. The meeting ended with Mr Wan presenting Professor Liu with a token of appreciation - a gold embossed plaque with the emblem of Tsinghua University. ￼