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China Daily / 2022-12 / 28 / Page016

Pioneering establishment dedicated to tech progress

By YUAN SHENGGAO | China Daily | Updated: 2022-12-28 00:00

The growth of Southern University of Science and Technology, or SUSTech, is as astounding as its home city Shenzhen, which has created one of the world's most striking economic miracles and earned a reputation for innovation.

SUSTech, the emerging research university, founded in 2010, has contributed experimental experiences to the country's higher education reform; surged ahead in world universities' rankings, attracted a pool of excellent talents globally; established a number of new institutes to research cutting-edge technologies that China needs; and built broader global networks.

In February, it was included in the new list of "the first-class universities and disciplines of the world", another national strategy in China's higher education after the "211 Project" and "985 Project". It is the first university of Shenzhen on the list. In 2022, five faculty members of the university were granted the status of academicians of academies in Europe.

Fields Medal winner Efim Zelmanov took up a full-time chair-professorship at the university in September. He said that a first-class city needs first-class universities and pledges to devote himself to building mathematical education and training outstanding talent.

In February, Dai Jiansheng, a top expert in mechanism and robotics formerly with the Royal Academy of Engineering, returned to China and joined SUSTech after working and living abroad for more than 30 years. Now, he is the head of the SUSTech Institute of Robotics.

"With a large number of young elites from world-class universities and frontier science and research fields, as well as its flexible research environment, researchers can quickly fit into the academic atmosphere here," said Dai. "After learning about the university's operation and teaching philosophy, I immediately decided to return to China and take up a full-time position."

As of November, the university had 1,363 faculty members, including 59 academicians working both full-time and part-time. At present, more than 90 percent of faculty members have work experience abroad, and more than 60 percent have work or study experience at the world's top 100 universities.

The talents that the university nets have made more achievements in various fields, which not only serve the city's efforts to develop into a comprehensive center for scientific research, but promote the rapid development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

The university has taken the initiative to develop cutting-edge technologies such as new materials, intelligent manufacturing, biotechnology and sustainable development. It also strives to provide solutions to "bottleneck" technologies that industry urgently needs.

In exploring basic research and key technologies, SUSTech has contributed to produce innovative and leading scientific and technological achievements. Since 2017, the university has published more than 20,000 academic papers in the world's top journals, including 82 in prestigious journals such as Science, Nature and Cell.

To date, it has established 99 scientific research platforms at all levels, comprising three at national level, 32 at provincial and ministerial level, and 64 at city level.

Moreover, the university has been strengthening its international collaboration with overseas universities, scientific research institutions, international organizations and innovation-driven enterprises, striving to create an international education and research environment.


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