Chengdu UniversityChengdu University extends its global reach

Chengdu University extends its global reach

As Chengdu prepares to host the 31st Summer World University Games, Chengdu University is pushing ahead with a plan to build and nurture international collaboration

Located in Chengdu, the capital city of China’s Sichuan Province, Chengdu University’s (CDU) mission is to advance knowledge and learning and support the economic and social development of Chengdu and the wider region through teaching, research and industry partnerships. It has become one of the fastest-growing universities in China. The much-anticipated Summer World University Games, which will be hosted on CDU’s campus, will strengthen CDU’s internationalisation strategy to produce fruitful cross-cultural partnerships. 

CDU’s internationalisation strategy has a particular focus on student exchange programmes. CDU offers more than 200 fully funded government scholarships annually for international students at undergraduate and postgraduate level. In the past three years, CDU has enrolled an average of 770 international students annually, with more than 200 Chinese students participating in global exchange programmes annually. 

International university partnerships – which include the University of New Hampshire in the US, the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand and Clausthal University of Technology in Germany – also provide unique opportunities for CDU students. More than 1,000 students at CDU participate in joint programmes offered by schools such as the Waikato Institute of Technology in New Zealand, for example, and about 1,000 students join various exchange programmes between CDU and its partner universities in Thailand. Through an array of events such as International Week, International Summer Semester and other volunteer projects, CDU students are supported to foster a collaborative international mindset early on.

To forge strong international partnerships, CDU encourages collaboration in research areas where it has a strong reputation, particularly in engineering and clinical medicine. Over the past five years, scholars from CDU have received top research awards, such as the China National Natural Science Award, and have had research recognised in China’s annual list of the 100 most influential international academic papers. More than 100 CDU principal investigators are funded by the National Natural Science Foundation and the National Social Science Foundation of China. These factors all contribute to CDU’s success in rankings, both nationally and internationally. 

CDU’s research facilities are also attractive to international partners. They include a general hospital with nearly 1,700 beds and the Sichuan Antimicrobial Industrial Research Institute, an institution for national antibiotic research and development. 

To date, CDU has signed 132 agreements with overseas universities, forming an impressive international collaboration network. These include 46 top-ranked institutions. To further strengthen its alliances and partnerships, CDU has established the Chengdu International Sister City University Alliance. The alliance promotes exchange schemes for CDU students, faculty and staff. It also facilitates high-level agreements and cooperation between Chengdu city and its international sister cities, such as Chiang Mai in Thailand, Daegu in South Korea and Hamilton in New Zealand.

In partnership with the University of Stirling in the UK, CDU has established the CDU Stirling College. This joint project strives to cultivate cross-disciplinary and long-term collaboration for the future needs of the international health and sports industries. It plans to serve 1,200 undergraduate students across four cohorts. 

CDU’s unique College of China and ASEAN Arts showcases the institution’s strength in nurturing arts-related talent. The college aims to develop Chengdu into a cultural and creative hub to serve the needs of the Belt and Road Initiative. The college currently has nearly 500 international students and 11 international teachers.

Recently, CDU was authorised to establish a computer-based IELTS test centre, the third of its kind in China’s Sichuan Province. The CDU IELTS test centre accommodates 34 seats for computer-based tests and four test rooms for speaking tests. The state-of-the-art centre provides a comfortable, convenient, and safe testing environment for students working on their English-language proficiency.

A crucial milestone in CDU’s internationalisation strategy is the upcoming 31st FISU Summer World University Games, a biennial event with a global focus. It celebrates a wide range of university sports and cultures, attracting thousands of student-athletes and spectators from around the world. The games will be held in Chengdu from 26 June to 7 July this year and CDU is proud to host this prestigious event on its campus.

The sports village covers an area of 1,200 acres, providing accommodation, catering, transportation and other supporting services to athletes and team officials. Designed to be part of CDU’s green campus, the village has 22 new buildings, including apartments, delegation service centres, medical centres and art centres.

The village is divided into an operation zone, international zone, residential zone and traffic zone, offering athletes one-stop services from registration and catering to cultural exchange and fitness. The operation zone provides administrative support and registration procedures for delegations and media, while the international zone offers facilities such as catering and medical care, with two restaurants and opportunities for cultural exchange. The residential zone has 6,522 rooms that can accommodate up to 11,000 people. After the games, the village facilities will be used for CDU students, transforming into dormitories, canteens, sports venues, a university hospital and more. 

The games is the first world-class sports event to be held in western China, acting as a testament to CDU’s commitment to building strong ties with its international partners. Having invested in futuristic facilities and advanced equipment, CDU is positioning itself as a hub for future international collaboration and innovation.

In an increasingly interconnected world, universities face many challenges brought about by rapid technological progress and the changing face of the education sector. CDU believes internationalisation is key to the ongoing success of higher education. A forward-looking approach, global mindset and clear vision will help CDU leaders make long-term decisions to benefit students and the wider community. International collaboration and exchanges not only foster a more open, inclusive and vibrant university community, they are also helping to transform CDU into a borderless, innovative and productive institution for future generations.

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