Tsinghua University and the University of Washington on Thursday renewed the dual degree program the two universities launched five years ago as part of their Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) partnership.
Tsinghua President Qiu Yong and UW President Ana Mari Cauce virtually signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) through an online ceremony. The signing ceremony was hosted by Dean for International Affairs Li Jinliang.
Tsinghua President Qiu Yong said Tsinghua was immensely proud and happy to renew the dual degree program with the University of Washington, and expressed his thanks to industry partner Microsoft for its continued support.
"Since we first signed the agreement five years ago, the GIX has been a great adventure for Tsinghua, the University of Washington, and Microsoft,” he said. “Today, as we renew our agreement, we are renewing our commitment simultaneously. I am confident that the friendship and cooperation between Tsinghua and the University of Washington will continue to thrive."
He said he believed that the GIX would continue to be a successful endeavor that the two universities would be celebrating 100 years of its establishment in the future.
He expressed his confidence that in the face of the pandemic, the two universities will find more opportunities and take more responsibilities for cooperation in the development of hybrid education, facilitation of multi-location remote learning, and more cross-disciplinary collaboration.
The President of University of Washington Ana Mari Cauce, in her remarks, said that she was proud of what the two universities have accomplished together in the last five years.
“The GIX academic network has successfully brought together leading universities and cross-sector partners committed to experiential learning and technological innovation in a global context. The GIX program has succeeded in its aim to provide students with truly global education and giving them a chance to work with partners around the world on all the challenges that we face today,” she said.
She said she was looking forward to the continued growth of the partnership and collaboration with Tsinghua.
“The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us that the world's most pressing problems demand innovation, and they know no boundaries between disciplines or geography. It's imperative that discovery, innovation and trade takes place on a global stage,” she said, building a strong global partnership between the two universities has only become more important in the last five years, since we came together back in 2015 to launch the GIX.
Following the signing of the agreement, Executive Director Prof. Shwetak Patel briefly talked about the achievements the program has made in the past five years. He said that thanks to the GIX program, students are building new businesses, new technologies, new solutions for global problems, transforming the landscape of how technology can impact society across the board. He said more and more GIX graduates have been placed in amazing positions at world leading companies like Microsoft and Alibaba.
Tsinghua University Vice President and Provost Yang Bin encouraged the UW representatives to explore new avenues of cooperation in the next five years as part of their GIX partnership.
“We think the most important thing we give is the concept of Re-Definition of Higher Education. We want to have more multi-discipline joint degree programs for master and doctoral degrees. We want to have more innovation-related cooperation,” he said.
The newly-appointed GIX Dean Liu Yunhao said he was looking forward to immersing the GIX students in more interdisciplinary research and education by offering two different degrees as part of the dual-degree program.
“That way, we will make our degrees more attractive to students, because they will get a very comprehensive degree and education on both sides,” Liu Yunhao said.
Vice-Provost for Global Affairs of the University of Washington Jeff Riedinger delivered concluding remarks. He said it was a great honor for the University of Washington to be a part of Tsinghua’s signature global initiatives.
“As the world’s leading universities, we have an opportunity to really shape something spectacular, not just for our universities and the immediate communities we serve, but build a platform for the world,” he said.
The GIX dual degree program offers integrated courses combining Tsinghua’s Master of Science in Engineering, Data Science and Information Technology (MSE/DSIT) with the University of Washington’s Master of Science in Technology Innovation (MSTI). Taught by top-class professors and industry leaders, the program strives to groom the next generation of technology leaders by offering project-based learning in design thinking, technology development, and entrepreneurship in both China and the U.S.
Writer : Sangeet Sangroula
Editors : Liu Shutian, John Olbrich
Designer : Bella Lim