The University of Chicago will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its Center in Beijing with a series of virtual events in January 2021 highlighting the University’s deep history of engagement and research partnerships with China.
The monthlong program will begin Jan. 5 with the first in a series of twice-weekly discussions featuring UChicago scholars and their Chinese collaborators. The events will culminate in a Jan. 29 celebration that will include a fireside chat between President Robert J. Zimmer and Juan de Pablo, Vice President for National Laboratories, Science Strategy, Innovation and Global Initiatives, reflecting on the challenges and opportunities facing higher education, as well as remarks from Provost Ka Yee C. Lee.
The Center in Beijing was established in 2010 to support the growing number of University of Chicago faculty engaged with collaborators in the region, as well as the increasing number of students and alumni in China. It has served as a hub to enhance and strengthen the University’s rich tradition of engagement in China in many fields of study. Since its opening, the Center has hosted over 500 events, welcomed over 45,000 visitors, and served over 2,500 faculty, staff and students.
"The University of Chicago has a rich history of scholarship in China and Asia, and the Center in Beijing has greatly contributed to research collaboration, educational opportunities, mutual engagement and societal impact in this vital region," said President Robert J. Zimmer. "Since its opening, the center has built upon the University’s rich legacy of research and educational collaborations, making it an intellectual destination for scholars across the world."
Deepening research partnerships
The Center in Beijing has served as a gathering place for UChicago faculty and their colleagues in East Asia, as well as for prospective, incoming, and current students, alumni, and members of the public. The University’s relationships with local peer institutions have led to field-defining research in, with and about China, as well as strong relationships between researchers. In addition, public lectures and artistic exhibitions at the center have invited the Beijing community to participate in the University’s tradition of rigorous academic inquiry.
The Center in Beijing is also home to several long-running and new initiatives, including the Young Du Chung Chin Beijing: East Asian Civilizations undergraduate study abroad program, as well as several major initiatives focused on research collaboration on topics related to China. For example, in 2018, the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago launched its new BFI-China initiative, which works in partnership with Chinese researchers and research institutions to develop new insights on the critical economic issues facing Chinese policymakers. The University also recently signed a memorandum of understanding establishing an innovative collaboration between University of Chicago and Tsinghua University scholars, who will conduct research across a range of economic issues.
Other major faculty-led collaborations include a partnership between the Pritzker School of Medicine and the Peking Union Medical College and Hospital, as well as a collaboration between the School of Social Service Administration, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Peking University focused on training new social workers in China.
The Center in Beijing is a cornerstone for the University’s global presence, which extends to hundreds of programs and initiatives in more than 40 countries on all seven continents. Since the Center in Beijing opened in 2010, the University opened the Center in Delhi in 2014 and the Hong Kong Jockey Club University of Chicago Academic Complex The University of Chicago Francis and Rose Yuen Campus in Hong Kong in 2018. Chicago Booth broadened its presence in Europe with a new state-of-the-art campus in London in 2020, and the University is currently expanding its Center in Paris , which has experienced tremendous growth since opening in 2003.
The Center in Beijing works closely to support the University community across Asia, along with the Center in Delhi and the Hong Kong Jockey Club University of Chicago Academic Complex The University of Chicago Francis and Rose Yuen Campus in Hong Kong, which serves as a regional hub for research and education in East Asia.