The 3rd Plenary Meeting of the 1st International Advisory Board of Sichuan University was successfully held on September 13th and attended by 19 advisors, including former state councilor Dai Bingguo, former chairman of the Chengdu Municipal Consultative Conference Huang Zhongying, Nobel Prize winner Prof. Ding Zhaozhong, business elites from multinational enterprises, academicians from the National Institute of Engineering and professors from world-renowned universities and other research institutes. They conducted in-depth discussions by focusing on "the mechanism of interdisciplinary integration for a comprehensive university", offered suggestions for SCU to build a world-class university. Wang Jianguo, Chairman of SCU University Council, Li Yanrong, president of SCU, other leaders and the heads of all departments attended the meeting.
Sichuan University's new initiatives: Dual-Engine Interdisciplinary Program centered on "Medical Science+" and "Information +" and Interdisciplinary-Integration-Oriented Talent Cultivation Program.
Li Yanrong, president of SCU & chairman of IAB, made a keynote report on "Promoting the interdisciplinary integration in an all-round way and accelerating the pace of world-class university construction". He noted that interdisciplinary development is an inevitable choice for Sichuan University to promote the construction of a world-class university. “The leveraged disciplinary development involving the liberal arts and science, engineering and medicine in Sichuan University has laid a firm foundation for the interdisciplinary integration. Sichuan University is pushing forward three new plans and initiatives: Dual-Engine Interdisciplinary Program centered on "Medical Science+" and "Information +", Interdisciplinary-Integration-Oriented Talent Cultivation Program, and strong support for interdisciplinary integration. It is hoped that the implementation of these plans will help to forge ahead towards the interdisciplinary integration, yielding a number of internationally influential creative results. I hope that all directors could share your insights and suggestions for the interdisciplinary development of Sichuan University.”
Dai Bingguo said that Sichuan University, as an important comprehensive research-oriented university in western China, should draw on its own advantages and geographical characteristics to conduct extensive international cooperation and exchanges, and make more contributions to national research and South Asian research. “It is hoped that Sichuan University will make greater efforts in explorations and innovations, foster a superb team of leaders and teachers, train top-ranking students and create a top-class creative thinking environment in tune with the development of Sichuan and the nation. Sichuan University should, through efforts of generations in the reform and development, learn from other countries and give play to their own advantages. Finally, all these efforts will turn SCU into a world-class university with Chinese characteristics and unique style.”
Subsequently, Prof. Chu Liangyin, Dean of the Academy of Sciences of Sichuan University, Prof. Wan Xuehong, Executive Vice-Dean of West China Clinical Medical College, and Prof. Fu Qiang, Dean of Polymer Science and Engineering, shared their specific practices in interdisciplinary integration, as well as subsequent results and effects.
Sharing experience of foreign universities: Innovate the system and mechanism, and build a cross platform to create more achievements.
Three directors were invited to make special presentations on interdisciplinary integration in comprehensive universities, so SCU could gain more suggestions from foreign experts and scholars on such integration.
Prof. Meng Liqiu, Former Executive Vice-Chancellor of Munich Polytechnic University, in a report titled "Interdisciplinary Research and Education in Comprehensive Universities", shared the challenges and problems encountered by comprehensive universities and the opportunities in interdisciplinary development, as well as the experience of Munich Polytechnic University.
Prof. Nicholas A Peppas, member of the National Academy of Engineering of America, Academician of Medical College and member of the Academy of Humanities and Sciences, shared the initiatives of the University of Texas to promote interdisciplinary integration. The formation of multi-disciplinary team and common physical office space - creator space is a cornerstone for the interdisciplinary integration, he stressed.
Prof. Regis B. Kelly, executive director of California Quantitative Biomedical Research Institute, focused on the experience and practice of interdisciplinary integration at the University of California, through the topic themed with the "Interdisciplinary Integration Mechanism of Comprehensive University".
Prof. Qiu Minjing, Dean of Sichuan University-Pittsburgh Institute, introduced the practice and experience of interdisciplinary integration at the University of Pittsburgh.
Directors discussed the development plans: to strengthen strategic planning, weaken the boundary of disciplines, develop interdisciplinary research and education, and promote the construction of first-class universities.
“In order to build first-class disciplines and universities, it is necessary to cultivate first-class students, foster their scientific interests and encourage them to conduct in-depth research in areas of their own interest. Only students with the spirit of research and innovative ability can grow into internationally competitive elites,” Prof. Ding Zhaozhong said in his speech.
The Third Plenary Meeting of the First International Advisory Board of Sichuan University came to a successful conclusion in the atmosphere of heated discussion. Li Yanrong answered to the opinions of the directors in his concluding remarks, and expressed his appreciation to them again for their suggestions and help. He hoped that all the participants will continue to pay attention to and support the development of Sichuan University and join hands in its journey to build a world-class university.