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Leiden University Day in China

A Leiden University Day, new agreements on exchanging PhD students and a keynote speech by Geert de Snoo at a popular symposium. In November, a Faculty of Science delegation paid a fruitful visit to eight universities in China.

The Faculty of Science has had long-term collaborations with several Chinese universities, which have intensified over the last years. Collaborations take place in multiple disciplines, in both education and research. In the field of natural science, for example, the number of joint publications from Leiden University with Chinese partners have doubled since 2015, and reached a number of over 150 per year.

New CSC scholarships for 10 extra PhDs per year

During the visit in November, the Faculty of Science extensively worked with the Xi’an Jiaotong University (XJTU) and the China scholarship council on a project-based scholarship. This will enable ten extra PhD candidates either from Leiden University or XJTU to join the already existing joint PhD programme. The PhD’s will carry out research in the fields of artificial intelligence andbioscience, and will be supervised by supervisors from both universities.

Leiden Delegation meeting with China Scholarship council

‘Leiden University Day’ at Xi’an Jiaotong University

In honour of the visiting delegation, Xi’an Jiaotong University held a ‘Leiden University Day’ on 21 November. During this special day, the XJTU campus was decorated with Leiden university elements. The Leiden delegation was warmly received  by Professor XI Guang, Vice-President of XJTU, and professors and management team from relevant faculties. In the ‘meeting the prospect students’ event, more than 100 students come to learn more about Leiden and the joint study and research programmes built by the two universities. Seminars were held in the field of environmental science,  physics, astronomy, drug research and computer science.

Strengthening ties with 8 top Chinese universities

During the visit, the Leiden delegation paid visits to Peking University, Tsinghua University, the  Institute of Physics Chinese Academy of Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Zhejiang University Chengdu University, and the aforementioned Xi’an Jiaotong University. Collaborations in both education and research were intensified with these top Chinese universities.

Keynote speech

During his stay, Faculty of Science dean Geert de Snoo also delivered a keynote speech at the symposium ‘Next step in natural conservation: make the planet livable’. Other keynote speeches were given by 2004 Nobel laureate  Frank Wilczek, former NASA astronaut Don Thomas and three other prominent international scientists. All speakers envisioned the future of the ‘next step of science’ for an audience of hundreds of people. The symposium was broadcasted through both traditional and digital press worldwide.

Geert de Snoo delivering keynote speech in STEP summit

‘Always inspiring’

‘The visit to China was very illuminating,’ said Jan Aarts, scientific director of the Leiden Institute of Physics. ‘The research in the field of physics is going really fast in China and it is very important to stay connected.’ Geert de Snoo expressed the same feeling. ‘It is always inspiring when I visit China. I am very glad to see the collaboration went deeper and wider during this last visit.’

Composition of the delegation

The delegation was headed by the dean of Faculty of Science, Professor Geert de Snoo. The complete list of the delegation:

  • Prof. dr. Geert de Snoo, dean of Faculty of Science, Professor of Conservation biology
  • Prof. dr. Arnold Tukker, scientific director of the Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML),  Professor of Industrial Ecology
  • Prof. dr. Jan Aarts, scientific director of Leiden Institute of Physics (LION) , Professor of Experimental physics
  • Prof. dr. Hubertus Irth, scientific director of the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) , Professor in Biomolecular Analysis
  • Prof. dr. Simcha Jong Kon Chin, director of Science Based Business, Professor of Science-based business
  • Prof. dr. Koen Kuijken, Professor of Galactic astronomy
  • Dr. Marcello Bonsangue, director of education of the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS)
  • Ms. Yun Tian, China coordinator of Faculty of Science; coordinator of the Chinese Scholarship Program, Graduate School of Science
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