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Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University

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Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University
Type Private
Established May 29, 2006
Chairman Professor Jianhua Wang
President Professor Wenquan Tao, Professor Youmin Xi (executive)
Vice-president Professor Minzhu Yang, Professor Andre Brown, Dr. Yimin Ding
Academic staff
c. 500 (Spring 2015)
Students c. 10,000 (Spring 2015)
Location Suzhou, Jiangsu, China
31°16′29″N 120°44′17″E / 31.2748°N 120.73807°E / 31.2748; 120.73807Coordinates: 31°16′29″N 120°44′17″E / 31.2748°N 120.73807°E / 31.2748; 120.73807
Campus Urban
Colours Blue, White
Affiliations University of Liverpool, Xi’an Jiaotong University
Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University logo.jpg

Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (Chinese: 西交利物浦大学, Pinyin: Xī’ān Jiāotōng Lìwùpǔ Dàxúe, short: XJTLU) is a Sino-British university based in Suzhou, Jiangsu, China.[1] Founded in 2006 and resulting from a partnership between the University of Liverpool and Xi’an Jiaotong University, it is the first Sino-British joint venture between research led universities,[2][3] exploring new educational models for China.[4] The University primarily focuses on science, technology, engineering, architecture and business with a secondary focus in English, recognised by the Chinese Ministry of Education as a "not for profit" educational institution.[5] Students are rewarded with a University of Liverpool degree as well as a degree from XJTLU.[6] The teaching language is English.


Central Building, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool-University, architects: Aedas

On September 28, 2004, Xi’an Jiaotong University and the University of Liverpool signed a cooperative agreement to set up XJTLU. Construction on the new university's campus started in August 2005 and the university was officially inaugurated on May 29, 2006.[7]

More than 160 undergraduates enrolled in the first year. This number has increased to a total of 9,000 students on campus and a further 3,000 at the University of Liverpool on "2+2 programmes".[8]

XJTLU’s first batch of students graduated in August 2010 with 97 percent continuing their studies overseas on masters or doctorate programmes, ten percent of whom went to study at universities ranked in the the world’s top ten (based on the University Ranking Chart by The Times, 2010).[9] December 2010 saw XJTLU invest six million RMB in research for academic performance.[10] By January 2011, XJTLU headed the list of Top 10 Sino-Foreign Cooperative universities in China.[11][12]

In a visit to the University on 25 September 2016 UK Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation Jo Johnson MP called XJTLU an "extraordinary achievement".[13]


The government company Suzhou Education District Investigation (SIPEDI) has funded much of XJTLU's development and continues to play a large role in its success. SIPEDI has already spent around 130 billion RMB on XJTLU, mainly on funding facilities such as buildings and laboratories.


A number of British universities have set up satellite campuses and joint ventures in China, including the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC), an overseas campus of the University of Nottingham situated in the city of Ningbo, and the Surrey International Institute-DUFE, an academic partnership institution between University of Surrey and Dongbei University of Finance and Economics (DUFE) in Dalian.

In 2010-11, China was the third most popular destination for UK TNE students, after Malaysia and Singapore: and there are almost 36,000 UK TNE students in China.[14]

American universities have also sought a presence in China. New York University Shanghai (NYU Shanghai) is the third degree-granting campus established by New York University, after New York City and Abu Dhabi, established in 2012 in partnership with East China Normal University of Shanghai.

However, such strategies have proven controversial. A 2007 report, edited by Anna Fazackerley, cautioned British universities that they must acquire a more thorough understanding of Chinese higher education policy if they were to succeed in building successful strategic alliances over the long-term.[15]


Entrance of North Campus
North Campus, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, architects: Perkins+Will


The campus is situated in Suzhou Industrial Park, 12 km east of the historic center of Suzhou, and 90 km west of Shanghai. With 2,500 years of rich history and culture, Suzhou has sustained an average annual economic growth-rate of more than 15 per cent since the beginning of China's "reform and opening up" period, its local GDP being ranked as the fourth largest in China, just after Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Suzhou Industrial Park is the location for more than 2,100 international companies, more than 100 of which are Fortune 500 companies, including Siemens, Samsung and Nokia.[16] Suzhou Industrial Park is home to more than twenty thousand expatriate workers.[17] Situated in the heart of the complex, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University forms part of that international community.

North Campus

The University aims to develop distinctive and stimulating surroundings for learning, teaching and research. Its campus has been developed in two phases. The first phase focused on the North Campus, which was completed in autumn 2013. The overall campus plan was designed by the American architecture firm Perkins+Will.[18] The University's iconic Central Buiding was inaugurated in autumn 2013 and designed by the British-Asian architecture firm Aedas. It was nominated in the 2014 World Architecture Festival.[19]

South Campus

The second development phase focuses on the South Campus, where building started in summer 2013.[20] The first phase of the South Campus was opened to the public on 26 July 2016, as a major part of the University’s 10th anniversary celebrations.[21] Architecturally it contrasts the North Campus and features modern designs that complement the surrounding area. British architects BDP were responsible for the design of the South Campus.[22]

Suzhou Dushu Lake Science and Education Innovation District

The university is part of the Suzhou Dushu Lake Science and Education Innovation District, an area of universities and higher education institutions that includes Soochow University (苏州大学) amongst others. In addition to the facilities on its own campus, XJTLU has access to the common space shared by all universities in the Science and Education Innovation District, including libraries, entertainment venues, a sports center and accommodation.

Key schools, departments and centres

International Business School Suzhou (IBSS)

Established January 2013 by Professor Sarah Dixon,[23] International Business School Suzhou (IBSS) at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) is growing in size and influence in pursuit of its vision to be a leading international business school. It is the youngest business school ever to earn accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).[24] and also has ACCA, CIMA, CPA Australia and ICAEW accreditation and recognition.[25]

IBSS currently has eight undergraduate programmes and ten postgraduate programmes in the fields of management, economics, finance, accounting, finance and business.

Language Centre

All Chinese students at XJTLU study English for their first two years, while international students can study Chinese. Consequently, the Language Centre plays a key role in the University's educational approach. The Language Centre is not a department at the university, but a teaching centre and is not responsible for awarding degrees. The majority of the Centre's tutors have master's degrees in English teaching. Modules taught in the Language Centre are different from other Chinese universities where students follow a set national curriculum. The Language Centre's curriculum is created by tutors and approved by XJTLU's Learning and Teaching Committee and the University of Liverpool. XJTLU students follow a British degree programme, therefore English for Academic Purposes (EAP) forms the core of modules and assessments.


XJTLU’s Board of Directors oversees the University’s governance and the senior management team leads the strategic direction and day-to-day operations.[26] In August 2008 Professor Xi Youmin, a renowned scholar in management, was appointed as the Executive President of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. He is also Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool.[27]

Academic profile

Academic staff

The University now has almost 500 academic staff from 50 countries.[28] All academic staff must have a PhD from a well-known and well respected university in the relevant research field.

Degree programmes

XJTLU offers a range of degree programmes including bachelor's degrees, master's degrees and Ph.D.


XJTLU aims to bring together the best research practice at Xi’an Jiaotong University and the University of Liverpool, and aspires to be a leading research-led university that combines a strong international profile with a commitment to the economic and social development of the area of China in which it is located.

Research centers have been established at XJTLU to support research and development. In cooperation with Suzhou Industrial Park, the local government has funded XJTLU 10 million RMB annually for research.[29]

Student Life

XJTLU has a wide range of student clubs and organisations centered on art, sports, entrepreneurship, social service, academia and science.


Increasing internationalisation is an important objective for the university[30] and the number of international students studying at XJTLU continues to rise - currently there are around 500 international students at the university.[31] To encourage students from the University of Liverpool to spend time studying at the XJTLU campus, the Year in China programme allows undergraduate students to spend one year at XJTLU, following XJTLU's BA China Studies degree classes. XJTLU also has a number of opportunities for visiting and exchange students from universities around the world.

Sports and Fitness

The sports clubs include table tennis, golf, karate, snooker, badminton, basketball, swimming and football. XJTLU also provides advice and support for students that wish to set up their own sports clubs.

The Buddy Club

The Buddy Club is a programme designed to help new students settle at university and into life in Suzhou.

Noted people

  • James Drummond Bone - Professor and former vice-chairman of the board at XJTLU
  • Janet Beer - Professor and vice-chair of the board at XJTLU
  • Sarah Dixon - Professor and former Dean of International Business School Suzhou
  • David S. G. Goodman - Professor and Head of the Department of China Studies at XJTLU
  • Howard Newby - Professor and former vice-chairman of the board at XJTLU
  • David Sadler (geographer) - Former Vice President of XJTLU
  • Youmin Xi - Professor and executive president of XJTLU


  1. ^ New university in China given go-ahead
  2. ^ "Our Universities - University of Liverpool". Russell Group. Retrieved 2013-08-16. 
  3. ^ "University of Liverpool - News". Retrieved 2013-08-16. 
  4. ^ LING JUNHUI in China Today No.9 September 2011, saved on Nov.9, 2013
  5. ^ "Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU): The first joint-venture university approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education.". Laureate International Universities. Retrieved 13 October 2016. 
  6. ^ "Why study at XJTLU?". Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. Retrieved 14 April 2016. 
  7. ^ Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Officially Inaugurated
  8. ^ The future of TNE lies in equitable partnerships
  9. ^ About XJTLU"
  10. ^ XJTLU Set Up 6-million-RMB "On-campus Research Development Fund"
  11. ^ Press release of the University of Liverpool: xjtlu-named-most-influential-sino-foreign-institution
  12. ^ XJTLU Designated "the Most Influential China-foreign Cooperative Academy"
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ "Review of Transnational Education in Mainland China". The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. Retrieved 18 April 2016. 
  15. ^ British Universities in China: The Reality Beyond the Rhetoric. An Agora Discussion Paper Archived January 24, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Edited by Anna Fazackerley, 2007
  16. ^ Suzhou Industrial Park
  17. ^ Suzhou settling in tips
  18. ^ Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Campus Plan and Academic Building
  19. ^ Yating Su: Management and Information Centre, XJTLU, Suzhou
  20. ^ A groundbreaking ceremony was held in Suzhou today
  23. ^ "History". Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. Retrieved 14 April 2016. 
  24. ^ IBSS at XJTLU earns prestigious world business school accreditation
  25. ^ "Accreditation". Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. Retrieved 14 April 2016. 
  26. ^ XJTLU Leadership
  27. ^ About Liverpool
  28. ^ See QAA Evaluation Report 2012: saved Nov. 8th, 2013
  29. ^ XJTLU emerges as international university
  30. ^ Vision and mission
  31. ^ New international student ambassadors keen to make a difference

External links