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Professor Massey and Professor Shi shake hands after signing the Memorandum of Understanding

College signs a new Memorandum of Understanding with Tsinghua University's Institute of International and Area Studies

On 5th April 2018, the College of Social Sciences and International Studies (SSIS) signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tsinghua University’s Institute of International and Area Studies. The signing was part of an IIAS visit to Exeter’s Streatham campus led by Prof Shi Zongkai, Vice Chairman of Tsinghua’s University Council.  

Tsinghua’s position as the leading university in China and one of the world’s premier academic institutions is clear – Tsinghua is currently placed 25th in the QS World rankings and 30th in the Times Higher Education World Rankings. Through its new Institute for International and Area Studies, Tsinghua is seeking to encourage an interdisciplinary approach to the study of major global challenges. By combining expertise across areas including politics, anthropology, international relations, history and law the Institute hopes to generate ground-breaking research with the potential to influence international policy. The College of Social Sciences and International Studies at Exeter is home to the world-leading Institute for Arab and Islamic Studies and an outstanding department of Politics and International Relations. Exeter expertise and numerous existing links with Tsinghua in these areas are the primary reasons that the Institute for International and Area Studies came to Exeter to sign this new MoU.  It is the Tsinghua Institute’s first agreement with a partner outside of China. The agreement will encourage faculty and PhD exchange, joint research, and the sharing of information between the two universities.

Exeter and Tsinghua enjoy a long record of working together. The Exeter - Tsinghua Fellowship, which provides small grants to support research between the two institutions, has supported over 20 academics to collaborate since its inception in 2011. Joint research projects have emerged in fields as diverse as environmental sciences, renewable energy, computer science, politics, commercial law, and economics. In addition, joint PhDs, student exchanges, and collaboration on summer schools have all developed in recent years. The delegation met with Exeter’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Steve Smith, along with a number of other senior figures from Exeter to discuss further developing our relationship in the coming years.

Professor Andrew Massey, Associate Dean for International and Development in SSIS, welcomed the delegation to Exeter and hosted the visit. Prof Massey said ‘It was my great pleasure to sign an MoU between Tsinghua and Exeter today. Many faculty members from SSIS are currently working with their Tsinghua counterparts and it is my hope that our new agreement will further strengthen our relationship, leading to an array of new research and teaching initiatives.’ 

Date: 9 April 2018

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