An important milestone in the establishment of GTIIT - Guangdong Technion Israel Institute of Technology - was recorded with the official approval by the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. The Ministry confirmed that cooperation with Technion is consistent with the strategic goal of the Chinese Government: the establishment of world-class research universities; as well as with the regional strategy of innovation-based development.
The Chinese National Program for Medium- and Long-Term Educational Reform and Development is intended, inter alia, to promote the establishment of superior foreign educational resources and to establish several model Chinese-foreign universities in China, based on cooperation with other countries.
Approval for GTIIT was given exactly one year after the cornerstone laying ceremony for the new campus: a ceremony which was attended by about 5,000 guests, including the late ninth President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres z”l. At that event, Peres said that “the establishment of a Technion campus in China is one more proof that Israeli innovation is breaking down geographic borders.”
The establishment of Guangdong Technion - the first Israeli university in China - is a dramatic and unprecedented event in Israel-China relations. Israel’s Ambassador to China Matan Vilnai said: “The opening of the Technion branch in China is the most important project in Israel-China relations during my term in office. This project, which focuses on education, is an important asset to China and Israel and hence its great importance. We have worked hard to obtain approval and I am pleased that it has been granted.”
“This is a courageous and important partnership which represents a historic step in Israel-China relations,” said Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie. “This partnership, which combines the spirit of Israeli innovation with the power of China, will benefit all parties - the Technion and the University of Shantou, Israel and China - and will give a significant boost to the Chinese education system. The outcomes of this historic project will affect the whole of humanity.”
“I’m glad we did it,” said the Mayor of Shantou, Liu Xiaotao. “I would like to thank Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie and professors from the Technion for their efforts and dedication. On behalf of the 5.5 million residents of Shantou, I would like to thank you for this important project.”
Guangdong Technion, situated near the Shantou University campus, will be a high quality, innovative and research-oriented university. In the future, an innovation center will be built near it, and will serve as a foothold for Israeli companies to crack key markets in the U.S. and China. This project is made possible thanks to the cooperation between China’s Shantou University, Guangdong Provincial Government, Shantou Municipal Government and the Technion. The project leader on behalf of the Technion is Prof. Paul Feigin, Assistant to the President for Strategic Projects.
According to the letter of approval from the Government of China, “GTIIT is a beneficial attempt to build a high standard and exemplary Sino-foreign co-running university. Guangdong Government shall offer guidance and take advantages of subjects and research provided by both sides, integrate educational resources, innovate methods of cultivating talents, classifying subjects and courses, and managing schools. It will promote Sino-Israeli educational cooperation and exchange, and contribute to our educational reform. GTIIT shall progressively carry out the master and doctoral programs by learning from Technion’s advanced experience in the way of independent admission according to the Sino-Foreign Cooperative Education Provision and its concrete measures. Masters and PhD degree certificates will be issued by Technion. “GTIIT shall strive for economic growth and social development based on the areas where Technion excels and in accordance with the environmental challenges faced by China.
The new university is headed by GTIIT Chancellor Mr. Li Jiange and Vice Chancellor Research Professor Aaron Ciechanover from the Technion. “The Government’s approval of the establishment of GTIIT has brought us much joy and confidence,” said Chancellor Mr. Li Jiange. “As an ancient Chinese saying goes, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’ Now we have achieved the first step of success, we still have a long way to go. To build GTIIT into a world-class university, we need to recruit the elite faculties, and we are willing to pay them with the most attractive salaries.”
“The granting of approval by the Government of China is a moment of great hope for all of us,” said Prof. Ciechanover, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2004. “This is an initiative that will combine the diligence and determination typical of China with the extensive experience of the Technion in training scientists and engineers, and in turning scientific discoveries into developments that are beneficial to mankind.”
According to the letter of approval from the Government of China, GTIIT will have 2,960 students in the initial stage (from 2017 to 2026), including 300 postgraduates, and 5,000 in the long term, including 1,000 postgraduates. Guangdong Technion’s first undergraduate programs are Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology and Food Engineering, and Materials Engineering. Its graduate programs are Chemical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Food Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Its doctoral programs will also be in these disciplines .
The cooperation between the Technion and Guangdong Province has already led to several other agreements, including a memorandum of understanding for scientific cooperation between the State of Israel and Guangdong Province, economic cooperation agreements and a twin city agreement between the cities of Haifa and Shantou. The first academic school year at Guangdong Technion is scheduled to begin in October 2017, with 300 students will first complete a preparatory period starting in August.
Photo Left to right: Shantou University Provost Prof. Gu Peihua, GTIIT Chancellor Mr. Li Jiange, Shantou Mayor Liu Xiaotao, Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie, Assistant to the President for Strategic Projects Prof. Paul Feigin, and Shantou University Vice President Prof. Lin Danming
Credit: Government of the Guangdong Province