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Zhejiang University Joins CDA’s Global Network of Partner Institutions

     ‘The future generations will look upon us just like we look upon the past.’


Quotation from the Lanting Xu (Preface of the Orchid Pavilion) (蘭亭序) or Lanting ji Xu (蘭亭集序) composed in AD 358 by Wang Xizhi (王羲之) (AD 303–361), the most celebrated calligrapher in Chinese history who spent most of his life in cities in the area of modern-day Zhejiang province.

Located in the historic and picturesque city of Hangzhou, Zhejiang University (ZJU) is one of China’s most prestigious institutions of higher education with a long history. Zheda, as it is called by Chinese scholars and students, is one of the three oldest and one of the top three universities in China due to the world’s most relevant university rankings. It is a constituent part of the top segment of the liga of C9 elite universities in China comparable with the League of European Research Universities (LERU) in Europe and the ivy league in the United States. Established in 2009 the C9 League also welcomed the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences as a novel participant in the League meetings in 2014.

In 1897 Qiushi Academy, the forerunner of the modern-day Zhejiang University (ZJU), was founded to be a modern academy of higher education in China and experienced a changefull history in the coming decades of the 20th century. It was established as National Third Chungshan University in 1927 and soon renamed as National Chekiang University (NCKU) in 1928. During the war period (1937-1949), it was praised as one of the four most prominent universities in the Republic of China. Upon a visit to the university campus in 1944 British sinologist, biochemist and embryologist at Cambridge University Dr. Joseph Needham, FRS, hailed the University as "Cambridge of the East" (see picture below). He was impressed by the faculty's dedication to research even during the tribulations of war.








After the founding of P. R. China in 1949, Chinese higher education experienced a dramatic restructuring following the Soviet model. ZJU was split into four independent universities in 1952. In the wake of Reform and Opening of Peoples Republic of China in the 1980s the current ZJU was re-established as a comprehensive university in 1998 through the merger with Hangzhou University, Zhejiang Agricultural University, and Zhejiang Medical University (see picture below).




In 2001 Zhejiang University Science Park was founded. One of the earliest in China it aims to incubate high-tech startups and facilitate technology transfer. In 2019, the Hainan Institute of Zhejiang University was founded in the Yazhou Bay Science and Technology City in Sanya on the tropical island of Hainan. In November 2020, the university founded its new Ningbo campus. In 2021, new institutes were founded in Quzhou, Jinhua, Wenzhou, Jiaxing, Huzhou, Shaoxing and Taizhou within Zhejiang.

In 2021 ZJU released its ‘Sustainability Action Plan: A Global ZJU for Social Good (Z4G)’ to improve the university’s sustainability-related education, research and practices within the ZJU community and among other stakeholders in China and beyond. A university campus is a microcosm of the world. ZJU is committed to take an active leadership role in the creation of green and low-carbon campuses. By drawing on the considerable experience of world-class campuses and unleashing the multidisciplinary synergy of the university, ZJU will strive to position ZJU as a leader of low-carbon action and transform our campuses into resource-conserving and environmentally friendly living laboratories. To that end, ZJU will further strengthen its capacity for digital and ecological governance, encourage healthy lifestyles and ways of working, and promote green, smart and circular development patterns.

In the medical field, the world's first human cell landscape (HCL) at single-cell level was born in ZJU in 2020, whose research method will have a profound impact on the identification of normal and disease cell states in the human body, and is expected to help doctors identify abnormal cell states and origins in the future. The research team led by Prof. GUO Guoji from the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine at the Zhejiang University School of Medicine (see picture below) has long been committed to research into single-cell sequencing. Using their self-developed Microwell-seq, a high-throughput and low-cost scRNA-seq platform, they analyzed the cell-type composition of all major human organs and constructed a scheme for the human cell landscape (HCL). This study revealed a single-cell hierarchy for many tissues that have not been well characterized. It is the first time that researchers have studied human organ development by assessing the similarity of cell types between fetal- and adult-stage tissues. Research data will become a treasury of resources for human biology and research methods will produce a far-reaching effect on the identification of cells in different states. Despite the limitations of sequencing depth, the ZJU-study exhibits exceptional assets in comparison of cross-tissue and cross-species data.


In March 2021, tech tycoon and Pinduoduo founder Colin Huang’s Starry Night Foundation has pledged $100 million to Zhejiang University to support fundamental research in biomedical science, agriculture and food at ZJUs Shanghai Institute for Advanced Study. In 2023 Alibaba’s Damo Academy donated its quantum computing lab equipment to Zhejiang University. The quantum lab was formerly known as the Chinese Academy of Sciences - Alibaba Quantum Computing Laboratory, which was jointly established with the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2015.

In December 2021 Zhejiang University released the "Mogan No. 1" and "Tianmu No. 1" superconducting quantum chips (see picture below). The R&D team of Mogan-1 and Tianmu-1 is led by Zhu Shiyao, an expert in quantum optics, a professor at the Department of Physics at Zhejiang University, and the chief scientist of the Quantum Computing Innovation Workshop at the Hangzhou International Science and Technology Innovation Center of Zhejiang University.


In December 2022 the State Council, China's cabinet, announced the appointment of the then president of Zhejiang University Wu Zhaohui as novel Vice Minister of Science and Technology of the Peoples Republic of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). In November 2023 Chinese Vice Minister of Science and Technology, Wu Zhaohui, lead the Chinese delegation to attend the AI Safety Summit 2023 in Bletchley Park U.K. He was joined by representatives from the Chinese foreign ministry, companies and academic bodies including the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Alibaba and Tencent. At this occasion the Chinese delegation promoted China's Global Artificial Intelligence Governance Initiative launched at the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing on Oct. 18, 2023. Chinese Vice Minister of Science and Technology Wu Zhaohui told the opening session of the two-day summit that Beijing was ready to increase collaboration on AI safety to help build an international "governance framework" (see picture below). As a historic result of the AI Safety Summit 2023 28 countries present, including the EU, United States and China and the United States signed the "Bletchley Declaration", saying countries needed to work together and establish a common approach on oversight.

On 11 April 2024 China's State Council announced that Wu Zhaohui was named Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and therefore no longer serves as Vice Minister of Science and Technology.






Zhejiang University – Structure and Facts in 2024


Zhejiang University is structured into seven faculties: faculty of arts and humanities,  faculty of social sciences, faculty of science, faculty of engineering, faculty of information technology, faculty of agriculture, life and environment sciences as well as faculty of medicine and pharmaceutical sciences. In addition the university has 7 affiliated hospitals, 2 International joint institutes, 100 branch centers for technology transfer and more than 150 companies were created by ZJU entrepreneurs so far.

ZJU faculties contain a total of 39 schools, colleges and departments offering 128 undergraduate programs, more than 300 master’s programs, more than 200 doctoral programs as well as more than 600 global study programs. As of April 2024 29,117 undergraduate and 43,991 Graduate students were enrolled at ZJU. At the time being the university hosts 5,123 International students from more than 150 countries. ZJU has more than 700,000 alumni worldwide. ZJU currently maintains partnerships with with more than 200 partner universities for global study. The university’s faculty


Zhejiang University Campuses – Cultivating Talents for China’s National Innovation (Eco)System


At Zheda university life, research and teaching takes place on 7 Campuses. To get an initial impression of the locations the university provides a remote 720 degree view as well as a three-dimensional map of all campuses. Located in northwest Hangzhou, Zijingang (literally meaning “purple golden port”) is the main campus where Zheda’s first- and second-year undergraduates study. It hosts the administrative offices of 11 schools/colleges, including Civil Engineering and Architecture, International Studies, Life Sciences, Medicine, Pharmaceutical Science, and Management (see picture below).

About 8km away from Zijingang Campus, Yuquan Campus (literally meaning “jade spring”) is conveniently located within walking distance to the West Lake and Hangzhou Botanical Garden. The campus is home to most schools/departments in the Faculty of Engineering. Xixi Campus (literally meaning “west creek”) hosts four colleges, namely, Humanities, Education, Media and International Culture, and Marxism. The campus was the site of the former Hangzhou University. Located in east Hangzhou, Huajiachi Campus (literally meaning “Hua Family Lake”) mainly offers continuing education. This is where the former Zhejiang Agricultural University was based. Zhijiang Campus (literally meaning “zigzag river”) is home to ZJU's Guanghua Law School. The campus is set among Hangzhou's mesmerizing greenery and looks out over the Qiantang River (see picture below).





Just 500 meters from the East China Sea, Zhoushan Campus is a new campus hosting the Ocean College. Located in northeastern Zhejiang Province, Zhoushan (literally meaning “boat hill”) is an island city well-known for fishery, tourism and shipping (see picture below).






Haining (literally meaning “sea placid”) is a county-level city 125km west of Shanghai and 60km east of Hangzhou. The city is known for its leather industry and spectacular tide in the Qiantang River. A brand-new International Campus (see picture below) was opened in 2016, which offers transnational education in its joint institutes. 2 international joint institutes have already been successfully established with the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, (ZJU-UoE Institute) and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, United States (ZJU-UlUC Institute). In addition, Zhejiang University International Business School (ZIBS) was officially established, as well as 11 international research centers.











The Faculty of Social Sciences – Staff and Structure


Zhejiang University’s Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS), founded in March 2009, consists of 7 academic units: School of Economics, Guanghua Law School, College of Education, School of Management, School of Public Affairs, School of Marxism. The faculty has 747 staff members, including 578 teaching staff members, among whom there are 152 professors (research fellows) and 258 associate professors (associate research fellows). Currently, 137 fellows are working on post-doctoral programs at the faculty. FSS comprises 40 research institutes (centers), including 2 Key Research Institutes in University, 3 National Innovative Research Bases of Philosophy and Social Sciences under “Project 985”, and 6 key research institutes (centers) at the ministerial or provincial level. FSS boasts 9 post-doctoral research stations, and has jointly established 2 other post-doctoral research stations with Faculty of Arts and Humanities and Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environment Sciences: History and Agricultural Resource Utilization.FSS is composed of 56 doctoral programs, 86 master programs and 28 undergraduate programs. Over the past 5 years, it has produced 675 Ph. D. graduates, 3966 master graduates and 4917 bachelor graduates.


Zheda’s School of Management – Research and Education for China’s Entrepreneurs


The School of Management at Zhejiang University (ZJU-SOM, see picture below) is a leading business school and pioneer in management education in China. Hangzhou is a pivotal hub for entrepreneurship both nationally and internationally. Underpinned by the region’s thriving private economy, ZJU-SOM boasts unrivaled connectivity with industry, ensuring uniquely outstanding capabilities in innovation and entrepreneurship. Currently, ZJU-SOM has more than 115 faculty members and over 3,500 degree-seeking students undertaking undergraduate, master’s, MBA, EMBA, MPAcc, and Ph.D. programs. Furthermore, it provides executive training to individuals and organizations, deploying its knowledge of cutting-edge business practices and disseminating knowledge to its various stakeholders. ZJU-SOM is one of a few business schools worldwide to be accredited by the leading accreditation bodies, including AACSB, EQUIS, AMBA, and CEEMAN IQA.





Zheda’s School of Management is the home of a number of research institutes among them the  National Institute for Innovation Management (NIIM), Academy of Global Zhejiang Entrepreneurs,  International Research Center for Data  Analytics and Management, Neuromanagement Laboratory,  Center for Internet and Financial Innovation,  Global Entrepreneurship Research Center and  Academy of Global Agricultural Business.


The National Institute of Innovation Management – A Leader in Innovation Research in China


National Institute for Innovation Management at Zhejiang University (NIIM-ZJU), is a leading research base in China's innovation management field, known for its pioneer work in initiating studies in China on technological innovation management and sustainable competitiveness as well as its comprehensive cooperation network worldwide. Zhejiang University was the place where the terms ‘innovation’ and ‘(corporate) innovation management’ developed and applied in the West were introduced for the first time in China’s academic and corporate worlds in the 80ies of the twentieth century. Born in 1930, Professor Xu Qingrui was the first scholar in China to propose the idea that enterprises lie at the core of technological innovation. He formed the theoretical system of technological innovation management with Chinese characteristics. Professor Xu built the first domestic doctoral section of engineering management in Zhejiang University, and he published ‘Management of Technological Innovation’, the first book on the technological innovation discipline in China. Professor Xu is the doctor father of Professor Wu Xiaobo who founded NIIM around 2003.

Based on long-term exploration, NIIM has creatively proposed original innovation management theories and paradigms such as “Secondary Innovation Management”, “Portfolio Innovation Management”, “Total Innovation Management”, “C Theory”, and has made important contributions to the theories and practices of technological innovation management with Chinese characteristics. NIIM set up seven sub-institutes, collaborates with universities in Europe and the United States as well as with Chinese corporations with a global footprint. Sub-bases have been established at Guizhou University, Sichuan University of Electronic Science and Technology, and Ningbo Institute of Technology.


Hangzhou – A Green Brainport and 21st Century Knowledge City with a Grand Historic Heritage

Combining a magnificent historic heritage and city characteristics with the design and architecture of the 21st century, the port city of Hangzhou, the capital and most populous city of Zhejiang Province has been a strategic hub along the Silk Roads since ancient times. Known as ‘the House of Silk’, the city was one of the seven ancient capitals of China with silk fabrics uncovered in the region dating back 4,700 years to the Neolithic Liangzhu culture (3400-2250 BC). The history of Hangzhou's foreign trade in silk, tea, porcelain and other commodities dates back thousands of years. Its location on the East China Sea made Hangzhou a natural centre for trade. The arrival of people from other regions along the Silk Roads to Hangzhou precipitated great cultural, artistic, and religious exchange. Foreign trade reached its peak during the Southern Song Dynasty, a time during which sericulture and silk production technology in Hangzhou made great progress with twill, brocade, satin, cut silk, yarn, and cotton products also manufactured in the city. In addition, porcelain and tea were also exported from Hangzhou along the maritime Silk Roads. Other archaeological finds suggest the possibility of porcelain trade between Hangzhou and regions as far away as the Arabian Peninsula and Iranian Plateau. During the Yuan Dynasty, Italian merchant, traveller and writer Marco Polo visited Hangzhou describing the city as "beyond dispute the finest and the noblest in the world…The number and wealth of the merchants, and the amount of goods that passed through their hands, was so enormous that no man could form a just estimate thereof."  At this time Hangzhou was – and is today – located at the end of the world’s largest artificial canal (the Grand Canal) which was already over 600 years old and stretched almost 800 miles allowing for the transport of grain to Beijing.

Hangzhou today is a modern hub of innovation and entrepreneurship. It hosts the headquarters of world renowned multinational companies like Alibaba, one of the world’s e-commerce giants, Geely, which acquired Volvo in 2010 and is one of the two largest shareholder in Mercedes Benz, as well as Wahaha, China’s beverage industry leader. Among the top 500 private companies in China, 120 are from Zhejiang Province, and 44 are from Hangzhou. Hangzhou is also home to 26 unicorn companies. In 2023 Unitree Robotics, a robotics startup in Hangzhou, presented its H1 AI-driven humanoid robot to the public.



As Zhejiang Province’s economic, cultural, technological and educational centre, the city also plays a central role in the Yangtze River Delta and had reached a permanent population of 12.52 million citizens as of the end of 2023 (due to the main population data report for 2023 released by the Zhejiang Provincial Bureau of Statistics). Hangzhou is a most economically vibrant city in China. Its local GDP reached beyond 2 trillion yuan (approximately $ 280 billion) in 2023. For years, Hangzhou has been  recognized by the World Bank as having China's best investment environment. Forbes Magazine has also consecutively placed Hangzhou on its chart of "Mainland China's Best Cities for Commerce". For 11 years, the city toped the national chart of "China's Happiest Cities". It has also won the "Best Human Habitat" award by the United Nations. It's otherwise recognized as the Capital of E-commerce, the Top Ten Innovative Cities of China, the Top Ten Vibrant Cities of China, the Top Ten Low-carbon Cities of China, the Most Accomplished City in People's Well-being Improvement, and the Best Image Friendly City.


The CDA-Zhejiang University (ZJU-NIIM) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) laying the foundation for the institutional partnership of the two organisations is available online here in the English version.

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