TBSI Dual Degree Program Agreement Signed between Tsinghua University and University of California, Berkeley

May 11 2016

Professor Qiu Yong, President of Tsinghua University, and Professor Yang Bin, Provost and Vice President of Tsinghua University visited University of California, Berkeley on May 10, 2016, meeting with Professor Nicholas Dirks, President of UC Berkeley, Professor Paul Alivisatos, Vice President of Research of UC Berkeley, and Professor Shankar Sastry, Dean of College of Engineering, UC Berkeley. After a thorough discussion about several important issues regarding Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute (TBSI) dual degree program, the two parties signed TBSI Dual Degree Program Agreement. It is the first overseas dual degree program UC Berkeley ever has and the only program of its kind in operation by far. 

President Qiu Yong said that TBSI was the most significant program in the process of Tsinghua’s internationalization in the new century, which would lead Tsinghua’s internationalization. Tsinghua chose Shenzhen to be the main base for international degree programs, encouraging teachers to take interdisciplinary part-jobs through personnel system reform, promoting intercross of disciplines and attracting more Tsinghua elite teachers to work with TBSI. Professor Yang Bin, Provost and Vice President of Tsinghua University emphasized Shenzhen’s devotion and determination in higher education and the urgent needs of local industrial upgrading. President Yang indicated that it was the best platform and a great opportunity for the two parties’ cooperation in running schools. We should seize the opportunity, pursuing rapid development.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks extended a warm welcome to President Qiu Yong and other visitors and he was very pleased to see TBSI have achieved such rapid development. "The dual-degree program signed today is the very first of its kind at Berkeley," Nicholas Dirks said. This effort fully reflects the great importance that UC Berkeley attaches to its partnership with Tsinghua University and its support for TBSI. Paul Alivisatos, Vice Chancellor for Research at UC Berkeley, also said TBSI would be the joint effort of both parties to address major societal needs and global challenges. He also expressed his confidence in TBSI to become a great success, considering its location in Shenzhen and its strong demand generated by thriving industries. Shankar Sastry, Dean of the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley, said the College would fully support TBSI’s development and more professors from Berkeley would be encouraged to involve in work at TBSI.

The dual degree program agreement signed by presidents of both parties will be launched in the fall of 2016. Students will be able to obtain two ME degrees, in two and a half years to three years, from both Tsinghua University (currently in two directions - Environmental Science and New Energy and Data Science and Information Technology) and UC Berkeley (in the direction of Engineering Leadership). 
With the sunshine, full and brilliant, Berkeley campus in May is full of vital and vibrant energy. After the meeting, President Qiu Yong and other visitors took a walk on campus before heading to TBSI office in the downtown of Berkeley city, accompanied by several professors who participated in the construction of TBSI, including Shmuel Oren, member of US National Academy of Engineering, Slawomir W. Hermanowicz, professor of environmental science, Connie Chang-Hasnain, TBSI Co-Director, Liwei Lin, professor of mechanical engineering.

President Qiu Yong met with some Berkeley professors, and issued letters of appointment to 15 professors including Junqiao Wu、Slawomir W. Hermanowicz、Scott Moura、Shmuel Oren、Kameshwar Poolla、Xin Guo、Ilan Alder、Liwei Lin、Connie Chang-Hasnain、Seung-Wuk Lee、Ting Xu、Gerard Marriott、Xiaohua Gong、Song Li、Feng Wang. Those professors, who formed the backbone of TBSI personnel, were appointed as affiliated professors by Tsinghua University. Together with Tsinghua professors, they would build up the first 17 TBSI scientific and research laboratories covering three interdisciplinary fields including environmental science and new energy technology, data science and information technology and precision medicine and healthcare. President Qiu Yong then had business lunch with Berkeley professors, discussing about issues including student cultivation, interdisciplinary research, discipline distribution, and industrial collaboration, etc. They had a group photo taken to mark the occasion.