AASF Webinar: The Rise of Chinese Universities towards World Class: Perspectives from Several American Scholars

Time: May 21, 2022 8:00 PM Eastern Time

The population in China is 1.4 billion, and its higher education system is the largest in the world too. The country has more than 3,000 colleges and universities where more than 40 million students are enrolled. Since 1998, several plans have been launched to develop a small group of elite institutions into world-class universities. In this webinar, three American scholars who have been involved in the development efforts will give us their perspectives on the rise of Chinese universities towards world class.


John E. Hopcroft

John E. Hopcroft is the IBM Professor of Engineering and Applied Mathematics in Computer Science at Cornell University. He received his BS (1961) from Seattle University, his M.S. (1962) and Ph.D. (1964) in EE from Stanford University. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, of the National Academy of Engineering, and a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.  In 1992, President George Bush appointed him to the National Science Board, which oversees the National Science Foundation, and served through May 1998.  He has received numerous awards and honorary degrees including the Turing Award in 1986. In 2016, Premier Li Keqiang presented him with the Friendship Award for his work on university education in China. 

Jeffrey S. Lehman

Jeffrey S. Lehman is the inaugural Vice Chancellor of NYU Shanghai. He has previously been President of Cornell University, Dean of the University of Michigan Law School, and founding Dean of the Peking University School of Transnational Law. He has served as president of the American Law Deans Association and chair of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. He is a life member of the American Law Institute, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. He has received the Friendship Award from the People’s Republic of China, honorary citizenship from the city of Shanghai, an honorary doctorate from Peking University, and the National Equal Justice Award from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Jay S. Siegel

Jay S. Siegel received his Ph. D. from Princeton (1985), was a Swiss Universities Fellow at ETH Zurich (1983-4), and NSF-CNRS postdoctoral fellow at the University of Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg (1985-6). He began as Assistant Professor of Chemistry (1986) at UCSD, was promoted to Associate Professor (1992) and Full Professor (1996). In 2003, he was appointed as Professor and co-director of the Organic chemistry institute of the University of Zurich (UZH) and Director of its laboratory for process chemistry research (LPF). He served as Dean of Studies and Head of the Research Council for the Faculty of Sciences at UZH. He moved to Tianjin University in 2013 and joined the Schools of Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences into a new Health Science Platform. He was Qianren Scholar (2013-15) and recipient of the Chinese National Friendship Medal (2015). He was named one of the 40 most influential foreign experts in China’s 40 years of opening (2018). In 2021 he was Provost of Fulbright University-Vietnam before beginning his present position at ETH-Zurich, and continuing to chair the IAB of SPST at TJU.


Yasheng Huang

Yasheng Huang is the Epoch Foundation Professor of International Management and Faculty Director of Action Learning at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Between 2013 and 2017, he served as an Associate Dean in charge of MIT Sloan’s global partnership programs and its action learning initiatives. His previous appointments include faculty positions at the University of Michigan and at Harvard Business School. He is also the President of AASF.