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University Alliance Garnering Intl Attention

Xi'an Jiaotong University launched the University Alliance of the Silk Road, or UASR, last May to boost academic cooperation and explore a new mode of regional development.

A total of 125 universities from 30 countries and regions have joined the alliance, with 10other institutes having sent their applications.

The embassies of Britain, Egypt and Iran in China, as well as the Australia Group of Eight, an alliance of its universities, have also been in discussion with the university, colloquially known as Xi'an Jiaoda, to spur cooperation.

Less than one year after the establishment of the Silk Road University Alliance, a number of cooperative and exchange projects have been carried out, including intercollegiate exchanges, personnel training, scientific research and cooperation, policy research, medical services and establishment of sub-alliances.

Xi'an Jiaotong University has also been carrying out cooperation plans with 29 overseas universities who are members of the alliance. It built a laboratory with the University of New South Wales and a research institute with the University of Liverpool and established the Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. Tong Li School, a joint school with Hong Kong Polytechnic University has been established at Xi'an Jiaotong University for 14 years. Recently, the Joint School of Design is in its plan with Politecnico di Milano in Milan, Italy.

The China West Region Quality Science and Technology Research Institute, a think tank established by Xi'an Jiaotong University, the General Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine and the Shaanxi Provincial Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine, will start conducting research on major national projects such as the Road and Belt Initiative and China Manufacturing strategy.

Wang Shuguo, president of Xi'an Jiaotong University, said the Belt and Road Initiative is vital to the development of countries along the modern-day Silk Road.

"Higher education in China should not only meet domestic needs or focus on short-term development, but also consider the education system and structure from an international perspective. At the same time we should ponder if our knowledge supply is effective, "Wang said.

Wang said the alliance has created opportunities for universities in China and for countries and regions along the modern Silk Road routes to connect and has promoted cultural exchanges.

Xi'an Jiaotong University is also looking to construct the China West Region Scientific and Technological Innovation Harbor, a harbor city for scientific and technological innovation.

"We consider the new space built for our school's expansion as a port rather than a new campus because it is a change in the university's form. "Generally speaking, it is a university and a community. It is a high-end talent pool, and also a disseminator of knowledge and civilization. It is both most advanced and affable," Wang said.

The innovation harbor is designed to be built at the south banks of the Weihe River in Xixian New Area, a national-level urban development zone between Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province, and Xianyang, Xi'an's neighboring city. Total area of the port city will be 291hectares.

The construction plan and overall development of the port have been completed and preparations for the projects are underway.