Sichuan University – Pittsburgh Institute (SCUPI) is a new, innovative model of international cooperation in higher education. After more than two years of planning and preparation, the formation of SCUPI was officially approved by China’s Ministry of Education in March, 2014. Today, SCUPI is an institute-scale, Sino-US joint education entity in China and the first one in western China. Moving at the forefront of globalization, SCUPI represents a model for transforming China’s higher education institutions.
I have been a university faculty in America for nearly 30 years. I joined the University of Pittsburgh in 2000 and served as Chairman of Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science for more than 15 years. During this period, I have witnessed an increasing number of Chinese students pursuing degrees in the United States. After experiencing the U.S. educational system, many of them have become outstanding engineers and successful managers; some have continued to study in graduate schools for advanced degrees. Hence the underlying objective of SCUPI is to adapt the University of Pittsburgh high quality undergraduate education system including its instructional resources to China. Starting with three undergraduate degree programs, SCUPI will provide its students with an outstanding education based on active-learning, problem solving and team work. By gaining such experiences as part of their undergraduate education, our students will have an enormous advantage over their peers, especially early in their careers, which will, in turn, lay a solid foundation for their future professional developments.
To realize our goal of producing exceptional engineering graduates in China, SCUPI is implementing a series of innovations in teaching and instructional facilities. Our curriculum is specially designed by a team of experts at the University of Pittsburgh and will be taught exclusively in English. Our faculty members are recruited worldwide with a caliber and scholarship equivalent to that of top-rate universities in the U.S. and Europe. Many students will have an opportunity to transfer to the University of Pittsburgh to complete their Bachelor’s degree. Our students, furthermore, will compete favorably for employment and admission to leading graduate programs.
For the students coming to SCUPI, there are three thoughts.
First, be a good world citizen who can assume historical heritage and deal with globalization challenge.
Second, study hard and manage your time wisely, striking a balance between study and recreation.
Third, be independent and know how to take care of yourself, while being accommodating and respectful of your peers, and being keen to your surroundings as well.
In short, though SCUPI is new, it has great potential to evolve into one of the world’s best engineering schools. We are equipped with world’s most advanced curriculum, facilities, and faculty, all aimed at producing outstanding engineers and scholars. We are confident that we will live up to our high expectations. Finally, I urge you to join us for this remarkable journey and, more importantly, have a productive and enjoyable next four years at SCUPI.
Dean of Sichuan University-Pittsburgh Institute