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Cablegate: Zhejiang University - a Local University with a Global

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1. (SBU) During a November 17-18 visit to Hangzhou, the Consul
General (CG) met Zhejiang University President Yang Wei and
discussed the university's international network, strategies to
promote international student exchanges, collaborative research,
scientific innovation and visa issues. Zhejiang University
fosters international collaboration through four international
networks: the Association of Pacific Ring Universities, the
International Association of Universities (IAU), the Worldwide
Universities Network (WUN), and an "entrepreneur" network. The
university also pursues a "3-S" strategy to give international
exposure to its students, which includes a summer program, a
"sandwich" program and a scholarship program. However, many of
the university's technical students encounter long waits for
visa approvals (due to processing times on Security Advisory
Opinions). Yang emphasized that the university attaches great
importance to collaborative research and is part of the Central
Government's long-term development plan in science and
technology. Zhejiang University also has a unique approach to
encourage patent filings and is one of the top universities in
China for filing patents. End Summary.

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2. (SBU) Yang emphasized his strong support for international
education, saying that he himself was among the first group of
Chinese students to study in the United States after the
Cultural Revolution. He attended Brown University in 1981 and
has maintained close ties with that university. The President
of Brown University visited Zhejiang University earlier in 2008.
Yang planned to travel to Indiana University, Northwestern and
University of Illinois in 2009 to meet regarding an
"entrepreneur" exchange program and hopes to visit California
Institute of Technology, where his son currently studies. Yang
also voiced appreciation for the Consulate's support and
collaboration, saying he hoped to attract more American
students. Currently there are 97 U.S. students studying at the

Anchored to the World through International Networks
--------------------------------------------- -------

3. (SBU) According to Yang, Zhejiang University works through
four international networks to bolster its international
cooperation. The first is the Association of Pacific Ring
Universities, a consortium of 35 universities from 16 economies
in the Pacific Rim aimed at fostering cooperation in teaching
and research. Besides Zhejiang University, there are five other
academic institutions in China that are members of the
association. In 2007, Zhejiang University hosted the meeting of
member universities' presidents and in 2009, it will host a
summit of the respective universities' business school deans.
Zhejiang University is also a member of the International
Association of Universities (IAU), a UNESCO-based, worldwide
association of higher education institutions focused on building
collaboration. Yang noted that he was recently chosen to be on
the IAU's administrative board. Zhejiang University is also
part of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), which supports
innovation in research, and education through collaboration,
exchanges and eLearning. To augment its business program, the
university is also part of an "entrepreneur" network.

4. (SBU) In addition to working through established
international networks, Zhejiang University has also signed
agreements with 140 individual universities around the world on
cooperative exchange. Yang further explained that the
university has three levels of international contacts: the
university-level (official programs through the four networks),
the institutional-level (exchanges at the department level) and
individual-level (for development of teaching faculty). The
university is striving to systematize each type of international
exchange into one overarching program.

3-S Strategy

5. (SBU) To ensure its students have a full range of
international opportunities, Zhejiang University pursues a "3-S"
strategy, which includes a summer program, a "sandwich" program
and a scholarship program. Yang explained that in 2008,
approximately 900 Zhejiang University's undergraduates went
either to the United States or United Kingdom to study for the
summer. Yang hoped this number would increase to 20 percent
within the next few years. Under the program, half of the
students' expenses are covered by the university and the other
half by the student. The "sandwich" program combines studying

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in Zhejiang University as well as abroad through a "4 plus 1
program," meaning 4 years of study in Zhejiang University for a
BA degree, and 1 year abroad for an MA degree. The "4 plus 1
plus 3 program" means 4 years in Zhejiang University for a BA,
then 1 year abroad for an MA and 3 years back in China for a
PhD. The scholarship program entails the university sponsoring
roughly 150 students annually to study abroad. In addition, the
university regularly sends abroad about ten percent of its 1,600
PhD students under a joint supervision program with exchange
universities. Some students even receive their degrees from the
hosting university abroad.

Collaborative Research and Innovation

6. (SBU) Responding to a question on collaborative research,
Yang said the university places a "large emphasis" on
collaborative research, particularly in the environmental
fields. The university is part of the Central Government's long
term development plan in science and technology. All five of
Zhejiang University's schools are participating in
government-sponsored research on 16 subjects, including water
pollution, emissions, and energy consumption, inter alia. The
Central Government has provided RMB 300 million (USD 44 million)
to fund the research. To further its research in these areas,
Zhejiang University has established a "science bridge," a
collaboration program with the University of Nottingham in the
UK. Yang also claimed the university is number one in
technology transfer and holds the most patents among China's
universities. The university actively encourages faculty and
students to file patents, and in 2007, the university was
granted over 1,000 patents. According to Yang, the university
jointly owns the patent, and in conjunction with the rights
holder, actively searches for investors to help commercialize
the patent. If the patent development is successful, the
university collects one third of the profits. (Comment: The
concept of joint ownership of the patent is unique among Chinese
universities and serves to promote the filing of patents by the
inventor. This is likely one of the reasons why Zhejiang
University is among the top universities for patent filings.
End comment.)

Issues with U.S. Visas

7. (SBU) In discussing the university's exchange programs, Yang
noted that many of the students and faculty engaged in fields
such as engineering, chemistry, biology encounter visa problems
when going to study in the United States. Many end up waiting
for up to 8 months for approval, he claimed, due to stateside
name check requirements prior to visa issuance by the Consulate.
Yang said that this delay disrupts the exchanges and hoped the
Consulate could resolve the issue. (Note: Current waiting time
for a security advisory opinion at the Consulate is roughly 8
weeks and growing.)

Background on Zhejiang University

8. (U) Known as the "Cambridge of the East," Zhejiang
University has five separate campuses in Zhejiang Province's
capital of Hangzhou. Beginning as Quishi Academy in 1897,
Zhejiang University has weathered the political turmoil of
twentieth century China and emerged as one of the nation's
largest and most respected comprehensive universities. As
theories of tertiary education management changed in China over
the past 100 years, Zhejiang University was alternatively split
off into different universities and recombined back into a
single institution several times. Finally, however, in 1998,
the original Zhejiang University merged with Hangzhou
University, Zhejiang Agricultural University, and Zhejiang
Medical University to form the institution that exists today.

9. (U) Under the direct administration of China's Ministry of
Education, Zhejiang University is a key comprehensive university
whose fields of study cover eleven branches of learning, namely
philosophy, literature, history, education, science, economics,
law, management, engineering, agriculture and medicine. The
university now has 112 majors for undergraduate studies, and it
is entitled to confer masters degrees in 317 programs and
doctoral degrees in 283 programs. Under its administration
there are 14 National Key Laboratories, 2 National Engineering
Research Centers and 3 National Engineering Technology Centers.
It also has established 35 specialties and 43 post-doctor
stations. The university's six campuses are home to a total of
42,278 students, including 26,504 undergraduates, 10,780

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postgraduates working for master's degrees and 4,994 Ph.D.
candidates. Supporting the students are a total of 8,464
faculty and staff members - including 13 members of the Chinese
Academy of Sciences, 13 members of the Chinese Academy of
Engineering, 873 professors and 1,296 associate professors.

10. (U) Zhejiang University has a reputation as a world-class
research center, with 12 national key laboratories, seven
national research centers, and over 250 other research
institutes, the university is a major contributor to scientific
progress of all kinds. Some of the more notable research
centers include the James D. Watson Institute of Genome
Sciences, the Research Center of Intelligent Transportation
Systems, and the National Engineering Research Center for Coal
Water Slurry.

11. (U) Zhejiang University is a major partner with several
universities in the United States - the most prominent partners
include Cornell University, UCLA, UC Davis, Indiana University,
the University of Washington, North Carolina State University,
California State University at Chico, and Purdue University.

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