Update from the UChicago Center in Beijing

An End-of-Year update from Faculty Director Dali Yang

The below note was sent from the UChicago Center in Beijing. The Alumni Club of Beijing has a great history of successful collaboration with the Center and joins Prof. Yang in sharing best wishes for the holidays and a happy New Year!

 Dear Colleagues and Friends:

It has been a lively summer and autumn at the Center in Beijing. By the end of the first two quarters of this academic year, nearly 2500 students, faculty members, alumni and visitors will have participated in Center in Beijing conferences and events. By now you may have already seen our 2016-17 Call for Proposals; I hope you will consider applying.

Events at the Center
Let me take this opportunity to update you on what has been happening at the Center since the summer quarter began. In addition to our student programs, the center hosted 38 Summer & Autumn quarter events, large and small, including conferences and workshops, public lectures, receptions and alumni activities. Among the conferences were a number that have been held on an annual basis and have given UChicago much visibility in the respective disciplines here in China. Such regular annual collaborations serve to build and strengthen professional relationships as well as to enhance UChicago’s impact in their specific fields. We are also pleased to have hosted a number of new programs at the Center, allowing a new set of faculty and local institutions to collaborate and share research findings.

An event of particular note this past summer was the University of Chicago 2015 China Summit, held as a way to celebrate 125 years of inquiry and impact of the University. President Zimmer gave the opening address, and throughout the day over 200 participating alumni had the opportunity to participate in forums discussing topics such as entrepreneurship, the healthcare industry, capital markets, cultural investment and education.

Student Programs
More than 90 students participated in University-led credit and noncredit programs, or performed independent thesis research. Programs included:

  • The Summer Intensive Chinese Language Program, led by Dr. Youqin Wang and Mr. Fangpei Cai, was taught at four levels. The eight-week program allows students to complete an entire year’s worth of UChicago Chinese language study.
  • Students who participated in the Summer Metcalf Research Internship Program in Biology, led by Prof. Chuan He, worked in research laboratories at Peking University. In the Summer Metcalf Research Internship Program in Public Policy, which I have led, students conducted research into various aspects of China’s environmental governance. Both programs lasted for ten weeks, gave students real life experience in data collection and analysis and provided valuable practice in writing up results.
  • Professors Laura Letinsky and Geof Oppenheimer led a 10-day intensive exploration of the contemporary art world in Beijing for MFA students in the Department of Visual Arts.
  • The Wanxiang Ambassador Fellows summer internship program for undergraduate students is in its third year. The program, held primarily at Wanxiang’s headquarters in Hangzhou, receives planning and logistical support from the Beijing Center. 
  • College students in the East Asian Civilizations study abroad program arrived in late September for the Autumn Quarter, in which they complete three UChicago courses as well as a quarter of Chinese language. 
  • For the third year, UChicago medical residents did a two-week residency rotation at Peking Union Medical College Hospital.

In addition, a regular stream of graduate students spent time at the Center, some serving as teaching assistants, others doing independent thesis research, and still others studying at local universities while using the Center as a home base.

Other UChicago Visits to China
The visits of university faculty and leadership provided the opportunity and impetus for discussions on various exchanges and initiatives. In addition to speaking at the Alumni Summit, President Zimmer met with leaders of some of China’s top universities and research institutions and connected with our alumni community. While in Beijing to speak at the UChicago-PKU Conference on Novel Quantum States of Matter, Provost Eric Isaacs also reached out to our partner institutions in Beijing. Center in Beijing staff also organized meetings in Beijing, Jinan, Shanghai, and Hangzhou for UChicago staff from Alumni Relations & Development, College Admissions, Career Advancement, the Booth School of Business, the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, and the Harris School of Public Policy.

For regular updates on Beijing Center news, you may check our website at www.uchicago.cn, or follow us on WeChat at uchicago_cib or on Twitter @uchicagobeijing

We hope to see you in Beijing in 2016 – our Center team, led by Beth Bader, Ji Yuan, and Xueming Liang are always delighted to see you come through.

With best wishes for the holidays and the coming New Year,


Dali Yang
William C. Reavis Professor of Political Science
Faculty Director, The Center in Beijing
The University of Chicago


Staff Liaison
Michael K. O'Malley, AM'14
+1 773 834 4026