China Expands Research Funding, Luring U.S. Scientists And Students

NPR.org | 11/27/2018 | Staff
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Tianjin, in northern China, is home to Tianjin University, an international research center that recently hired an American to lead its school of pharmaceutical science and technology. He recruits students from all over the world, he says, and the program's classes are taught in English.

In 2003, Jay Siegel was up for a new challenge. Siegel was a tenured professor of chemistry at the University of California, San Diego, but he took a job at the University of Zurich.

People - San - Diego - Paradise - Europe

"When I first moved, people said, 'Oh, you're crazy to leave San Diego; it's a paradise. Why would you go to Europe? Blah, blah blah,' "recalls Siegel. "And after 10 years people were saying, 'Oh, man, that was the smartest thing you ever did. Zurich is wonderful.' "

Then he told his friends he was moving to China. "And again, people said 'What? Are you crazy?' " Siegel says. But he thinks they'll soon realize he again made the smart choice.

Decade - China - Commitment - Research - Researchers

In the past decade or so, China has been expanding its commitment to scientific research, and it shows. Chinese researchers now produce more scientific publications than U.S. scientists do, and the global ratings of Chinese universities are rising.

Five years ago Siegel became dean of the school of pharmaceutical science and technology at Tianjin University. He says the university president recruited him to build an undergraduate program that would attract students from all over — not just China. Siegel says the program is taught entirely in English.

Bachelor - Degree - Bit - World - Siegel

"They get a bachelor's degree that is every bit recognized around the world" says Siegel. "Our graduates go on to do master's and Ph.D. degrees at Harvard, Princeton — at any of the universities around the world."

There's another aspect of getting a pharmaceutical science degree at Tianjin that Siegel expects students from throughout the world to find particularly attractive:...
(Excerpt) Read more at: NPR.org
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