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SCU Holds Tenth German-Chinese Professor Forum
On March 30th, Sichuan University and the Society for German Professors of Chinese Origin – Gesellschaft für Deutsche Professoren Chinesischer Herkunft (GDPCH) – jointly hosted the Tenth German-Chinese Professor Forum at SCU. This year’s participants included: President of Sichuan University and Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Li Yanrong; Academician Xie Heping of SCU: Deputy Consul General of the German Consulate General in Chengdu, Alexander Malcolm Fowles; Vice President of Research and Technology Transfer of Clausthal University of Technology, Alfons Esderts; Director of the Asia Section of the German Academic Exchange Service, Sigrid Löns-Jören; President of the Society for German Professors of Chinese Origin (GDPCH), Gu Xuewu; and Vice President of the GDPCH, Meng Liqiu, and several other experts and scholars from over ten higher education and research institutions in Germany and China. The opening ceremony of the forum was chaired by SCU Vice President Yan Shijing.
Welcoming the delegates at the the opening ceremony, SCU President Li Yanrong noted that in the course of its twelve-year history, the GDPCH has brought together a group of outstanding (ethnic) Chinese professors, who work at German universities and have played an invaluable role in educational and scientific cooperation between China and Germany. First held in 2009, the German-Chinese Professor Forum has served as an important platform for Sino-German academic exchange and scientific research development. Sichuan University deeply values its international cooperation, as Li emphasized; SCU’s comprehensive collaboration with Clausthal University of Technology is one of many successful cases in the university’s ongoing promotion of high-end internationalization. This year’s forum, he went on, underscored the university’s commitment to advancing international collaboration and exchange and accelerating efforts toward building a world-class university.
Addressing the forum, the Deputy Consul General of the German Consulate General in Chengdu, Alexander Malcolm Fowles, pointed out that there is indeed much common ground between the German and Chinese cultures and that the two countries share a number of important concerns. Fowles spoke confidently of the potential of forums such as these to strengthen collaborative scientific research, expand opportunities for educational exchanges and face shared challenges with an attitude of openness and tolerance.
In his speech, the President of the Society for German Professors of Chinese Origin, Gu Xuewu, highlighted the society’s ongoing increase in membership, an indication that the influence of Chinese scholars in scientific circles worldwide is continually on the rise. Gu values the annual forum as a platform for international scientific exchange and as a bridge of collaboration between German and Chinese academics.
The Vice President of the GDPCH, Meng Liqiu, introduced the society’s inaugural honorary members, Academician Li Peigen and Academician Xie Heping, outlining the substantive contributions of each scholar to Sino-German educational and scientific cooperation and exchange.
Following their introductions, Gu Xuewu presented Li Peigen and Xie Heping with certificates of honorary membership.

Academician Xie then spoke on the significance of the forum as a promoter of scholarly exchange and friendly relations between China and Germany. Xie emphasized the solid basis for partnership that already exists and promises to support further bilateral cooperation in the areas of energy, manufacturing and related fields. To date, SCU has built a number of meaningful partnerships with institutions of higher education in Germany, including Clausthal University of Technology. Confident of the continued advocacy of the GDPCH, Xie Heping foresees more fruitful results and joint research accomplishments in years to come.
In his keynote speech on “The Question of Innovation,” Li Peigen suggested that in order to advance national innovation, enterprises should devote themselves to confronting the great challenges facing humanity by redefining the boundaries of industry and production capabilities and emphasizing “ building block-style” innovation along with ecological innovation; government should exert its efforts toward advancing cutting-edge innovation and accelerating the pace of development; universities should implement education reforms and focus on cultivating creativity and critical thinking skills among their students.
During the forum, Alfons Esderts, Sigrid Löns-Jören, Professor Ma Xiaojuan of the FOM Essen, and Professor Zhang Jianwei of the University of Hamburg along with several other experts and scholars from China and Germany gave talks on topics ranging from “Challenges and Prospects in Sino-German Higher Education Cooperation” to “Energy and Environment” and AI.
The Society for German Professors of Chinese Origin was established in Berlin in 2006 and received official recognition as a legal body in Bonn in February 2007. From its early beginnings with only 12 members, the society has steadily grown to an influential voice in Sino-German academic exchange, now counting more than 50 members. The society founded the German-Chinese Professor Forum, which is held annually and alternately organized by German and Chinese host institutions.

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