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Exploring the Challenges for Growth – LSE Director visits China

Professor Craig CalhounProfessor Craig Calhoun made his first visit to China, as LSE Director, on a three day trip to Beijing and Shanghai from 20-22 March.

The purpose of the visit was for the LSE Director to engage with Chinese academics, policy-makers, alumni, students and donors to get a sense of their thinking on social sciences in China, with a specific focus on critical issues that will shape the country’s future development, including on foreign policy, health and social care, education, environment, and urbanisation.

In Beijing, Professor Calhoun visited Peking University and met with his counterpart, and PKU faculty engaged in academic programmes with LSE counterparts from the National School of Development, School of International Studies, School of Government, Centre for European Studies, and the Office of Social Sciences. The Director also delivered a public lecture to faculty and students titled Why Nations (Still) Matter.

China FlagIn meetings with senior officials at the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), where he was hosted by Deputy Governor, Li Dongrong, Professor Calhoun exchanged ideas on the financial challenges for the Bank on urbanisation and sustainable development. LSE will work with the PBoC on a Green Finance project, which will see officials taking short courses at LSE, and also engaging on research on carbon trading and related subjects.

The Director also signed off on an extension to the Chevening Visiting Fellows programme with the International Department of Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (ID-CPC). First Vice Minister of ID-CPC, Chen Fengxiang remarked on the need for more officials to have education and training overseas. LSE IDEAS hosts the ID-CPC officials, along with officials from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on a similar programme.

The huge challenge on health reforms in China were discussed with Vice Minister for Health and President of China Hospitals Association, Huang Jiefu. LSE Health and Social Care will continue to further their programmes with China, having launched a Visiting Scholars programme in 2012, which will be extended in 2013, with the plan for further engagement with health researchers and policy-makers in China.

In Shanghai, Professor Calhoun visited Fudan University, where he signed off on a summer language programme with Fudan University President Yang Yuliang. Building on the initial 2012 programme, LSE students will have the opportunity to undertake intensive Mandarin studies at Fudan University over a five to eight week period during the summer vacation. In return, Fudan University students will have the opportunity to partake in a tailored English language programme at LSE. These programmes are administered by the LSE Language Centre.

Professor Calhoun also delivered his lecture on Why Nations (Still) Matter to students and faculty at Fudan University, before going on to discuss with Fudan faculty on the recent changes at the university to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration on major development issues for China – urbanisation, health and social care, environmental protection and an ageing society. In his meeting with the Vice Mayor of Shanghai, Shen Xiaomin, Professor Calhoun exchanged ideas on the internationalisation of education and the Shanghai municipal government’s challenges on city development and planning, and the pressures for access to affordable housing, education and healthcare.

The LSE Director also met with many of LSE’s senior and more recent graduates living and working in China. He delivered lectures to large LSE alumni gatherings in Beijing and Shanghai on What Threatens Global Capitalism Now?


27 March 2013