Office of Global Engagement

Brown president visits leading Chinese universities in Beijing and Shanghai

March 29, 2016


Christina Paxson urges international collaboration across the disciplines to develop solutions to climate change, public health issues and other complex global challenges.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University President Christina H. Paxson — a higher education leader, economist and public health expert — arrived in Beijing yesterday, launching a weeklong visit to China to explore opportunities for collaboration and knowledge exchange, and to create awareness of Brown’s role as an institution committed to addressing the world’s most pressing challenges through integrative scholarship.

During the trip, Paxson will meet with education leaders and government officials to gain perspective from colleagues and experts in China and to explore ways to collectively share knowledge across borders.

Today, she delivered a presentation titled “Knowledge Without Borders: University Collaboration in a Global Era” as part of Tsinghua University’s Global Vision Lecture Series. Paxson noted that to make progress toward solving complex global challenges — climate change and public health issues, for example — international partnerships are vital.

“Today, we find ourselves at a pivotal moment in time, in the sense that the welfare of all nations and peoples truly hangs in the balance,” Paxson said. “It is a moment that calls for collaboration around knowledge keyed to the global good and directed at solutions to climate change, population health, alternative energy, and so many other complex challenges. It is my hope that such collaboration is part of the ‘Chinese Dream.’ I can promise you that it is part of Brown’s dream. And without question, it is part of a global dream.”

On Friday, April 1, Paxson will visit Fudan University in Shanghai to speak about the importance of global university engagement in opening new avenues for world-changing scholarship. Her presentation at Fudan is titled “Universities: Pathways to Knowledge and Our Global Future.”

Paxson will also meet with Brown University alumni/ae and parents in both Beijing and Shanghai. Among others, she will visit Dr. Yang Wei, a 1985 graduate of Brown’s Ph.D. program in engineering, who currently leads the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

The trip marks Paxson’s fourth visit to China during her Brown presidency. In December 2013, she visited Hong Kong to share details on Building on Distinction, the University’s strategic plan unveiled earlier that fall, and to outline plans for the China Initiative, an interdisciplinary hub for the study of modern China housed at Brown’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. She was joined in that announcement by Edward Steinfeld, who directs the China Initiative, serves as the Howard R. Swearer Director of the Watson Institute and is accompanying Paxson on this week’s trip to Beijing and Shanghai as well.

Building on Distinction articulates Brown’s commitment to research and education that integrate knowledge from diverse disciplines to address issues of critical importance globally — sustaining life on Earth, for example, and using science and technology to improve lives. This week’s trip offers the opportunity to learn from academic leaders in China who are working to solve these same issues.

Paxson also visited Hong Kong in 2014, as part of the University’s 250th anniversary celebration, and in 2012.


March 28, 2016 Contact: Brian E. Clark 401-863-1638
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