Sussex and Zhejiang Gongshang University inaugurate 2nd cohort of students to the Sussex AI Joint Institute ZJSU
By: Louise Duthie
Last updated: Friday, 5 November 2021
In April 2020, the University of Sussex and Zhejiang Gongshang University (ZJSU) launched the Sussex Artificial Intelligence Institute Zhejiang Gongshang University -- the first of its kind in China.
On 20th October 2021, we were delighted to have held the 2nd inauguration ceremony for the Sussex Artificial Intelligence Institute which welcomed the new cohort of 300 undergraduate and postgraduate students beginning their courses in the 2021/22 academic year, bringing the total number to approximately 600 students currently studying at the Joint Institute.
The event was held in the theatre of Zhejiang Gongshang University (ZJSU) in China with Sussex colleagues joining remotely.Vice Chancellor Adam Tickell welcomed the new students, highlighting that they are a key part of the Sussex community and that the university alongside our counterparts at ZJSU are committed to ensuring that the Joint AI Institute will promote the same quality, breadth and diversity of the education we offer our students based on our Falmer campus. The Vice-Chancellor was joined by Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof. Richard Follett, Prof. Ian Wakeman, Prof. Maziar Nekovee, Sussex’s teaching staff for the Joint AI Institute, and colleagues from the Sussex Global Engagement team.
The ceremony began with a video reflecting the experience of the previous year’s running of the Joint AI Institute during the unprecedented times of the Covid-19 pandemic. This demonstrated the resilience and strength that has been required over the past 12 months and how the joint institute has succeeded despite these challenges which is reflected in the student results and successful recruitment rates. The results from our first cohort of students have exceeded all expectations and has really highlighted the quality of the education being taught at the joint institute. Another testament to our strong commitment to delivering high quality TNE programmes is that the university has joined the new QAA TNE-QE programme. We are pleased to be being part of this scheme and hope to build on the success of this TNE partnership with ZJSU.
The inauguration showcased how TNE programmes can contribute to a tighter relationship and deepening understanding between the two universities in partnership. At the ceremony, our International Strategy was shared with our student and colleagues from the Joint Institute, which was a great opportunity to promote Sussex and engage with our stakeholders and to demonstrate our shared vision of internationalisation and collaboration.
The event also provided an excellent stage for cultural exchange. The audience was amazed by the traditional Chinese dance Tang Gong Ye Yan (Night Banquet in Tang Dynasty Palace) performed by the students from ZJSU’s art troupe, which was a fabulous combination of the ancient Chinese art and modern technology. Towards the end of the ceremony, a choir consisting of students from the new cohort sang the Zhejiang Gongshang University anthem and Sussex by the Sea as a tribute to the enduring partnership despite the distance between the two universities.
Sussex is delighted to see how ambitious and passionate the new students are which could be seen through their interaction with Prof Ian Wakeman in a Q & A session, as well as in speeches delivered by the two representatives of the 2021 corhort of undergraduate and postgraduate students. We look forward to working together with ZJSU to provide our students with high-quality, unique educational experiences in the years to come.