Shenzhen University Town (UTSZ) was founded in 2001. It is a vitally strategic step for Shenzhen CCP Party Committee and Shenzhen Municipal Government to seize the highland of strategically new industry, to mitigate the disadvantages of the city’s fundamental researches and to promote the speedy development of the city’s higher education. It is the only university community authorized by Ministry of Education and co-constructed by a local government and several China’s top universities to nurture full-time postgraduates. Now there are Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School, Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University and Harbin Institute of Technology Shenzhen Graduate School in the community.
Compared with other fifty more university towns, Shenzhen University Town only has area of 1.5 square kilometers but it converges with Shenzhen on research of strategically new industries and on the idea of transforming the mode of economic development. It has achieved goals of industrializing research findings, nurturing high-end intellects and conducting frontier researches. UTSZ won its fame by its high quality in education and research so that it has become a typical example of “Shenzhen Quality”.
UTSZ is the city’s most important source of innovation. Now it owns one Shenzhen branch of national key lab, two national engineering research centers, one engineering research center of Ministry of Education, one key lab of Guangdong Province and ten municipal key labs. Nine national level key labs are in the process of planning or construction, among which two have entered the nursing phase of national key labs. The three schools have undertaken totally 1,351 scientific research tasks from the State, Guangdong Province and Shenzhen Municipality. A total of 266 research findings have been granted patents. The breakthroughs in scientific researches by UTSZ have done an in-advance preparation for the city’s large scale industrial upgrading in the future and a new wave of development driven by strategically new industries.
UTSZ is a magnet for best intellects for Shenzhen. In the past ten years, Shenzhen Municipality built up this community of graduate schools with an investment of less than 1.8 billion RMB in its infrastructure construction. The investment is just barely enough to cover the infrastructure cost for building a higher education institution. UTSZ has become a nurturing base with full divisions of disciplines for high level intellects. At present, there are 22 academicians working or leading scientific researches, seven Cheung Kong Scholars and six experts of the “National One Thousand Intellects Program” on campus. There are 47 majors for master candidates and 42 majors for PhD candidates. University Town is also the biggest postdoctoral centre in Shenzhen. It filled the gap of the city’s high level and top intellects. In 2013, there were 8,400 full-time graduate students enrolled, among which 1,100 were PhD candidates and 7,100 were master degree candidates, accounting to 60% of the aggregate number of full-time graduates of Shenzhen. To reckon with the average annual growth rate of graduate students, Shenzhen hasmet the target sixteen years ahead. Totally, UTSZ has nurtured more than 21,000 full-time graduate students, among which 40% live and work in Shenzhen.
UTSZ is the most international “intellectual highland” of Shenzhen. It not only has almost 10,000 faculty and graduate students on campus but also attract more than twenty overseas top universities like Harvard University and University of California for educational cooperation. It also engages well-known professors and Nobel Prize winners to teach and give lectures to its students. In this way it uses global education resources to serve the city’s development. Students from 24 countries and areas are studying here. Each school explores its education system in line with international norms. Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School innovated the nurturing mode of high-end and international intellects by adopting dual master’s degree education to train its students to be legal professionals with a U.S. J.D. curriculum. UTSZ has trained nearly 500 overseas students. It uses English written original textbooks for students. Moreover, it adopted the internationally popular credit system which enables the mutual recognition and course sharing among the schools and world famous universities. This prepares high-end intellects for establishing Shenzhen as an international metropolis. The education management here is conducted with generally accepted mode of administration. Every year many large-scale international academic conferences are held here.