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  • Home > News > Details
    Pharmaceutical tycoon's college challenge

    The Tiens team visits the Data Science Institute of the Imperial College in London in November. Professor Guo Yike (third from right) introduces the latest big data project to the team. Provided to China Daily

    To celebrate the pharmaceutical company's 20th anniversary, they traveled to Nice, where on the beachfront they stood in formation to spell out the sentence "Tiens' dream is Nice in the Cote d'Azur", which Guinness World Records recognized as the "longest human-made phrase".

    Recently a Tiens Group delegation visited Britain - not for tourism but to discuss possible collaboration with a number of universities and educational institutions.

    Tiens Group, whose headquarters are in Tianjin, is a multinational direct-sales company operating businesses across biotechnology, health management, e-commerce, hotels and education. It was founded in 1995 by Li Jinyuan.

    Li, 57, chairman of the conglomerate, says the company is building a university in China that is expected to collaborate with British universities such as the University of Cambridge.

    "Building a university is my dream," Li says. "We plan to build an international university that is likely to take 30,000 students."

    Tiens University will be located in the Wuqing development zone of Tianjin. It will be based on Tianjin Tianshi College, a private school that Li founded in 2008 and that focuses on undergraduate education and higher vocational education.

    For the construction of the new university, Li says, "we will invest 10 billion yuan ($1.56 billion; 1.47 billion) for the first phase", which will cover 3.2 square kilometers and is expected to be completed by 2017.

    Li attaches great importance to well-known British universities, saying: "We plan to work with overseas universities and cultivate talent together."

    Possible collaborative projects include an equestrian training center, student exchange and student boarding with selected international universities and arranging international universities to take responsibility for one of the major areas at Tiens University in China, Li says.

    Li was ranked 24th on the Hurun China rich list last year, with a personal fortune put at 35 billion yuan ($5.6 billion). He was on Forbes' 2011 list of the world's billionaires.

    The Tiens team visited the British Horseracing Authority and British Racing School to discuss setting up a horse-racing training center and horse-racing school in China.

    Duncan Gregory, operations director of the British Racing School, says the Tiens team is impressive.

    "They outlined a sort of training hub in China which potentially allowed anybody who wanted to join to be drawn in. A joint venture with China will be an accurate next step for our school."

    At the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, UK, the principal accepted Li's invitation to visit Tiens University in China in mid-December to further discuss collaboration between the two institutions.

    The team also visited the Data Science Institute of Imperial College London and was welcomed by Professor Guo Yike, the founding director of the institute. Guo says there is a possibility of collaboration within the product development sector, though this is not confirmed.

    "Tiens University plans to provide 50 undergraduate degrees covering the major areas of agriculture, art and design, business, engineering, information technology, liberal arts, medical sciences, and science," Li says.

    Li says the university will accept enrolments from students anywhere in the world. Academic staff will also be recruited globally.

    Contact the writers through zhangchunyan@chinadaily.com.cn

    (China Daily European Weekly 11/27/2015 page20)

    © Copyright 2017 Invest in Wuqing
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