A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development


The East China Normal University (ECNU) joined the Virtual Institute today, becoming the fifth university to represent the country in UNCTAD’s programme for academic cooperation.
Contact with the Vi date back to 2009, when ECNU’s Laike Yang participated in a workshop organized in Berlin in the framework of the capacity-building project on Economic Development Studies implemented by Vi core German member, the University of Applied Sciences - HTW Berlin. 
Yang also contributed to Vi South-South teaching activities by delivering a block of lectures on the Chinese economy at Vi member universities in Uganda and Tanzania in 2010. Membership discussions resumed earlier this year and quickly led to ECNU's Vi membership.
Founded in Shanghai in 1951, ECNU’s goal is to establish itself as an internationally renowned high-level research university, with a number of first-class disciplines.  It also attaches great importance to the internationalization of its development, and has established exchange and cooperative partnerships with more than 150 international universities and academic institutions. 
The Vi’s counterpart at ECNU will be the School of Finance and Statistics, in particular its Department of International Economics. The Department offers Bachelor’s and Master's degrees in international trade and international economics, a Master's degree in international business and a PhD in international economics. The main areas of research undertaken by the Department are trade in services, regional economic integration, China's foreign trade policy, trade and environment, and trade relations and conflicts.
The cooperation with the Vi will be coordinated by Yang, Dean of the Department of International Economics. Holder of a PhD in economics, he teaches courses on Chinese economy and Chinese foreign trade, as well as trade and environment, and international trade. His research focuses on trade, environment and climate change, Asian economic integration, and China-US trade relations. Among his most recent research papers are those dealing with the environmental impact of China's foreign trade, CO2 emissions embodied in China's trade, and trade and climate change. 
Yang will receive support from his colleague Hao Zhang, a PhD in Economics responsible for courses in international trade theory and in trade in services. Her research interests include trade in services, free trade agreements, and multilateral trade negotiations. 
ECNU envisages the possibility of contributing to the Vi network by hosting visiting scholars or post-graduate students, organizing workshops in related research areas, and offering guest teaching or co-teaching at Vi member universities. It may also provide some assistance with the development of graduate programmes. 
The university hopes that Vi membership will allow the sharing of information and experiences with other Vi members, and are also interested in developing exchange programmes and research cooperation.
For more information, visit ECNU's profile on the Vi website.