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New research university gets first president | Updated: 2018-04-19 16:39

Shi Yigong, a former Princeton molecular biology professor, has become the first president of Westlake University, China's first private university aimed at cultivating high-level talent in advanced technology and scientific research.

University trustees elected Shi, also president of the Westlake Institute for Advanced Study, as president together with vice-presidents Xu Tian and Qiu Min on Monday.

It also elected physicist and Nobel laureate Yang Zhenning as honorary director of the board of trustees at the university in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province.

The 21-member board of trustees includes Pan Jianwei, a leading quantum scientist, and neurobiologist Rao Yi, former dean of Peking University's School of Life Sciences.

"It is my compelling obligation to do a good job as president of Westlake University. I'm prepared to spare no efforts to make it an institution of national pride on the global higher education stage," Shi said.

The trustee's meeting also approved the budget and development plan for the university in 2018.

Approved by the Ministry of Education this month, Westlake University is a new type of research-oriented university, focusing on basic and advanced scientific and technological research.

It was launched by the Hangzhou Westlake Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization for higher education and advanced academic research.

Before it acquires the rights to grant doctoral degrees, Westlake University is recruiting and training doctoral students in association with Fudan and Zhejiang universities.

The first 19 PhD candidates were enrolled in September, with 130 more to be recruited this year.

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