The University of Michigan – Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute (UM-SJTU JI, JI hereafter) has been honored with the First Prize of China’s National Teaching Achievement Award in 2022 for its innovative approach to talent cultivation and alignment with national strategic priorities.  The award for the JI-led project titled “Focusing on national strategic needs, Introducing and exploring what can be used, and reshaping a new model for international innovative talent cultivation” with key contributors including Founding Dean Jun Ni, Chairman of the JI Council Ming Yang, and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education Gang Zheng, was announced by the Ministry of Education recently. It is the second time that JI has won the national award, following its previous win in 2010.

Established in 2006 through a collaboration between Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the University of Michigan, JI has distinguished itself by drawing inspiration from world-renowned institutions such as UM, MIT, and Stanford. Abiding by the philosophy of “Internationalization, Interdisciplinarity, Innovation and Quality”, it has always adhered to the principle of putting students first and is committed to fostering innovative future leaders with global visions. “Looking ahead, we must engage with the world and keep pace with the times, be firmly confident and unwavering, with our heads held high, and strive to build JI into a world’s best engineering institute, making greater contributions to the progress of human civilization and global development,” said Dean Chien-Pin Chen while addressing the JI 17th anniversary event in April.

Over the past 17 years, JI has won many awards for higher education, including the Model of International Education in Shanghai, the Model of China’s Higher Education, and the prestigious Andrew Heiskell Award. The renowned “JI Model” has played a pivotal role in the institute’s success. This model embodies the harmonious integration of introducing innovative ideas from abroad and developing homegrown innovations. It has led to significant advancements in talent cultivation, evolving from the integration of imported ideas to a more self-directed and cross-innovative approach, and now stands at the forefront of future-oriented collaborative education.

JI’s three undergraduate majors including Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering have all been selected by the Ministry of Education as first-class undergraduate programs at the national level. The talent cultivation system has also obtained accreditation from the US-based Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). So far, the institute has nurtured more than 3,800 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral graduates, with over 50 alumni securing teaching positions at esteemed international universities, and more than 10 alumni being selected for prestigious lists such as Forbes’ Elite List and Hurun’s Young Entrepreneurs List.