Xiangming Chen, Distinguished Professor of Global Urban Studies and Sociology at Trinity College in Hartford (Connecticut), was a guest at Erkner where he gave an IRS seminar on 22nd October 2019. After a seminar on some of his current work on China’s Belt and Road Initiative and its impacts on the geographies of logistics and the development of selected cities, he kindly joined our research group for a spontaneous Erkner Encounter.
We not only talked about our individual ongoing projects, but also discussed some of our research groups’ recent publications on education cities and zones. Prof Chen set out his perspective on free trade zones worldwide and largely contributed with his expert knowledge on investigating economic interrelations and globalization processes in South East Asia. We then turned to taking a closer look at transnational higher education in China and exchanged thoughts on Suzhou Dushu Lake Higher Education Town. This large-scale education “town” hosts various foreign higher education institutions for teaching and research. Its development is closely connected to the evolution of Suzhou Industrial Park and the greater city region’s successful development, suggesting a possible link between higher education and human capital development.