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LIAO Li: Innovate Teaching and Learning, Advance Academic and Research | 40 Years of Excellence

Time: 2021-04-26 16:19 Print

From 1981 to 2021,

over the 40 years of development,

Tsinghua PBCSF calls for rigorous thinking

and becomes a flagship institution in financial education.

From the Graduate School of the central bank 

to Tsinghua PBCSF,

we strive for excellence

and embrace the world.

Looking past at the 40 years of development, Tsinghua PBCSF is always taking the lead in financial education. In the new era of development, how will Tsinghua PBCSF carry on its mission of “leading finance education and research for national and global prosperity”? Executive Associate Dean Liao Li shares his insights:

Q: "Integration of academic and practice" is one of the key characteristics and advantages of PBCSF. Besides the engagement of adjunct professors and industry supervisors, how is PBCSF going to build a high-level international faculty team?

Liao: In order to form a solid academic foundation, we make clear and work out specific strategy for full-time faculty recruitment. We have been holding recruitment activities at top international academic meetings since 2012. The outstanding applicants recognize our concept and have brought vitality to our faculty team. 

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Recruitment Interviews at ASSA Annual Meeting

So far, we have built a faculty team of 23 full-time faculty, 16 adjunct professors, 19 special-term professors, 2 visiting scholars and 145 industry supervisors, who have made fruitful academic achievements in academic research. Among the full time faculty, 70 papers were published in or accepted by A+ and A- top economic and financial journals internationally, and 50 papers were published in A+ class journals domestically, with an average of 7.1 papers per faculty, making PBCSF a top business school in Asia.

Q: What are the key concepts in the School's discipline and research development?

Liao Li: With the concentration on macro-finance, corporate finance and asset pricing, we are building key subject studies and promoting the study of development of behavioral finance, financial technology and international finance. Meanwhile, we are enhancing interdisciplinary development, strengthen the integration of finance studies with science and engineering, and focus on the research and exploration in the fields integrating new technologies and finance, including big data, AI and blockchain.

We encourage the study of China's issues encountered in its process of reform and development. In regard to research, we have established 2 university-level scientific think tank and research institute - National Institute of Financial Research (NIFR), Tsinghua University, and Institute for Fintech Research (IFR), Tsinghua University. 33 research centers were set up to enhance academic and policy research. 

In terms of academic exchanges, we have initiated and organized many high-level academic conferences, including China Financial Research Conference, China Forum of Macroeconomic Research and China Fintech Research Conference, in an effort to promote the in-depth study and exploration of China's financial issues.

Q: The Cornell-Tsinghua Dual Degree Finance MBA Program is the first finance MBA program in mainland China in cooperation with an Ivy League school. Can you brief on the program?

Liao Li: China has maintained high-speed economic growth since the beginning of the century, and has become the world's second largest economy after the US. Meanwhile China's finance industry requires a large number of inter-disciplinary professionals with global vision. We hope to achieve breakthroughs in educational international cooperation. Through mutual effort, the Cornell-Tsinghua Dual Degree Finance MBA Program was finally launched in the spring of 2015.

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(MBA Students in Cornell)

For Tsinghua PBCSF, this program is both a "window" and a "platform". The close communication, exchanges and visits allow PBCSF students to gain valuable insights into the teaching and research mechanism of world-class business schools. We are constantly exploring innovations in the program, revising the cultivation plan and improving the curriculum. In the past few years, the number of enrolled students has increased by 100%.

Q: Besides the FMBA program, what are other achievements in the School’s recent international development?

Liao Li: In order to establish a more diversified talent training system, we have expanded our overseas exchange and internship programs, provide funding support for overseas exchanges, and explore short-term overseas programs in Europe, America and Asia. In response to the Belt and Road Initiative of China, we have successfully establish high-level teaching programs, including the B&R EMBA Program for Southeast Asia, Training for Financial Leaders of Developing Countries, and the class of the Media Program for B&R Countries, to cultivate high-end financial professionals and enhance the international reputation of Tsinghua PBCSF.

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(Left: Tsinghua PBCSF Global Finance Forum; right: China Financial Research Conference)

In addition, we have many high-level academic conferences, including Tsinghua PBCSF Global Finance Forum, China Financial Research Conference, financial policy seminars organized with INSEAD and National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School, and seminars organized with the Bank of Canada and the University of Toronto.

Since 2013, we have held a series of academic seminars regularly, which have attracted many overseas first-rate financial scholars, contributing to an international academic and cultural atmosphere that is open, inclusive and innovative.

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(Academic Seminars)

This year, we will hold the first Global Economic Governance Forum to contribute to the global financial communication. In addition, in order to further improve the educational quality and management level of Tsinghua PBCSF and enhance its international influence, we are in the process of applying AACSB accreditation, which is expected in 2025.

Q: The new part-time program Master of Sci-Tech and Finance has attracted wide attention. What is the purpose of this program? 

Liao Li: It is the first master's program in China that focuses on the integration of scientific innovation and finance. The first co-hort of students of the program will enter the university this fall. It is hoped that we will cultivate inter-disciplinary talent with both scientific and technological innovation capability and financial market expertise who are able to transform research into scientific achievements with global influence through this program. In fact, the program is a part of the PBC School of Finance's "Fintech Talent Cultivation System". Focusing on the needs of the transformation of scientific and technological achievements and the growth of science and technology innovation enterprises, PBC School of Finance has set up a complete cultivation system, including the Technology Transfer Master Program, the Tsinghua University China Entrepreneurs Training Camp, the Global Entrepreneur Leadership Program, Inno-Tech Entrepreneurship Program Leading Entrepreneurs and the Scienvest Program, as well as public welfare courses for science and technology innovation management and service.

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Q: The integration of online and offline education has become a trend in higher education development. What about PBC School of Finance's explorations in this regard?

Liao Li: This March, PBCSF launched its first online education program- "Professional Financial Management Program". It is an innovative way that allows the public to gain access to School’s financial education resource. More than 300 students enrolled for the first program. The students will study remotely online for four months including online learning, Q&A, homework, group project reports and examinations. It is the School’s latest exploration and innovation in online education. It is hoped that students can build a professional financial knowledge system through online learning and carry out rigorous financial study and thinking training.

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(Left: Tsinghua PBCSF Professional Financial Management Program; Right: Tsinghua PBCSF Online) 

We also upgraded the "Tsinghua PBCSF Online" platform to a one-stop learning platform to ensure teaching quality and class management. The Tsinghua PBCSF Online was opened in the early stage of the pandemic in early 2020 in China. After continuous outbreaks, it has grown into a comprehensive learning platform of Tsinghua PBCSF for promoting inclusive financial education from the initial public welfare learning program. 

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(Left: The Launching Ceremony of the Tsinghua University Project of Tongzhou Base for Financial Development and Talent Cultivation 

Right: Aerial view of Tongzhou Base) 

2021 is a remarkable year, which also marks the launching of the project of Tsinghua University Tongzhou Base for Financial Development and Education which will allow PBCSF to further carry on its mission.