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Li Yining awarded honorary professorship of the University of Edinburgh

DEC . 22 2017
Peking University, Dec. 16, 2017: On December 8, 2017, Sir Timothy O'Shea, principal and vice-chancellor   of the University of Edinburgh, visited Peking University with a delegation and attended the Honorary Professorship Award Ceremony for Professor Li Yining by the University of Edinburgh. 

The ceremony was presided over by Teng Fei, deputy party secretary of the Guanghua School of Management. Wang Bo, vice president of Peking University, addressed the ceremony, extending a warm welcome to Sir Timothy O'Shea as well as the delegates and reviewing Professor Li Yining’s contributions to China’s economy. He remarked that the honorary professorship of the University of Edinburgh fully affirmed Li Yining's academic contributions since the 1980s. Peking University has always attached great importance to developing relationships with universities abroad. Wang Bo hopes that exchanges between Peking University and the University of Edinburgh will continue to develop.

Founded in 1583, the University of Edinburgh  has a tradition of academic excellence and boasts 23 Nobel Prize laureates. The University of Edinburgh Business School, founded in 1919, was one of the first schools in Europe to grant a bachelor's degree in Economics and Management.

Sir Timothy O'Shea praised Li Yining’s achievements in his speech. He remarked that Professor Li, as a world-renowned economist, made great contributions to China's economic reform—“Li's thought and suggestions on economic development helped improve the quality of life of the Chinese people and advance social development.” Li Yining proposed to reform the Chinese economy through the shareholding system in the 1980s. His theory later proved applicable, and has been widely accepted by theorists and policymakers. Li's theories and suggestions have supported China's reform and economic growth since its early years.

Sir Timothy O'Shea giving a speech

Considering Professor Li’s academic contributions, his influence on economic reform and education, as well as his efforts in strengthening collaboration between the Guanghua School of Management and the UE Business School, the University of Edinburgh decided to confer the honorary professorship on Professor Li Yining.

Group photo after the award ceremony

After the award ceremony, Professor Li Yining gave a report titled The Next Step for Chinese Economics—Based on the 19th CPC National Congress. Professor Li pointed out that China’s goal is to achieve mutually beneficial economic developments rather than wealth disparities. Combined with his own experiences, Professor Li reviewed the process of China’s economic developments through different historical periods, from having a planned economy to the Reform and Opening-Up, and from the land contract system to the reform of shareholding and property rights. He clarified the circumstances of our present economy and provided his insights regarding the new methods and ideas being applied to China’s economic growth in the new era. Professor Li stressed that unless we pay more attention to quality and returns rather than speed alone, resources would be exploited excessively. As for the ongoing reform process, he offered three pieces of advice: Firstly, blind comparisons between cities or countries should be avoided. New development ideas should be adopted highlighting quality rather than the speed of economic growth. The real economy should play a significant part in growth. Secondly, our agricultural sectors should also promote supply-side reforms. Thirdly, innovation should be brought into full play in economic development.

Professor Li Yining giving a report

Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management signed a memorandum of cooperation with the University of Edinburgh Business School in 2014, carrying out student exchanges and research collaboration, especially in the field of carbon reduction.  In this visit, the cooperation agreement was renewed by a University of Edinburgh visiting delegation led by Professor Ian Clarke, Dean of the University of Edinburgh Business School. Both schools hope to further the already successful collaboration efforts. Mo Shujun, Guanghua School of Management assistant to the dean, hosted the signing ceremony. Teng Fei, Professor Lei Ming, and associate professors Wang Ziming and Wang Chong also attended the ceremony on behalf of Peking University.

Written by: Qian Kang, Wang Xi
Edited by: Fu Wenyun, Karen Xu