Berkeley forging partnerships in public health, clean energy with Peking University

UC Berkeley is designing exchange programs for public health scholars with Peking University, following the signing of memorandums of understanding between the two institutions.

Peking University President Lin Jianhua and UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks sign agreements between the two universities.

Peking University President Lin Jianhua and UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks sign agreements between the two universities. (UC Berkeley photo by Keegan Houser)

“We look forward to even greater forms of collaboration, cooperation and exchange between our universities,” said Chancellor Nicholas Dirks during the signing ceremony last week. “Ultimately, this is about bringing people together using the great human capital provided by these institutions.”

The exchange programs will be open to undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral researchers and faculty, with various requirements for each category. A joint bachelor’s and master’s degree program will be established between Berkeley’s School of Public Health and PKU’s College of Environmental Science. A doctor of public health “double-degree” will be administered by both universities’ public health schools.

PKU students in the undergraduate program will spend their fourth year at Berkeley. They will be eligible to apply to the master’s of public health program in environmental health sciences in the Berkeley School of Public Health. Faculty and post-doctoral researchers will be exchanged between the universities as visiting scholars or visiting researchers, respectively.

A separate memorandum of understanding between the universities established an advanced materials partnership with the goal of developing new breakthroughs in the field of clean energy.

“In the last 15 years in Chinese development, Chinese universities have improved a lot, and we have gotten a lot of help from Berkeley,” said PKU President Lin Jianhua. “I really hope that through this collaboration between UC Berkeley and Peking University, we can both make a move to make a contribution to the world.”

The memorandums of understanding indicate that more details of the exchange programs will be finalized in the coming months.