Jiang Zemin

Jiang Zemin's son named head of new ShanghaiTech University

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 February, 2014, 4:48am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 February, 2014, 7:26am

The son of former president Jiang Zemin has been named the head of the new ShanghaiTech University.

The People's Daily reported yesterday that Jiang Mianheng, who turns 62 this year, will head the small-scale research institution, which opened its doors in Shanghai in September.

The university was established jointly by the Shanghai municipal government and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), in which Jiang served as vice-president from 1999 to 2011.

ShanghaiTech opened applications for 200 undergraduate places on Thursday, and plans to enrol 2,000 undergraduate students and 4,000 graduate students in the short term.

It promises a 1:10 to 1:12 teacher-to-student ratio, with as many as 1,000 faculty members, 500 of which will be recruited internationally. Nobel Prize laureate and chemist Kurt Wüthrich was appointed professor last March.

Jiang has supported the university since its inception. In October 2011, he visited the construction site of research laboratories under the CAS Shanghai Pudong Science and Technology Park, where ShanghaiTech is now located.

Jiang, who holds a PhD from Drexel University in the United States, is chairman and CEO of Shanghai Alliance Investment, the private equity and venture capital arm of Shanghai's municipal government. The company has stakes in Oriental DreamWorks, a US$330 million joint venture between DreamWorks and state-owned media enterprises to produce China-themed animated films.

Before that, Jiang was a board member of China Netcom, a telecommunications company that merged with China Unicom in 2008, as well as several other state-backed entities in communications, energy and construction. He had been tipped to assume the CAS presidency, but scientist Bai Chunli was chosen instead in 2011.

ShanghaiTech's council also boasts many other power brokers, including Xu Kuangdi, former vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and People's Bank of China governor Zhou Xiaochuan.