Skip to main content

WPI promotes scholarship, discussion, and appreciation of critical topics in Chinese history and current issues through key events and initiatives on campus. As our collaborations with China continue to grow, we will add to our offering of interesting and relevant events that raise awareness and promote an international outlook within the WPI community.

Students gather for a performance during the Pan-Asian Festival.
Pan-Asian Festival, April 2022

Student Life

With a significant Chinese student population and diverse academic and cultural programs, WPI has a well-established and growing commitment to Chinese culture and collaboration at home. Chinese students are making their mark on WPI by sharing their culture with the broader community through student organizations and events, including the Chinese Student Association and the Chinese Student and Scholar Association.  

Conferences and speakers

We have a long history bringing together scholars and community members to share, learn, and broaden perspectives on Chinese studies. Some of our previous events include:

  • Insights and Perspectives on Doing Business in China (2010)
  • Building Entrepreneurial Relationships between Massachusetts and the Zhejiang Province Conference (2011)
  • Reception to celebrate the translation of the Biography of Sarcey Chen (2012)

We also run an ongoing grant-funded China Seminar Series that highlights the essential role China plays in critical global issues. Previous seminar speakers have included an architect from Yale who spoke about building in China and a water expert who gave a talk about the effects of water in security in China on climate change. This spring, a field trip will focus on the Chinese diaspora in Boston’s Chinatown.

Seminar Series on China

Supported through the Department of Education BIE and UISFL Grants:

  • China’s Battle: Sustainability and Economic Growth (Dec. 3, 2009)
  • Understanding Northern China’s Water Crisis: Perils and Progress (Dec. 8, 2009; external speaker)
  • Family Firm Financing and the Social and Cultural Environment in China (Feb. 2, 2011)
  • Language- and Culture-Intensive Scientific Research in China: a Model for Collaboration (Nov. 10, 2011; external speaker)
  • China’s Big Business of Building and Its Contexts (April 3, 2013; external speaker)
  • Designing the Solar Home of the Future: Views from the US and China (April 16, 2013)
  • China’s Water Security Through 2030 (Jan. 30, 2014; external speaker)
  • Engineering Education in China (Apr. 2, 2014; visiting professor)
  • Chinese Social Gaming (May 2, 2014; external speaker)
  • The Schoolhouse and Sustainable Tourism at the Mutianyu Great Wall (January 22, 2015; external speaker)
  • Reconstructing the Past for the Future: The ‘Jewish Block’ Project in Harbin, China (February 23, 2015; external speaker)
  • Perspectives on Chinese Food (December 9, 2015; external speaker)  

China film series: China through the lens

Our China film series, running from February through April 2014, brought some of the best of Chinese cinema to WPI campus. The free screenings included movies ranging from international espionage to romance and introduced the WPI community to several of China’s most popular and critically acclaimed directors.

  • Eat Drink Man Woman (Dec. 6th, 2013) - Hero (February 4, 2014)
  • Infernal Affairs (February 27, 2014)
  • A Simple Life (March 25, 2014) - Enter the Dragon (April 22, 2014)
  • Please Vote for Me (October 3, 2014)
  • Raise the Red Lantern (November 21, 2014) - To Live (February 13, 2015)
  • Aftershock (April 10, 2015)
  • The Wedding Banquet (October 2, 2015)
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (December 4, 2015)

WPI President’s Visit to China

Laurie Leshin in China

WPI’s 16th president, Laurie Leshin traveled to China in early March 2015 to speak with WPI alumni in Shanghai and Beijing and to discuss future partnerships with Chinese higher education leaders. On March 9, President Leshin delivered a keynote address at Beijing University of Chemical Technology, in which she discussed her vision of a global university and the strong partnership with BUCT. WPI leaders also visited Tsinghua University in Beijing and had productive discussions of future partnership opportunities. During the trip, she discussed the value of project-based learning, the strength of WPI’s undergraduate education, opportunities for graduate students in China, and the power of faculty exchanges. President Leshin visited Tsinghua University in Beijing, National Tsinghua University in Taiwan, and National Taiwan University in Taiwan. She signed a Memorandum of Understanding to Frame Cooperation with Tsinghua University in Beijing and National Tsinghua University in Taiwan. She hosted an alumni event in Hong Kong in October 2015 and also shared her vision of WPI being a global university with alumni in Hong Kong.