The New Silk Road @ In de Driehoek
mrt 19 @ 13:00 – 17:00
The New Silk Road @ In de Driehoek | Utrecht | Utrecht | Nederland

Implications for higher education and research cooperation between China and Europe

Recent geopolitical events such as Brexit and the US turning its back on international trade and cooperation create waves of uncertainty in higher education regarding international cooperation, the free movement of students, academics, scientific knowledge, and ideas.

Meanwhile China is launching new global initiatives with its New Silk Road (or Belt and Road Initiative), which could potentially span and integrate major parts of the world across the Euro-Asian continents. But likely on new and different conditions, also for higher education.

How will the New Silk Road affect European higher education and research? What types of academic flows and activities emerge along the NSR, how are universities responding, under what conditions are these activities taking place, who defines these, based on what values, and do we actually understand these values at all?

These questions will be discussed by experts from UGlobe, the Utrecht Centre for Global Challenges, the Leiden Asia Center, and international scholars from Europe, Asia, and the USA.

Key note: The 21st century: a Chinese century for Higher Education?  By William Kirby, Harvard University, Fairbank Centre for Chinese Studies.

Followed by panel discussions on:

  1. The New Silk Road: rationales and challenges for higher education and research policies
  2. The New Silk Road and the Idea of the University

Click here to see the (draft) programme.


Empty Home. Making a Home in Rapidly Urbanising China @ IIAS Conference Room
apr 12 @ 12:30 – 14:00
Empty Home. Making a Home in Rapidly Urbanising China @ IIAS Conference Room

A lunch lecture with short film

In contemporary China, cities are growing fast with large-scale investments in urban housing to accommodate rural-urban migration. What does house ownership mean to families in the midst of a rural-urban transition? How do rural-urban migrants make a home in a new city while also remaining connected with the village of origin, and with relatives in other Chinese cities?

The short film “Empty Home” introduces Wendy, a young rural-urban migrant in Wuhan, the provincial capital of China’s Hubei province. Whilst taking the viewer on a tour of her family home, a flat on the outskirts of the gigantic city, Wendy reflects on the meaning of ‘home’ within a context of intense mobility and rapid transformation.

The film is based on PhD research conducted by anthropologist Willy Sier among rural-urban student migrants in Wuhan, China. Willy will give a short introductory talk to contextualise the film. Sanderien Verstappen will discuss the filmmaking process. In the discussion, everybody is welcomed to offer their reflections on the puzzles presented in the film.

Willy Sier is a PhD student at the Amsterdam School for Social Science research, University of Amsterdam. Previously, she studied Chinese and lived in China for 8 years.

Sanderien Verstappen is a postdoctoral researcher in the Anthropology of Modern South Asia at Leiden University (LIAS), and a fellow at the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS). Previously, she was a lecturer in (visual) anthropology at the University of Amsterdam.

Registration (required)

Please register via the webform if you would like to attend.
Register by 10 April 2018 to secure a lunch box provided by IIAS.

About IIAS Lunch Lectures

Every month, one of the IIAS affiliated fellows will give an informal presentation about his/her work-in-progress for colleagues and others interested. Lunch lectures are sometimes also organised for visiting scholars.

IIAS organises these lectures to provide the research community with an opportunity to freely discuss ongoing research and exchange thoughts and ideas. Anyone with an interest in the subject matter at hand is welcome to attend and join the discussion.