NPU has its first international branch in Europe. The current president of Northwestern Polytechnic University Peter Hsieh, spoke on the school’s expansion and the three major points he is focusing on as the new head of the university. He plans to prepare students for an international work environment, improve their graduate employment rate, and invest in faculty research.
Before he became the president, Hsieh had over 20 years of work experience, including experience in organizational development, change management, and people management. Peter practiced law as an attorney for 16 years before joining Northwestern Polytechnic University full-time to serve as its President, General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer.
What is the vision for Northwestern Polytechnic University’s international branch in Europe?
The vision for NPU’s European branch, which will officially open on September 1, 2017, is to provide a quality education that meets industry needs. The university plans to set up a total of five campuses across Europe by 2020. I believe that students need to be prepared for a global work environment, and that’s precisely what we plan to do at NPU.
What are the benefits of coming back to China?
It is great to come back home after 20 years in the States because now I have the chance to apply my skills here at NPU. After serving as an attorney for over 16 years, I now have an opportunity to use my expertise in management and law. Also, the quality of education is improving every year at NPU while we provide more international opportunities for students to interact with each other and exchange ideas; this is something that cannot be found in many other countries.
What are your tactics for improved employment rates?
I believe that the best tactic to improve NPU’s employment rate is through curricular innovation. That’s why we are focusing on building up to three features in our curriculum:
- NPU significantly enhances the quality of our academic programs.
- We built up an industry-based curriculum that provides students with both theoretical and practical experiences in their major.
- We have built up a strong internship program with leading companies.
What is the biggest challenge that NPU faces?
The biggest challenge for us is that many universities offer similar educational programs like ours, but not everyone recognizes the value of an NPU education. That’s why it is important to advertise the value of an NPU education continuously.
What are your future plans for research/academic activities at NPU?
The development of our faculty is one of the key factors that can promote business growth and academic excellence. Therefore, I plan to establish an investment fund to support faculty innovation, which will help them do their research. This helps them with their academic and research activities, and in the long term, it can help our institution grow.
I will also work on establishing industry-based partnerships to bring more opportunities for students and faculty collaboration.
What is your best tip for future graduates?
My best advice for graduates is that they need to prepare themselves academically and prepare themselves for the global job market. They should be versatile, work on their teamwork skills, and communicate clearly. It is always better to have more options to choose from in the job market.
I hope that students will understand our school and what we plan to do at NPU through this interview with me.