Zou Tongqian, the assistant president of the Beijing International Studies University (BISU), was elected as vice president of the Silk Road International University of Tourism and Cultural Heritage, on September 5.
The initiative to open a higher education institution in the tourism industry was proposed by Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the Summit of Eight, held in Qingdao, at a meeting of heads of state of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
By decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan № 3815 on June 28, 2018, the first state university with international status was organized and located in Samarkand, the second largest city in Uzbekistan.
Recommended by China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zou has served as a special advisor to support the university's construction since 2019.
"Uzbekistan's universities are highly internationalized with many people who can speak Russian, English, Uzbek, Persian and other languages. There are many talents and foreign teachers with overseas study backgrounds, which is conducive to the construction of international universities," Zou said.
Zou did canvassing among the world's top universities to excavate more resources on tourism and cultural heritage and expand the university's international influence by organizing academic forums, joining the QS World University Rankings and UNWTO TedQual Certified Programmes to meet world standards on tourism education.
BISU also cooperates with the university in talent exchanges, scientific research, and resource sharing. The two universities also co-established a research center andjointly built a digital laboratory and cultural heritage observatory.
Chinese enterprises in the field of tourism were also encouraged by Zou to participate in China-Uzbekistan cooperation and exchanges.
"Uzbekistan has a strong desire to reform, open up and develop, and they expect China to provide support. As a Chinese scholar, I am very honored to make contributions in promoting the development of cultural tourism and the new pattern of talent training in countries and regions along the Belt and Road, as well as in realizing the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind," said Zou.