Chinese college denies wasting money on Nobel winners


Nine Nobel Prize winners were hired by Chinese universities including Tianjin Medical University from May to August, and four of them were hired together by Hainan University, China Science Daily reported Wednesday. 

The average age of the nine winners is 73. One of the Nobel Prize winners was hired by Shandong University as a part-time chair professor, the report said. 

Shandong University provides 100,000 yuan for part-time chair professors per year, it said.  

The report triggered heated discussions on Chinese social media, with some hailing the move because they believe these winners will help the universities promote research, while others questioned whether they would do any actual work for the schools, given their age. 

Tianjin Medical University, which the report said had hired German virologist Harald zur Hausen, who won the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, denied on Wednesday that it offered a big amount to hire him. 

"We gave him an honorary title for free and will pay him according to our salary scale if he does actual work in the future," said a staff member surnamed Zhang with the university international cooperation department. 

Hausen said he is willing to teach undergraduates and help the university attract overseas talent, Zhang said. 

Chinese universities hire Nobel Prize winners to help them catch up with cutting-edge research and avoid wasting money on unnecessary projects, said Du Jiping, a professor at the China University of Mining and Technology.

Source: http://www.globaltimes.cn

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