The Collaborative Innovation Centre for Ethnic Minority Development of Minzu University of China embodies the vital spirit of the “Recommendations on the plan for enhancing the innovation ability of institutions of higher learning”, from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Finance. The Centre is inspired by the principle, “the country needs world class institutions”. It is built on the foundation of Minzu University of China’s strong academic excellence and areas of special competence. This means that in the field of collaboration for ethnic minority development the Centre is China’s most influential innovation research platform, and has the most distinguished teaching, research and policy advisory functions. Minzu University of China takes the leading role in running the Centre, and other important collaborating institutions include: the Research Centre for Ethnic Minority Questions under the State Ethnic Affairs Commission; the State Administration for Religious Affairs; the Development Research Centre of the State Council; the Institute of World Religions, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; South-Central University for Nationalities; Southwest Minzu University; Northwest Minzu University; Beifang University of Nationalities; and Dalian Minzu University.
The Centre adheres firmly to the core of ethnic minority development, namely “unity and progress”. Our goals are ethnic harmony, progress, and development towards common prosperity. At our very heart we operate in a collaborative and innovative pattern with demand-led mechanisms. The five particular areas of collaboration are human resource management, team formation, personnel training, scientific research, and resource sharing. We aim to stimulate long-lasting innovative efforts. The Centre works towards theoretical breakthroughs and methodological innovations in a constellation of important related research areas, including: hot topics and hard questions in ethnic minority development; ethnic relations and social stability in border areas; systems innovation in ethnic minority development; social progress and cultural development in ethnic minority regions. In order to solve national questions of ethnic minority development, the Centre provides strategic consulting, guides public opinion, offers theoretical contributions, policy submissions, academic support and talented individuals. We are, in short, a think-tank and a “brains trust”, whose aim is to promote national ethnic harmony and lasting social stability.
The overall leadership of the Centre is undertaken by the Management Committee, while for academic questions the buck stops with the Academic Committee. The Management Committee, which is the decision-making authority, is made up of the leaders of the principal co-operating organisations and institutes. The Academic Committee is composed of Chinese and foreign experts. This group is authorized by the Management Committee to be responsible for consultation and final checks on all large pieces of academic work, and for scrutiny and evaluation of results. To date, the Centre has established five innovation research platforms (“Ethnic Unity Theory and Policy”, “Ethnic Unity in Practice and Social Stability”, “Ethnic Unity Education”, “Ethnic Minority Region Economic Development with Science and Technology Innovation ”and “Ethnic Minority Development Information Centre”) and nineteen innovation teams.