Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What is SCPKU's mission?

A. The mission of the Stanford Center at Peking University (SCPKU) is to serve as a base of operations for research, teaching, training, and outreach activities in China for Stanford faculty and students across all disciplines - humanities, natural and social sciences, engineering, medicine, law, business, and education. Members of the Stanford community are able to spend time in China pursuing fieldwork, coursework, and internships; collaborating with Chinese colleagues; examining world issues from a Chinese perspective; and studying China, its people, and policies through firsthand experience.


Q. When did SCPKU open?

A. The Center officially opened on March 21, 2012, at China’s Peking University, strengthening an already close academic bond and building a stronger tie to one of the world’s fastest-growing countries. Stanford President John Hennessy spoke during the opening ceremony that drew several hundred academics, donors, and government officials to the Center.


Q. Where is SCPKU located?

A. The Center is housed in the new Lee Jung Sen Building in the Langrun Yuan area of the Peking University (PKU) campus. Named for PKU alumnus and father of former Stanford Board of Trustees member, Chien Lee '75, MS '75, MBA '79, the building was designed by the distinguished Beijing architectural firm Mo Atelier Szeto. It is situated on the site of a former imperial palace and reconstructs the original Chinese courtyard buildings above a modern, state-of-the-art facility.


Q. How large is SCPKU?

A. The tri-level building is 3352 square meters with a footprint of 37m x 31m. The ground floor is built in the Siheyuan architectural style of the surrounding Langrun Yuan buildings. In accordance with strict preservation guidelines for this protected historic site, the courtyard building is a traditional gujian wood structure built by specially trained craftsmen using interlocking mortise-and-tenon joinery. The interior design and furnishings of the rooms on this level complement the traditional style of the building. Multiple skylights and two-story light wells bring natural light to the lower levels and the three interior gardens. The lower two stories are below grade, which enables the Center to gain additional space without sacrificing the historical integrity of the site. They house western-style offices, collaborative space, meeting rooms, and a conference center surrounding an expansive, multi-purpose atrium. The elegant design ensures an open and well-lit working environment.


Q. What are the benefits of working at SCPKU?

A. The Center makes it convenient for Stanford faculty and students, especially those new to China, to conduct research abroad. SCPKU provides a productive working environment similar to that on the Stanford campus and serves as a home base for scholars carrying out research elsewhere in China. And, the English-speaking staff is available to assist with key logistical needs and to ensure that the SCPKU experience is productive and enjoyable, even for those who don't speak Chinese. The proximity of Chinese scholars at Peking University, nearby Tsinghua and Renmin universities, as well as many other research units in Beijing and adjacent locations, provide new opportunities for convenient academic discovery and collaboration. Scholars can expect modern offices and standard amenities: Internet access, copy machines, and mailboxes, as well as spacious meeting rooms and conference facilities with immersive virtual collaboration capability. For meals, visitors can choose from a wide selection of eateries on the Peking University campus, off-campus just across the street, and at nearby hotels.


Q. What Stanford organizations are already active at the Center?

A. Present and past Stanford organizations based at SCPKU: Asian Liver Center, Bing Overseas Studies Program, Center for Sustainable Development and Global Competitiveness, Graduate School of Business, Rural Education Action Program, School of Engineering Internship and Travel Study Programs, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, Stanford China Program, and Stanford Hospital and Clinics. These organizations, in addition to many other Stanford groups, frequently host conferences and other types of events at SCPKU. See Anchor Programs for more information on SCPKU-related organizations and programs.


Q. How has SCPKU addressed air quality issues?

A. As of December 2016, SCPKU has installed a comprehensive fresh air ventilation system to cleanse its 2400 square meter underground space. Air purifiers have also been placed in all offices on the Courtyard Level.  The level of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5), an air pollutant that can penetrate into the lungs and bloodstream unfiltered, is being closely monitored in the Center. Since the system has been activated, air quality at SCPKU has drastically improved. The Center’s PM 2.5 level is now kept within Beijing’s Air Quality Index (AQI) parameters of "Good" and "Moderate" (between 0 and 100 µg/m3) even when the outside air is “Very Unhealthy" or “Hazardous.”


Q. Who do I contact for more information about establishing a program at SCPKU and/or reserving office/conference space at the Center?

A. Please contact Leigh Wang. If you already have an event in mind that you'd like to reserve space for, you can also complete this online reservation request form. Note that the Center is only available for Stanford-sponsored activities. You can also join our mailing list to receive our event invitations, e-newsletters, and other announcements.