Director, Modern Languages Centre

Xi'an Jiaotong - Liverpool University – Modern Languages Centre (MLC)


Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) is a unique collaborative institution and the first joint-venture university in China to offer both UK (University of Liverpool) and Chinese (Ministry of Education) accredited undergraduate degrees for all programmes. Formed in 2006, the first cohort of students graduated in August 2010. The University now has almost 15,000 students studying on campus. The language of instruction is English. XJTLU aims to become truly research-led, and has recently committed significant investment into research development and the expansion of PhD student numbers on campus.
XJTLU is located in the Higher Education Town of Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP). Suzhou has been ranked the 74th most liveable city in the 2018 Global Liveability Index. Additionally, it is well-connected via nearby airports to cities such as Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, and Taipei, and via high-speed rail to other major cities in China. SIP is a major growth zone, including operations run by nearly one-fifth of the Fortune 500 top global companies. Greater Suzhou is now the fourth largest concentration of economic activity in China in terms of GDP, and the SIP has a higher GDP per capita than the UK. The broader Suzhou area encompasses the spirit of both old and new in China, with the historic old town’s canals, UNESCO World Heritage Site gardens, and the I.M. Pei-designed Suzhou Museum attracting millions of tourists annually. SIP offers an excellent quality of life with high environmental standards. The nearby Jinji Lake provides attractive views, by day and by night, and there is a variety of shopping facilities, international and local restaurants, entertainment hubs and nightlife. Suzhou is also home to four international schools.

The Modern Languages Centre (MLC) is one of two centres (the other being the English Language Centre) which make-up the School of Languages at XJTLU. The MLC is committed to education services in Chinese, Spanish and Japanese. The MLC, a rapidly growing centre with over 40 administrative and teaching staff members, combines a communicative approach and task-based teaching in the classroom to improve students' modern language listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. All three languages are taught as parts of other degree programmes; language classes are available out of programmes for students and staff; and Chinese is taught as compulsory classes for all international students.


The Director of the Modern Languages Centre (MLC) is responsible to the Dean of the School of Languages for the entire operation of the department and the professional behaviour of each individual member of staff.  The Director is a key leader, manager, and administrator. The initial term of appointment is three years.

The Director of the Modern Languages Centre is directly responsible, amongst other responsibilities and duties, for:

- Strategic leadership and annual planning;

- Individual staff work allocation;

- Budget development and expenditure; 

- Financial approvals for expenditure from departmental budget;

- Ensuring quality and standards are upheld;

- Staff appointments; identifying need, defining the specification and justification, organizing recruitment, overseeing interview panel arrangements, and recommending appointment;

- Formal staff Professional Development Reviews and processes;

- Staff disciplinary issues;

- Student disciplinary issues and complaints;

- Assignments of administrative duties to other staff;

- Implementation of staff attendance and absence policy;

- Leave of absence approvals;

- Dissemination of information regarding the development of the university, especially changes to policy, university regulations, and issues discussed at the Academic Leadership Group;

- Maintenance of record of staff authorised and unauthorised absences;

- Ensuring that the requirements of PRC legislation and XJTLU regulation on Health and Safety are all met.


Suitable candidates for the role will be able to evidence:

  • Experience of line management and setting strategic priorities;
  • Experience of management roles in units delivering teaching of modern languages;
  • Formal teacher training qualification;
  • Sustained experience of teaching one or more modern languages;
  • An excellent track record in teaching and curriculum development, and the ability to provide academic leadership;
  • An ability to act as a mentor for younger members of staff;
  • Willingness and ability to take on major leadership roles within the University, and to perform the role successfully as measured by performance indicators and university wide-evaluation;
  • An ability to contribute to the development and implementation of University strategies and policies.


We are looking for someone with the ambition, creativity and organizational skills to succeed in an exciting environment of continued growth and significant change. Applicants should:

  • Be educated to Master’s degree level or above;
  • Have at least four years of post-master’s modern languages teaching experience at university level;
  • Have significant recent experience of management in a higher education context; for example, experience of being a module convenor, or programme director;
  • Significant team leadership experience in an HE context.


Members of Academic Staff are entitled to subsidies for accommodation, travel, and children’s educational, medical insurance, and a one-time relocation allowance is provided. Overseas staff may receive a tax “holiday,” depending on nationality and personal circumstances.


Employment at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University is regulated by Chinese Labour Laws, and must comply with the regulations of the provincial government. These regulations stipulate who is eligible for legal employment with regard to obtaining work permits and visas.  Please be advised candidates over 55 may be not eligible for PRC work visa.


Please send your application online. Applications must be submitted in a single pdf file that includes 3 parts in the order of:

  • A cover letter
  • A current CV, including country of citizenship, and highest degree level
  • Contact Details for Three References

Applications should be received by the closing date stated above.

More substantive issues may be addressed to the Acting Dean of the School of Languages, Helen Beech, at helen.beech@xjtlu.edu.cn

If you are unable to apply on-line please contact the Human Resource Office. Email: xue.wang@xjtlu.edu.cn