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Dean, Academy of Film and Creative Technology

Xi'an Jiaotong - Liverpool University - Academy of Film and Creative Technology

Location: Suzhou - China
Salary: Competitive salary commensurate with experience
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 8th February 2024
Expires: 8th April 2024
Job Ref: 3589

Contract Type: fixed term, 3 years’ contract, open-ended contract since the third term

Reports to: Vice President, Academic Affairs


In 2006 Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) was created by the University of Liverpool and Xi’an Jiaotong University – a top ten university in China. Offering a unique international education experience, XJTLU brings together excellent research practice and expertise from both institutions and gives students the skills and knowledge they need to secure careers in a global marketplace. XJTLU now has over 23,000 enrolled students in both Suzhou and Liverpool in the UK, with plans to grow to about 25,000 students by 2025 . There are currently about 2,200 staff, among which about 1,000 academic staff, with an almost even split between citizens of the People’s Republic of China and international passport holders. XJTLU offers our undergraduates and postgraduates over 100 programmes with a diverse spectrum of courses.
With a focus on innovative learning and teaching, and research, XJTLU draws on the strengths of its parent universities, and plays a pivotal role in facilitating access to China for UK and other institutional partners. At same time, XJTLU is exploring future education by blending the educational theory, best practice and culture from west and east. 
For detailed information about the university, please visit

About the Academy of Film and Creative Technology 

The Academy of Film and Creative Technology (AFCT), as part of XJTLU’s exploration in creating an educational ecosystem in film, media and arts industry, was launched on 22nd May 2021. The Academy brings together both the School of Cultural Technology, based within the Entrepreneur College (Taicang), and School of Film and TV Arts, based within the Suzhou Industrial park campus, under one academic roof. Uniquely within XJTLU, the Academy is multi-locational, providing cross-site opportunities for students, staff, industry and society. There are also ambitious plans to develop further educational, research and creative technology facilities in both Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province, and the Great Bay Area. The Academy offers a two-year master degree programme in Creative and Cultural Technology, building on the success of its initial degree programmes, as well as expanding its research and business engagement portfolio.
Building on the core values of the university, the Academy brings together the areas of media, creativity and technology within the context of society to establish an international cultural ecosystem, driven by knowledge generation to advance industry and shape future society. 
The aim of the AFCT is to be a community academy serving the alliance of industry and society through:

  • Establishing cultural creativity programmes designed to engage, motivate and inspire society’s participation.
  • Equipping AFCT staff with the tools required to enable them to work with people of all backgrounds, talents and potential in the cultural and creative industry sector.
  • Empowering a social, cultural and creative impact model that provides a win-win situation for industry, communities and society as a whole.

About the School of Cultural Technology 

The School of Cultural Technology is one of 7 industry-themed Schools based in the XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang) campus, and there is the capacity to grow further within the college to a total of 10 schools. Each School consists of an Education, Research and Development Institute (“ERDI”) for teaching and university-business research collaboration, a professional services centre supporting daily activities of students, staff, and business partners, and a School Affiliated Company jointly established by XJTLU and the School’s industry partner for practical on-the-job learning and teaching.

About the School of Film and TV Arts 

The School of Film and Television Arts was built on the departmental strengths in communication and culture. With the addition of trainings in making creative content and arts, the School has been constantly developing a mix of practice, research, creativity and industry engagement with the cultural and creative industry sectors in China and internationally. The School currently offers programmes in Digital Media Arts, TV Production and Filmmaking at UG level.  
The Dean of School oversees the School Management Team as well as contributing to the leadership of the Academy, with a daily reporting line to the Dean of the Academy.

Key Responsibilities of the Dean, AoFCT 

The role of Dean of the Academy of Film and Creative Technology is to provide effective direction in all aspects of Academy-wide activity, delegating responsibility within the Academy when appropriate. The Dean is expected to represent the Academy, within the University, and externally. The Dean will also be part of the XJTLU Dean Advisory Group. 

The Dean must provide the sort of professorial academic leadership needed to take the Academy through its current growth phase. Emphasis rests on the development of the Academy’s new degrees and its research endeavour and so candidates must not only be highly accomplished in their own right, they must also have clear collaborative commitment and the ability to develop and implement teaching and research strategies. Additionally, given the University’s pace of expansion, the Dean must provide wider academic leadership in matters such as staff development and recruitment, programme development and quality assurance within Academy. 

The Dean is expected to lead the development and implementation of the overall vision and academic development of the Academy, working closely with senior Academy staff to promote innovative developments in the delivery of its programmes, highlighting its strengths through the recent opening of a new purpose built building. The Academy has a focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and original creativity, with programmes delivered over a number of locations.   

The Dean is responsible for:

  • Providing visionary academic leadership in the strategic development of the Academy;
  • Developing appropriate strategies for Learning and Teaching, Research and Impact, and Business Engagement in line with University and Entrepreneur College (Taicang) strategies;
  • Enhancing and developing the profile of the School and Academy locally, nationally and internationally;
  • Daily operation and administration in the School; 
  • Reporting to and implementing decisions made by the Academy Council and/or Academy of Film and Creative Technology;
  • Reviewing and developing the portfolio of programmes at all levels, including the development and delivery of new and innovative educational initiatives;
  • Preparing both the annual budget and report on financial accounts of the Academy ;
  • Developing Academy  infrastructure, regulations and rules for the Academy Council approval;
  • Delivering excellent learning and teaching, research, and enterprise engagement activities in the Academy ;
  • Personnel decisions including recruitment, discipline, retention, contract termination, etc. in the Academy ;
  • Coordination and communication between the Academy  and the University; and,
  • Any other work-related tasks assigned the Vice President for Academic Affairs. 

Qualifications and Experiences 

  • Candidates must be a Ph.D. holder in a relevant subject from a world renowned university, or be able to demonstrate an equivalent professional practice and engagement.
  • Candidates must demonstrate a strong academic background, preferably with knowledge of practice-as-research.
  • Candidates must demonstrate a willingness and enthusiasm to embrace and manage change, and actively engage with new educational models such as Syntegrative Education (SE).
  • Candidates must demonstrate evidence of successful outcomes in building productive partnerships among other higher education institutions, industry, and with wider society.
  • Candidates shall become familiar with and observe Chinese and UK rules and regulations of higher education. 
  • Candidates shall have management experience with good people skills and have the ability or experience to form and develop a new academic unit.
  • Candidates must have an international reputation and demonstrate impacts in the creative industries ideally with a strong focus on creative thinking, idea development and industry practice, especially from a technology perspective.
  • Candidates must have rich experience in research, academic leadership, financial management, strategic planning, people management, as well as senior academic management experience in a university, research institution or similar functions/areas. 
  • Candidates must demonstrate a good track record of engagement with students and industry.
  • Candidates must have a high level of communicative competence in English; an equivalent knowledge of Chinese would be an advantage.
  • Candidates with administration and management experience in international universities or Sino-foreign joint universities are preferred. 
  • Some experience of working in a relevant industry would be an advantage.


Please submit your applications online 

Applications must be submitted in a single PDF file that includes 3 parts in the order of:

  • A cover letter specifying your suitability for the role
  • A current CV, including country of citizenship, and highest degree level
  • Contact details for three references (at least a reference from current or most recent employer. Preferably current employer *and* last employer) 

For specific job related enquiries, please email the hiring manager of this position, Prof. Zhoulin Ruan at; 

For HR related enquiries, please email the HRBP, Ms. Mingyu Yuan at

To learn more about working & living in China, please visit:

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