Published: October 15, 2009
UT has established a foothold in China that will provide for
structured student and faculty exchanges, study abroad trips and faculty
But ultimately it will provide for the exchange of ideas.
one right now wants to be left without a connection to China, and not
just for business opportunities,” said Janet McNew, provost and vice
president for academic affairs. “It’s essential to UT’s commitment to
global education that we gain a better understanding of Chinese culture.
“Most international experts agree that the 21st century will be all about the increasing power and influence of China.”
McNew and Jin Wang, associate provost and dean of academic services,
traveled to China to sign agreements with three Chinese universities:
University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) in Beijing;
Sias International University, in Xinzheng; and Shandong University of
Finance (SUF), in Jinan. McNew and Wang visited with officials at the
three universities to discuss opportunities for UT students and faculty
wanting to study in China, as well as for Chinese students and faculty
who want to study in the U.S.
UIBE is among the most prestigious
institutions in China and is known for its English-language programs in
international trade and economics. Sias promotes its “hybrid
American-Chinese model” for educating Chinese students and attracting
foreign students. SUF, a state-run university, has a comprehensive
curriculum with a focus on finance and economics.
The agreements outline numerous collaborations to benefit all institutions, including opportunities for:
- Shared educational experience for graduates and undergraduates
- Short-term, faculty-led study abroad trips
- Faculty collaboration in research and teaching
- International internship opportunities
- Language and cultural immersion for faculty and students
The three Chinese universities were chosen for their strong
infrastructure, including stable leadership, residential environment,
high number of foreign students, and locations that would offer variety
to American students.
Also, the desire of the universities’
students, faculty and administration to study and collaborate with
Americans — both at their institution and at UT — were big factors in
pursuing the agreement.
McNew said the partnership efforts were mutual.
see partnerships with U.S. universities as the most important step for
world prosperity and civility, even more than with European
institutions,” McNew said.
Officials at the three universities
were very impressed with UT, and while students will be welcome to study
in any college at UT, they were especially attracted to the reputation
of the Sykes College of Business and its AACSB accreditation.
has had casual connections with China through study abroad trips and
limited faculty research, but this agreement eases the ability of
cross-cultural exchanges and provides more structure for student and
faculty cross-cultural interaction.
“It’s important students
have opportunities to learn about countries like China,” Wang said. “If
students don’t have that kind of understanding, their success on a
global level will be limited.
“Whether future partners or competitors, we have to understand them first.”
added that UT is very selective in the institutions it seeks
partnerships with, and focuses on opportunities to best serve UT
students and faculty.
“We have to be strategic in what we’re
doing. We plan to keep partnership with universities abroad limited so
they have meaning,” McNew said. “And in this case, that means real
connections with China.”