US universities are seeking out partnerships in China, hoping to broaden their international reach and provide academic and research opportunities for students and faculty, as two campus presidents’ trips to China show.
The University of Pennsylvania “is deeply committed to its engagement in China”, said Amy Gutmann, president of the Ivy League school in Philadelphia, who hosted a Penn alumni event in Hong Kong. Her visit also is intended to promote the planned Penn-Wharton China Center in Beijing, involving the university’s prestigious business school.
The center, Gutmann said, “will help build relationships with the local entrepreneurial community in China, bringing together prospective students, alumni and business leaders through various partnerships and programs”.
Michael McRobbie, president of Indiana University, is on his third trip to China since 2007. He said he would renew partnership agreements with Peking University and return with several new ones involving other Chinese higher-education institutions.
“We have seen significant growth in students from China in recent years, and they have added a great deal to our campus and to the Bloomington community by bringing unique experiences and perspectives that they share with others,” said Mark Land, an Indiana associate vice-resident.
More than 4,700 students from East Asia are enrolled at Indiana, including about 3,250 from the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong. More than 100 students from the university’s main campus in Bloomington, Indiana, studied in China last year.
The university works hard to ensure that students from China have the appropriate academic credentials, such as high grades from good high schools, test scores indicating strong chances for academic success in the US, and Englishlanguage proficiency, he said.
On thursday, McRobbie was to travel from Beijing to Guangzhou for meetings on partnership expansion and the opening of a philanthropy center at Sun Yat-sen University. The center is modeled on and jointly developed with Indiana’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the world’s first educational institution dedicated to the study and teaching of philanthropy.
During another stop, McRobbie will sign an agreement with the University of Hong Kong to establish a dual degree master’s program in public administration between Indiana’s esteemed School of Public and Environmental Affairs and HKU’s master’s program in nonprofit-organization management.
The Indiana University president also will sign an agreement with National Taiwan University to generate collaboration between the two campuses’ law schools.
On May 30, McRobbie is to travel to Shanghai, where he will meet with higher-education leaders and host a reception for Indiana alumni. At a reception, he’ll bestow one of the school’s highest honors to Tongkui Ju, a distinguished jurist in China and a 1949 graduate of Maurer School of Law at Indiana.
Ju will receive the Thomas Hart Benton Medal, given to people who have achieved a level of distinction in public office or service and exempli-fired the values of Indiana University.