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Syracuse University Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Universities in China
Chancellor Kent Syverud and members of Syracuse University’s leadership team recently traveled to China as part of the University’s efforts to build strong partnerships with China’s top universities in the areas of faculty and graduate collaboration and research.
Those efforts are also aimed at attracting top students and enhancing Syracuse University’s profile in China as part of the internationalization efforts identified in the Academic Strategic Plan.
“Thanks to the work of the University Internationalization Council, we have an emerging strategy for engaging with peer institutions in China. The agreements signed during this trip are the first steps toward enhancing relationships that benefit faculty, research and graduate education at Syracuse University,” says Chancellor Syverud.
On May 16, Chancellor Syverud led a delegation—including Vice President for Research John Liu and Kyu Lee, associate dean for global initiatives in the Whitman School—on a visit to Xiamen University (XMU) in Xiamen, Fujian Province. There, they met XMU President Rong Zhang and other university officials, and representatives from XMU’s Graduate School of Training and Management, School of Social and Human Sciences, College of Humanities, School of Information Science and Technology, College of Ocean and Earth and College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.
Chancellor Syverud and President Zhang signed a memorandum of understanding calling for greater levels of collaboration and cooperation between the two universities to strengthen initiatives in joint training and exchanges of students, faculty visits and scientific research cooperation.
At present, XMU and Syracuse University have formed a good foundation of cooperation in different subject areas, including the humanities, economics, ocean science, chemistry and chemical engineering. The memorandum is intended to open up new areas and deepen existing areas of cooperation between the two universities.
On May 19, Chancellor Syverud and Liu visited Hunan Normal University (HNU) in Changsha, Hunan Province, for a similar cooperation agreement signing ceremony with HNU President Hongxin Jiang.
The leaders conducted in-depth discussions on projects such as Sino-foreign dual degree programs, joint training and teacher-student exchanges, and explored possibilities for further cooperation.
Additionally, Liu visited Ocean University of China in Qingdao, Shandong Province, on May 29 as a symposium keynote speaker. He spoke on “Administrative Structure and Feedback Systems at Top American Universities.”
Liu shared several key points and lessons gleaned from the American higher education experience, including that scientific research serves society when the research creates social and economic impact; 21st-century education is characterized by competition for top talent, innovation and leadership and that can produce practical applications of knowledge; higher education shoulders the responsibility of promoting social fairness and justice, helping socially disadvantaged groups and protecting the environment; and that education of young people must start with educating people how to become good citizens first, and then teach them how to be good researchers.
The trip and the resulting relationships with Chinese universities are consistent with Syracuse University’s evolving strategy to develop lasting, mutually beneficial partnerships with international academic institutions, particularly in China. During the 2018-19 academic year, the Internationalization Council studied the many various activities and relationships the University maintains in China and has delivered recommendations on a comprehensive “China strategy.” The XMU and HNU partnerships are some of the first fruits of this new strategy.