University of Virginia Executive Vice President and Provost John D. Simon and Vice Provost for Global Affairs Jeffrey W. Legro traveled to mainland China and Hong Kong in January to reaffirm President Teresa A. Sullivan’s commitment to expanding and strengthening U.Va.’s partnerships in education and research.
“Given the importance of China and that region of the world, it is vitally important that the University have a sustained and substantive presence there, and we are committed to doing that,” Simon said. “President Sullivan’s trip to the region in May created a lot of good will and interest in U.Va. that made this trip very fruitful.”
In May, Sullivan traveled to Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Singapore to meet with University partners from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and high-level education officials from the Ministry of Education and the State Administration of Foreign Affairs Experts.
Between the two of them, Simon and Legro visited Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, meeting with academic partners, alumni, parents and friends of U.Va.
They met with administrators and professors from several schools, including Fudan University, East China Normal University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the Central Party School of the Communist Party of China, the University of Hong Kong and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
“The goal of those meetings was to learn how U.Va. can create new partnerships and grow existing ones involving research, exchanges and internships,” Legro explained.
He said one aim is to create quality programs with partners in China that will encourage students to study or do experiential learning there for what he called a “serious amount of time.”
Marina Markot, associate director of U.Va’s International Studies Office, said the number of students going to China nearly tripled from 2006 to 2012, with 171 students studying there from 2011 to 2012 in periods ranging from several weeks to a full semester.
During last month’s trip, Simon and Legro also visited programs and offices run by U.S. peer institutions, including Stanford, Columbia, Duke, Harvard and Ohio State universities. “Each of these places is doing different things; some are focused on serving graduate students, some focus on executive education, others on development, and there are those seeding new partnerships,” Legro said.
“These visits will inform U.Va’s next steps in China,” Simon said. “We already have a presence in the region, and that is due to the passion and diligence of faculty in every school at U.Va. Asia will be the source of incredible challenges and opportunities in the years ahead. It is critical to our students and the Commonwealth that we increase our activities there.”
A Sampling of University Programs and Research Partnerships in China
- A new global initiative of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Jefferson Global Seminar Series, is set to launch this summer at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
- The summer U.Va. in Shanghai Intensive Chinese Language Program is run by the faculty of the Chinese language program in the Department of East Asian Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of Virginia and hosted by East China Normal University.
- The McIntire School of Commerce, in conjunction with Peking University, is offering third-year commerce students an opportunity to study international business in Beijing this semester in concert with Peking University.
- The Darden School of Business’ Global MBA for Executives in China program takes place this May in Shanghai and Beijing.
- The Center for Global Health has a 24-year research relationship with Anhui Medical University in Hefei, focused on enteric infection. Four of their fellows have trained at U.Va. and two U.Va students have been mentored at AMU. The relationship has resulted in 17 collaborative scientific publications.
- This year, U.Va’s School of Architecture is offering its program “Architecture, Urbanism, and Culture of China,” in collaboration with the School of Architecture of Nanjing University in Nanjing. The program will take students to Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Suzhou and Beijing.
- The School of Engineering and Applied Science has an agreement to exchange students for semester study with Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The first two students traveled there for the 2011 spring semester.
- The School for Continuing and Professional Studies has a program that brings officials from Chinese institutions of higher learning to the University to forge new partnerships.
U.Va. has 19 formal agreements with schools in China. For a list of those programs, visit the interactive Academic Agreements map at UVAGlobal. To have a program or partnership added to the map, click the “global affairs” hyperlink at the bottom of the page.