Beijing connections: IU signs agreement with Peking University, visits officials from Tsinghua University
Did you know the first student from China graduated from IU more than 100 years ago? IU, like most American universities today, has witnessed China’s rise over the past several years as a global economic powerhouse and experienced a new and unparalleled wave of interest by Chinese students. Enrollment of students from China on the Bloomington campus, for example, has sharply increased from 610 students in Fall 2008 to 2,851 in Fall 2012. That pattern can be seen at institutions of higher education across the United States, and there’s no indication that elevated interest will wane any time soon.
The changing international face of IU does, of course, simply reflect shifting global dynamics. As our academic strengths in the study of Chinese language and culture has grown, so has our focus on building deeper connections with China’s top institutions of higher education.
President McRobbie and the members of the IU delegation met with officials at Peking University, one of mainland China’s top universities, to discuss several potential new collaborative initiatives. Collaboration on technology transfer has been a particular area of interest for Dongmin Chen, Dean of Peking University’s School of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Dean Chen visited IU-Bloomington a few months ago to begin conversations with the Office of the Vice President for Engagement and the IU Research and Technology Corporation, and he intends to have a follow-up visit in the coming months. President McRobbie also mentioned IU’s interests in exploring possible connections between IU’s School of Global and International Studies and Peking University’s School of International Studies; collaboration in the academic study of philanthropy; and consultation on an arts administration program.
President McRobbie and Peking University President Wang Enge signed a renewal agreement of friendship and cooperation, as well as a new exchange agreement that will open an important mobility opportunity for IU graduate students to pursue advanced study and research. The two leaders also renewed an administrative staff exchange agreement between the IU Graduate School and Peking University’s Graduate School.
In addition to the fruitful meetings and outcomes at Peking University, the IU delegation met with CERNET Chairman Dr. Wu Jianping, a colleague with whom President McRobbie has worked for more than 15 years. Dr. Wu is also professor of Computer Science and Technology at Tsinghua University, an institution that ranks among the top 60 in the world according to the Times Higher Education University Rankings. IU, an established leader in high performance, data-intensive computing, has played a significant role in this ultrafast networking initiative.
President McRobbie also viewed potential sites in Beijing for IU’s next international gateway office, effectively expanding the university’s presence abroad to include both New Delhi and Beijing.