Historic agreements between UNC Pembroke and two Chinese universities will create international opportunities for students and faculty.
This spring university officials and visiting officials of the China University of Mining and Technology signed an agreement for UNCP to offer a master's program in China.
During a visit to China in early June, Chancellor Allen C. Meadors signed an articulation agreement with Macau University of Science and Technology. It would all allow Chinese students who earn associate degrees to transfer credits to UNCP towards their baccalaureate degrees.
Faculty in the Public Management (MPM) program will travel in pairs to China University each semester to train students there. The classes would be about two weeks long and would be augmented through the Internet.
UNCP will certify Macau University academic programs and provide administrative support services. Both agreements pave the way for exchanges of students and faculty between UNCP and The People's Republic of China, the world's largest nation.
The future of international educational relations is an open door for the university, said Chancellor Meadors.
"As part of our ongoing efforts to prepare our students for the global society in which we live, these partnerships provide our students educational experiences and opportunities that will carry them beyond the classroom," the chancellor said."
Dr. Dan Barbee, who directs the MPM program at UNCP, said the international educational alliance is an opportunity for faculty to travel and gain international exposure.
"We're very pleased and excited with the opportunity," Dr. Barbee said. "I hope to go with the first wave."
"I see long term and interesting possibilities," he said. "It will expand our cultural and scholarly horizons."
Dr. Barbee said there is a great deal to be learned about China by UNCP's instructors.
"The Chinese have an extraordinarily large and complex system of government," he said. "They can contribute significantly to our understanding of public administration as we teach them an American management program."
The agreements must be approved by the UNC Board of Governors, but UNCP leadership is excited by the possibilities of additional international ties.
Will there be more outreach programs into Asia or elsewhere? Chancellor Meadors can envision a Center for Asian Studies and Entrepreneurship at UNCP.
"When you realize that over half of the world's population is Asian, you start to appreciate the importance to our students to interact and become comfortable with this part of our small world," he said. "There are tremendous opportunities for collaborations and partnerships with Asian universities."
And UNCP will be there as Chinese relations with the West continue to grow.