From left: Provost Roger Brown, Chancellor Allen C. Meadors and MUST Rector Zhou Li Gao
When UNC Pembroke signed exchange agreements in December with Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST), it was a union of two fast-rising stars of higher education.
While UNCP's 45 percent enrollment growth in the past three years is remarkable, Macau had no students three years ago. Today, the Chinese university boasts 2,000 students in four "faculties," Medicine, Law, Information Technology and Management and Administration.
Macau University has aggressive plans to enroll 10,000 students by the decade's end. The university has embarked on a furious building program.
MUST is located on an island in the South China Sea, near Hong Kong, that has recently become a special administrative region of the Chinese mainland.
Initially, UNCP will export its Master's of Public Administration (MPA) program. Other exchanges of students and programs are being studied.
MUST Rector Zhou Li Gao was at UNCP on Dec. 3 to sign exchange agreements.
"It is an honor and a pleasure to visit UNCP," Rector Zhou said. "Macau University of Science and Technology is a very new and very young university. We will pay attention to developing this relationship with UNCP."
Although a very new university, Macau has a long history of international relations, in part because of its recently expired 99-year lease with Portugal.
"Our university will be an international university, cooperating with many foreign nations," Rector Zhou said. Macau is a free city with a 400-year history of mixed Western and Eastern culture."
From left: Provost Roger Brown, Robert Schneider, Chancellor Allen C. Meadors, Nicholas A. Giannatasio, MUST Rector Zhou Li Gao, William G. Albrecht, Frank Trapp and Alex Chen
"This (agreement) is good for international cooperation, especially for our (business) management program," he said. "UNCP has experience in administration. Your chancellor visited two years ago, and we invited UNCP professors to lecture."
UNCP has sent several delegations to China in the past two years, and this is the third agreement to export academic programs.
"The Chinese are gracious hosts," Chancellor Allen C. Meadors said. "To develop as a nation, they require first class international business programs taught in English."
"UNCP will benefit greatly from the international exposure our students and faculty receive," Chancellor Meadors said. "As a nation, we all benefit by learning how to do business in the world's biggest marketplace."
UNCP has also signed agreements with Chinese University of Mining and Technology, near Bejing and the North China Institute of Science and Technology to offer the MPA degree.
The courses UNCP will offer the Chinese will be flexible, said administrators.
"Flexible means that we will teach via the Internet as well as conduct classes in China," said Nick Giannitassio, director of UNCP's MPA program. "Global economic is driving higher education in China today, and this is a good opportunity for both universities."