In a formal ceremony on February 25, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke signed agreements with 10 Chinese universities.
The agreements - between a total of 28 Chinese and five U.S. universities - established a joint-degree program that may bring 20-40 Chinese students to UNCP’s campus for two of their four undergraduate years.
UNCP and the four U.S. universities are represented by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). The Chinese universities are represented by the China Center for International Educational Exchange (CCIEE).
A large delegation was at UNCP February 24-25 to tour UNCP and meet with top-level administrators. Zeng Dexiang, vice president of Xihua University, led the CCIEE delegation.
“We had a very productive visit at your University,” Zeng said. “This agreement will help our students become competitive in the global economy.”
Zeng represents a major Chinese university with an enrollment of 30,000, and he is hopeful that the agreement will encourage more Chinese students to study abroad.
“We would love to further our cooperation with American institutions of higher education for mutual benefit,” he said. “As the Chinese economy develops, it will require the cooperation of the higher education sector to help the country develop further.”
In this program, UNCP joins a geographically diverse group of U.S. universities, including Northern Arizona University, George Mason University, Ball State University and Troy State University.
CCIEE Executive Director Zong Wa explained his group’s mission.
“The center was established in 1981 to promote foreign exchange in higher education,” Zong said. “It is unique because it is the only organization of its kind affiliated with the (national) Ministry of Education. It acts as a semi-governmental umbrella organization representing all Chinese universities.”
Zong said UNCP makes a good partner and host for Chinese students.
“UNC Pembroke offers good undergraduate programs and a safe environment,” he said. “We want our students to gain exposure to all of America not just New York.”
For Chancellor Allen C. Meadors, the agreement is a major step forward in his plans to internationalize UNCP’s campus.
“We are very committed to this program, and we will take very good care of your students,” Chancellor Meadors said at the signing ceremony. “My son (Tyson) is currently studying in China, so I am cognizant of the need to take care of other people’s children.”
CCIEE delegation leader Zeng thanked Chancellor Meadors for his hospitality.
“We have seen many happy students on your beautiful campus,” Zeng said. “We have confidence that this program has a bright future.”
It is expected that many of the Chinese exchange students who come to UNCP will study business. Dr. Eric Dent, dean of the School of Business, attended the two-day summit.
“This program will be a win-win situation to have these Chinese students here for two years,” Dr. Dent said. “They will bring a different perspective to the classroom, enhancing the American students' learning. They will also model for our students the importance of getting international experience while in college."
- Li Ping - president, Liaoning Petroleum and Chemical University
- Wang Baogen - vice party secretary, Nanjing Normal University
- Jiang Ning – director, Nanjing Normal University
- Zeng Dexiang - vice party secretary, Xihua University
- Zhang Jiachuan – director, Xihua University
- Zhang Lida – director, Xihua University
- Sheng Yuliang - vice president, Shanghai International Studies University
- Wu Song - vice president, Yunnan University
- Yan Sishen - deputy secretary general, Yunnan University
- Cheng Jianjun - vice president, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology
- Ye Qihao – director, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology
- Han Shenghao - president, ShangDong University at Weihai
- Yu Xinli – director, Shang Dong University at Weihai
- Han Hong – vice president, Jinan University
- Qu Shouning – dean, Jinan University
- Zhou Aiming – vice president, Shihezi University
- Yang Qinghua - deputy director, Shihezi University
- Yong Heming - vice president, Guangdong University of Business Studies
- Yu Li- president, Guangxi Teachers Education College
- Zhang Xinhu – director, Gansu Agriculture University
- Zong Wa – director, CCIEE
- Hua Jianning – director, CCIEE