by Walter Kraft, Published August 08, 2011
YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University's efforts to increase links to China are paying off. The number of students from China tripled from fall 2007 to fall 2010 - from 31 students to 102 students.
Eastern has been focused on expanding relationships with universities in China, and developing multi-year cooperation agreements that will provide opportunities for faculty and student exchange and participation in Eastern undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
The deans of three of Eastern's colleges have made trips to China over the last year. College of Technology Dean Morell Boone made three trips. College of Business Dean David Mielke and College of Arts and Sciences Dean Thomas Venner each made a single trip.
A pending opportunity with Kuming University of Science and Technology would bring 60 undergraduate students to Eastern's School of Engineering Technology in the College of Technology (COT). Other COT efforts include the development of a Master's of Science in Technology Studies in cooperation with Zhejiang University of Media & Communications (ZUMC)-Hangzhou.
Another positive outcome of the growing relationship with ZUMC is the upcoming performance of the 24-member ZUMC student music troupe at Eastern on October 17.
Expenses for the trips were covered by EMU and the universities in China.
Eastern's College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) is expanding its relationship with Wuhan University. In May, a new joint research facility, funded by Wuhan University, was inaugurated. Faculty and students from Eastern and Wuhan will collaborate on projects as part of the "Joint International Center for Resource, Environmental Management and Digital Technology Between Wuhan University and Eastern Michigan University."
Wuhan University will provide a stipend, travel funding and housing, in exchange for teaching a three-week course in an area such as computer science, economics, and GIS. An EMU faculty member from the Computer Science Department plans to teach in Wuhan in the spring of 2012.
A cooperative arrangement with Anshan University is providing new opportunities in the TESOL (Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages) program in the Department of World Languages. The plan includes a proposal for approximately 90 Eastern graduate students to engage with Chinese students. Anshan University has also offered faculty a stipend, airfare, and accommodations in exchange for teaching a three-four week course for eight-12 hours per week. Members of the Anshan performing arts community will perform at EMU as part of International Week.
Other CAS agreements include a graduate level program in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and an undergraduate program for Chinese students to major in Computer Science and minor in GIS. Another program is under development in the area of Economics.
Eastern's College of Business (COB) held its fifth graduation ceremony for its Master's of Science in Human Resources and Organizational Development on June 11 and 23 Chinese students graduated. The program is conducted jointly with Tianjin University.
A sixth cohort is already in session and is expected to graduate in June 2012 and recruiting in China is underway for the next. The program is taught in China by Eastern faculty who teach in China for four days, return to teach six weeks online before returning to China for a final four days of intensive instruction.
Eastern's COB has four partnerships with universities in China.
Efforts to recruit students from China reach beyond Eastern's individual colleges. In March, the Admissions Office participated in an online recruitment fair (a similar fair will take place on August 26 targeting students in India) directed at high school students in greater China (mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong).
The university's web team also recently worked with the Admissions office to make the recruitment of students from China and other international locations easier. A new web program was implemented that offers immediate one-click translation of the international section of the Admissions website to more than 50 different languages: http://www.emich.edu/admissions/undergrad/international_students/index.php.
"This is an important and growing market for us," said Morell Boone, dean of the College of Technology. "We are making great headway in establishing positive relationships with universities in China. While there is much more to do, I am pleased with the inroads we have made and with the wonderful new relationships, and students we have met."
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