- Published on Jun 25, 2010
- Contact Laura Lessnau
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman travels to China today to strengthen and celebrate new and long-standing partnerships in research and education in broad areas that include science, engineering, business, public health and the arts.
Coleman will visit Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong during the June 25-July 2 trip to meet with university and government leaders, alumni, current and future students and parents.
Trip highlights include:
- A formal signing of a resolution to commence collaborative research with Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) and announcement of winning proposals in a new multimillion-dollar joint program in renewable energy and biomedical research.
- Renewal of U-M and Peking University Joint Institute.
- Meeting with State Councilor Madame Liu Yandong and Madame Ma Dexiu, chairwoman of University Council of SJTU.
- Meeting with U.S. and Chinese representatives at the Shanghai World Expo.
U-M is engaging in several collaborations in China to help solve major world issues, including developing renewably energy and clean transportation; advancing health and fighting disease; understanding social dynamics; and addressing societal problems. The university is celebrating record numbers of Chinese students and significant contributions to the president's Student Global Challenge Initiative.
"We are eager to deepen our collaborations with Chinese academic leaders and faculty, as well as reach out to our incoming students from China and Hong Kong," Coleman said. "The University's strong bonds with China provide diverse learning and research opportunities for our faculty, staff and students."
Coleman will speak at Alumni Association-sponsored events and greet new students and their parents in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Students will be personally welcomed to the U-M community as they prepare for their journey to Ann Arbor this fall.
The ties between U-M and China go back to 1880 when then-president James Angell, in his role as U.S. minister, visited China and was convinced that the university and China had something vital to offer each other for the sake of the future. Throughout the last 130 years, partnerships and opportunities for faculty and students continued to grow in China and Ann Arbor.
To strengthen the relationship into the 21st century, Coleman traveled to China in 2005 and signed a series of agreements of cooperation with Chinese universities, including Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Beijing Normal University, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Tsinghua University. U-M collaborates with many more institutes in China, including Peking University and Tianjin University, with its top-ranked chemical engineering department.
As a result of Coleman's last trip, U-M has hosted three biennial Michigan-China Leadership Forums involving Michigan and Chinese higher education leaders from dozens of universities. U-M has established a UM-SJTU Joint Institute in Shanghai. U-M also has expanded its China-related programs, partnerships and initiatives. The university's Center for Chinese Studies marks its 50th anniversary in 2011. The center is devoted to a deep understanding of China, past and present.
In the fall of 2009, U-M had 1,168 students from China, more than any other nation outside the United States. Another 128 students were from Hong Kong.
"Our receptions in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong will be a wonderful opportunity to engage with students and their parents, answer their questions, and share our excitement about their joining our campus community," Coleman said.
During the visit, Coleman and SJTU leaders will meet at the Minhang campus to formally sign a resolution that reinforces the long-standing partnership. In March 2010, U-M and SJTU launched two programs for $3 million each over five years to jointly fund renewable energy and biomedical research projects to accelerate and promote development and commercialization. The universities will announce winning proposals at the meeting.
U-M and SJTU have collaborated on a joint proposal to both the U.S. and Chinese governments to develop a "clean vehicle." This proposal, which involves other institutions from both countries, was submitted in May to both governments.
Since the original U-M/SJTU partnership began in 2000, more than 60 engineering faculty have taught in Shanghai, and 250 engineering students have studied abroad at SJTU or the Joint Institute, including 38 students this summer.
Coleman and participants from U-M will tour the American and Chinese pavilions at the Shanghai World Expo and meet with Mme. Ma and local officials to discuss current and future collaborations aimed at improving global higher education and developing science technologies.
In Beijing, Coleman will visit Peking University to sign a memo of understanding to continue and celebrate collaborations by the universities. Among other projects and events, the U-M/Peking University Joint Institute has hosted the International NSF-REU Site for Chemistry in China, a summer undergraduate exchange program in the chemical, polymer/materials biological and life sciences.
In Ann Arbor, the U-M Confucius Institute, which opened in November 2009, partnered with Hanban (Chinese Language Council International) and Renmin University of China to focus primarily on the promotion of Chinese arts and cultures. The institute joined a network of more than 60 Confucius Institutes at universities around the United States?and more than 300 worldwide.
Presidential initiatives in China