Message from the President on China
June 29, 2010
Dear University Community:
I recently returned from an extremely productive trip to China with Dean Jin Gong and Dean Lynn Beck. In Beijing, we visited the University of Science and Technology, Capital University of Economics and Business, and two divisions of the Ministry of Education: the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE) and the National Academy of Education Administration (NAEA). In Shanghai, we toured Tonji University, Shanghai Finance University and Fudan University. This trip allowed us to strengthen existing partnerships, explore new possibilities for collaboration, and establish high-level contacts among China's higher education administrators.
I am pleased to report that University of the Pacific is poised to become an important partner for China's higher education system. The Chinese are intrigued by the Pacific model of higher education: an independent, student-centered university that educates citizen leaders with creativity and innovation. Pacific is also likely to become a key agent for other American independent colleges and universities interested in partnering with China.
Recently, the American federal government launched two new programs: the People-to-People Exchange and the "100,000 Strong: US Students in China" Initiative. People-to-People promotes personal engagement and cooperation between the US and China. "100,000 Strong" encourages private-sector student exchanges; over the next four years, China hopes to attract 100,000 American students to study abroad. I was honored when China's Vice Minister of Education, Weihong Li, told me that she is looking specifically to University of the Pacific for help with the "100,000 Strong" effort.
In light of our wish to expand international opportunities for our students and increase the number of international students studying at Pacific, Dean Gong, Dean Beck and I met with administrators, faculty and students in Beijing and Shanghai to discuss expanding our study abroad, visiting faculty and dual degree offerings. At Fudan University, one of China's top five higher education institutions, I signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to facilitate exchange among PhD students in pharmacy and advanced pre-pharmacy students. I signed another MOU with the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE) to explore possible dual degree programs. We look forward to working further on these agreements.
Much of our time in China was spent exploring ideas for future collaboration, but I was also delighted to meet with students from an alliance that is already flourishing. The Gladys L. Benerd School of Education's Master's of Arts in Education program is preparing to graduate its first cohort in Shanghai in August. In this program, twenty-five Chinese elementary and secondary teachers studied under Benerd faculty in residence in Shanghai. Their graduation will be an excellent - and timely - reminder of the potential for success in Pacific's China partnerships. These efforts in China will give us the opportunity to establish international ties, educate our students as global citizens, and share an innovative model of teaching and learning with a higher education system that serves millions.
Thank you for your support as we continue to expand Pacific's global connections.
Pamela A. Eibeck, PhD