May 22, 2007
NC State-RTP Group Travels To China
North Carolina State University Chancellor James Oblinger will join an economic development delegation from the Research Triangle on a relationship-building trip to China, beginning May 24.
Oblinger will be joined on the trip by deans Terri Lomax (Graduate School), Louis Martin-Vega (Engineering) and Dan Solomon (Physical and Mathematical Sciences). Rick Weddle, president of Research Triangle Foundation, will lead the economic development contingent that will include Charles Hayes, president and CEO of Research Triangle Regional Partnership, and several members of the Wake County business community.
“International education and study-abroad opportunities are important parts of NC State’s mission,” Oblinger said. “They help us build relationships with international institutions and individuals and boost economic development for the state and nation. Education is the new language of the world and part of the currency of tomorrow.”
Last fall, NC State signed 13 academic agreements with universities in China, creating a range of new education and research opportunities for the university’s students and faculty and their counterparts from China. The first wave of exchanges under those agreements began earlier this month. International exchanges will continue throughout the summer and into the 2007-08 academic year.
“International study gives American students the opportunity to immerse themselves in global culture,” Oblinger said. “Bringing more international students to NC State broadens the diverse community already found on our campus. These academic connections also help to position North Carolina for economic development opportunities in China.”
Oblinger added that there is an “obvious tie” between international initiatives and NC State’s core economic development mission.
“NC State is the only North Carolina university that serves the entire state,” he said. “Until recently, we were the state’s only university with economic development as part of its mission. We’re very pleased to have the opportunity to further North Carolina’s economic ties to China while building academic relationships.”
This is the second international trip this spring for the chancellor. In March, he traveled with Under Secretary of State Karen Hughes and five other chancellors and presidents on a weeklong trip to India to promote U.S. higher education.
The chancellor and deans will meet with their counterparts at several Chinese universities and also will visit NC State students studying in China.
NC State International Study Quick Facts:
- NC State has 150 institutional linkages with foreign institutions, including academic, faculty and student exchanges and research collaborations.
- The university offers international programming that ranges in complexity from simple faculty and student exchanges to large-scale initiatives such as the College of Design’s Prague Institute, which serves as a base for the exploration of educational, research and professional opportunities in other European countries. Beginning in 2007, the Prague Institute will be open to all NC State students, and will offer, in addition to design courses, a set of General Education Requirement courses intended to meet the needs of most NC State students.
- Dozens of research projects connect faculty to international universities, including the study of Chinese legal history and contemporary civil law, generational caregiving, supply chain management, environmental protection, waste management, ecological restoration projects, business development, road construction, textile R&D, power semiconductor devices, network security, cell mortality, animal breeding and disease management, neurocomputing, fuzzy systems theory, and robotics.
- NC State is home to about 2,000 international students. In 2006, the university received more than 4,500 applications from international students for its graduate programs.
October 11, 2006
NC State to Sign Agreements With Top-Ranked Chinese Universities
North Carolina State University announced today the plan to enter a number of academic partnerships with some of the top-ranked universities in China. The agreements will transform international studies at the university, create new avenues for graduates to compete globally and help the state and its people link to one of the world’s fastest-growing economies to better meet the challenges of globalization.
In a whirlwind trip to China Oct. 22 to Nov. 1, NC State Provost Larry Nielsen, Interim Vice Provost for International Affairs Bailian Li and Dr. Duane Larick, associate dean of the Graduate School, will formally sign six academic agreements with Chinese universities, including the three highest-ranked universities in China: Peking University, Tsinghua University and Zhejiang University. NC State administrators will also cement ties with China Agricultural University, Beijing Forestry University and Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The agreements would build long-term bases for NC State student and faculty international experiences, as well as codify master’s-degree programs for some of the Chinese students. Research, summer-study and student-exchange program agreements will also be signed during the trip.
Numbers of students in exchange and study-abroad programs would be in the dozens in the first few years of the initiative and hundreds thereafter, NC State officials say. The new program starts in summer 2007, when about 50 NC State students will study at Zhejiang University, while engineering students from Peking University will perform research at NC State.
“A world-class university enters world-class partnerships for the mutual benefit of both partners,” said Chancellor James Oblinger. “These agreements are all about economic development and educating students in the 21st century, which means helping students develop their international credibility in a global economy.”
N.C. Commerce Secretary Jim Fain agreed that the dynamics of the new world marketplace require workers to be more sophisticated when it comes to international economics. “With more and more foreign-owned companies doing business in North Carolina and more North Carolina companies exporting and producing their products overseas, the importance of understanding the relationship with an emerging economic leader such as China is critical,” Fain said. “These programs should provide invaluable experiences for the students who participate in them, when they enter the job market.”
NC State students would spend one semester or one academic year in China taking classes they need to complete their degree, so they wouldn’t lose any progress toward their degree during their international experience, Nielsen says. Some NC State students would take classes taught by NC State professors in China, while some would take classes with Chinese professors.
“Access to a job-ready, globally savvy workforce is extremely important to employers, especially in and around Research Triangle Park” Nielsen says. “The international exposure and real-world experience in China will give NC State students a leg up when they compete for jobs, because they’ll have experience in the global marketplace. The university will also benefit from the increased number of international students and the global perspective they bring to the classroom.”
Degrees from U.S. universities make international students more competitive in the job market, and are therefore highly sought, Li says.The NC State delegation will also meet with Chinese officials to finalize the plan for bringing a Confucius Institute to NC State. In this agreement, Chinese faculty would come to NC State to teach Chinese language and culture. San Francisco State University, the University of Kansas, the University of Maryland and Michigan State University are among the few U.S. universities that currently have Confucius Institutes on their campuses.