Coleman, delegation head to China
President Mary Sue Coleman will lead a delegation to China June 18-25 to further the University's more than century-long ties to the country and finalize agreements for educational relationships with several leading Chinese universities.
During the visit Coleman will receive an honorary degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the second ever conferred by the 110-year-old institution. She also will sign collaborative agreements and discuss opportunities for student and research exchange during visits to four top-ranking Chinese institutions: Peking University, Tsinghua University, Fudan University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
In addition, Coleman will meet with Minister of Education Zhou Ji to explore broader future collaborations. She also will host receptions with U-M alumni and friends in Shanghai and Beijing.
"Cultural and economic globalization is our shared future," Coleman says. "Collaborations between the University of Michigan and Chinese universities open opportunities for educating U.S. college graduates who are fluent and possess the skills for performing in a global economy. And these collaborations help us create global leaders who can translate our political and economic systems to their home countries.
"International science is changing rapidly. A highly competitive global economy has emerged where innovation is critical to success. Students and faculty alike need and demand a deep understanding of international cultures," she says. "As a leading large public research institution, the University of Michigan is a major stakeholder in all these areas. We welcome this opportunity for meaningful exchanges that deepen our engagement.
"U-M's ties to China began with President James Angell's service as minister to the country in the 1880s," Coleman adds. "Our many new and existing collaborations with Chinese universities build on a strong foundation and a long history."
Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the U-M College of Engineering will establish a Joint Institute in Engineering that will create a uniquely strong linkage between a U.S. and Chinese university. The institute will manage and direct an array of degree-granting programs offered by the universities to students from both nations, as well as cooperative research and exchange programs for students and faculty. U-M became the first U.S. university to be granted the right to award graduate engineering degrees in China in 2001 as a result of its long-standing partnership with Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The institute will provide a framework for future collaboration beyond the engineering disciplines, eventually involving additional U.S. universities.
Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the Life Sciences Institute will create a Collaboration in Chemical Genomics. Chemical genomics uses robotic lab equipment and computers to rapidly screen through libraries of tens of thousands of chemical compounds. The universities will collaborate on robotic screening projects involving natural products like those found in sea life as well as Chinese herbal medicine compounds. They also will collaborate on in-depth chemistry that has to be performed to understand the screening results. There will be faculty and student exchange.
U-M and Peking University will create a Joint Center for Interdisciplinary Humanities and Social Sciences. The center will contain:
• A U-M/Peking University Quantitative Social Science Program to support research and training in the quantitative social sciences. The agreement includes educational and research activities, as well as the completion of a bi-annual survey of a representative sample of three Chinese provinces with a combined population of 150 million people. The joint venture will help make social science findings more useful in understanding Chinese social problems and in developing sound public policies.
• A U-M/Peking University/Tsinghua University Program to Globalize Interdisciplinary Chinese Studies to support research and training in approaches that draw on multiple academic disciplines. Joint seminars in Beijing will bring together U-M and Chinese students and faculty. The location of the program in Beijing will give U.S. students access to Chinese scholars, libraries and museums, and immersion in Chinese culture.
Fudan University and the U-M Women's Studies Program will create a Gender Studies Institute that will be the first of its kind in China. It will lay a foundation for establishing gender as an academic field of study in the country. The agreement provides the groundwork for creating the first graduate program in women's studies at a major Chinese university. The program will begin by offering a graduate credential granted by U-M on completion of prescribed course work and examinations. Responsibility for teaching the courses will be shared by U-M and universities in China.
U-M China delegation
President Mary Sue Coleman