Strengthening internationalized education

Grace Ho

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A CityU delegation to the US, 3-11 December, led by Professor H K Chang, University President, successfully established a partnership with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign  (UIUC), which has agreed to sign a general academic exchange agreement and a student exchange agreement with CityU.





Dr Richard Herman, Chancellor of IUC, will visit Hong Kong in January 2005 to conclude the signing of the agreement. “Internationalization is an inseparable issue facing all universities. I am very pleased that the UIUC is committed to joining forces with CityU, and has a great interest in the concept of ‘trilateral alliance’ which promotes equal partnership among the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and overseas countries, introduced by us,” said Professor Chang. 


Inernational competitiveness is the cornerstone for Hong Kong's success. The University Grants Committee (UGC) calls for joint efforts among local higher educatiton institutions to promote internationalization of the student body by attracting non-local students to study in Hong Kong, and enabling more local sudents to join student exchange programmes. CityU responses proactively with  UGC's internatinalization strategic plan. Professor Chang led a six-person delegation and paid a visit to four reputable universities in the US. The trip aimed to further expand CityU’s academic and student exchange linkages with institutions in the US and attract incoming exchange students.



Professor Chang, joined by Professor Ian Holliday, Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (FHS); Professor C H Chan, Dean, Faculty of Science and Engineering; Professor James Moy, Dean, School of Creative Media; and Dr Zhu Guobin, Director, External Liaison and Cooperative Office (ELCO), also visited the City University of New York (CUNY), Vanderbilt University in Nashville, and WashingtonUniversity in St. Louis. The delegation has achieved beneficial discussions with senior faculty of the partner institutions on new initiatives in the areas of student internship programmes, summer schools in humanities and social sciences taught on the mainland, and an English version of the Chinese Civilisation course.


“We were very well received and had useful exchanges. The institutions are all very eager and interested in collaborating with CityU,” said Professor Moy, who graduated from UIUC with a PhD. He met the heads of UIUC’s Department of Theatre, Washington University’s School of Arts, and the directors of Film Studies and Studio Arts at Vanderbilt.


“The trip was very stimulating,” said Professor Holliday. “It was great to be received so enthusiastically by the institutions we visited. It confirms that CityU has been recognized as a well established university with a key role to play on the international stage.” 


In addition, a new idea for student exchange programmes was conceived by the delegates during the trip. The idea is to put students from the mainland, Hong Kong, and overseas countries in the same class. “The FHS is looking forward to discussing with our mainland partners,

namely, the Zhejiang University, Yunan University, Sichuan University and Beijing Jiao Tong University, on whether it's

possible to offer intensive learning courses in which overseas students can study with CityU and mainland students next summer. The focus will be on language and cultural studies, and politics and societies in Chinese, to be supplemented by English materials,” said Professor Holliday.


CityU’s international student exchange programmes provides opportunities for students to travel and study abroad. To date, CityU has concluded 321 academic and student exchange agreements with 25 countries and regions around the world. Since 1996-97, the University has sent and received 819 exchange



ELCO is helping the University to achieve its goal of becoming an internationalized higher education institution by promoting more academic and student exchanges with other institutions. “We're having more exchange students here. Our office will work closely with colleagues in various departments in coordinating related matters and supporting non-local students,” said Dr Zhu.


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