KSU announces partnership with China

Michelle Bender

Students at Kent State may now travel to China for study abroad opportunities.

A number of university administrators returned from China last week, making the partnership with Kent State and China official. Their trip had several goals, including doubling Chinese students at Kent State, establishing Kent State’s presence in China, signing a memorandum of understanding with Chinese universities and expanding Kent State’s language program.

“This is an exciting initiative for Kent State,” said Steve Michael, vice provost for diversity. “It was an important trip because Kent State is a latecomer for higher education in China.”

Michael said 20 Chinese students are already admitted to Kent State for the fall semester and the number may increase before September. He also said Kent State’s new Beijing office is officially open, which establishes a good presence in China.

“This is good because we just started the operation three months ago,” Michael said.

James Gaudino, dean of the Collge of Communication and Information, said a big part of the trip was to establish joint degree programs where students from China could come to Kent State for a year or two, or vice versa, and still earn a degree from their home school.

Gaudino said the Chinese universities were particularly interested in Kent State’s public relations, mass media and communications programs.

“I would like programs to be international in focus,” Gaudino said, “to give students a greater exposure to different countries and cultures.”

Gaudino also said Kent State’s partnership with China is important for students because after college there is a chance of dealing with Chinese businesses.

Michael said Kent State will also be hosting principals and teachers from Chinese high schools every summer. He said they will be here for professional development.

“This enables a pipeline to schools there,” Michael said.

Michael said faculty exchange was another goal of the trip. He said faculty from Chinese universities would stay at Kent State for a semester or longer to improve researching and teaching skills. He also said Shanghai International Studies University has one faculty member coming to Kent State in the fall and another in the spring.

“Given where we started from, we have a compelling plan and committed staff to make progress and make it quickly,” Michael said.

Contact College of Communication and Information reporter Michelle Bender at [email protected].