On Thursday, April 20th, a delegation consisting of nine university administrators from from nine public universities in east, northwest and northeast China and three officials from the Chinese Ministry of Education visited the UALR campus. The delegation spent the morning learning about the services that UALR provides to incoming international students. Wang Chao, Sr. International Student Advisor at UALR, presented information on the statistics of U.S. Students Studying Abroad as well as the application and orientation process for UALR International Students. Two UALR students, Penn “Ross” Jackson and Ellen Brown, who recently returned from their ten day faculty-led travel course to China, and five UALR international students from China, Hangkun Ling, Fan Liu, Xiangfei Qian, Xu Lu, and Fei Song, joined the delegation to answer questions and share their experiences. China ranks third, behind Saudi Arabia and India, for the highest number of international students on the UALR campus.
The delegation shared their enthusiasm for continuing to build relationships and cooperation within the United States. Additionally, they shared information about the new Study-in-China Scholarships available by the Chinese Government. Many of the institutions in China have begun providing short-term study programs in the summer to meet the needs of U.S. students. Mr. Zheng, Deputy Dean of the School of Chinese Studies at Xi’an International Studies University, stated “we have 1000 international students but no students from Arkansas.” Ms. Han, Dean of the International Education College, Dalian Medical University, invited UALR to send ten students to visit her institution for ten days to tour and learn about Chinese culture and the education system.
More information on the delegation:
The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations has worked with the Chinese Ministry of Education and the U.S. Department of Education for about 30 years in the implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two government agencies in the early 1980’s. The counterpart organization is the China Education Association of International Exchange (CEAIE). Under the Memorandum, the Chinese Ministry sends two delegations to the United States every year, and the U.S. Department sends a group of American educators to China each summer. The theme of each group, beyond a general understanding of the host country’s education, culture, and history, changes depending on the delegation members’ interests.