Oswego signs exchange agreements with Chinese universities

signing ceremonySUNY Oswego has new exchange agreements with six universities in China, and its 13-year-old agreement with Capital Normal University in Beijing has been renewed.

Dr. Walter Opello, associate provost for international education and programs, announced the agreements on the return of a campus delegation to China.

Opello along with SUNY Oswego Dean of Business Lanny Karns and Xiaoqin Sun Irminger of the School of Education visited all seven universities last month. As China’s global impact grows, Opello said, “We thought it would be a good idea to have more opportunities in China.” Irminger, who joined the department of curriculum and instruction this year, helped make many of the contacts, he said.

The new agreements are with Shanghai Normal University, Wenzhou University, Wuhan University of Technology, and Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Zhejiang Gongshang University and Zhejiang University of Technology, all in Hangzhou.

The area around Shanghai and to the south and west, where all the universities are located, is a prosperous one, Opello observed. Shanghai Normal’s director of international exchange programs “commented that more and more of their students would like to study abroad, and many of them have the financial means to do so,” Irminger said.

The agreement with Capital Normal is active. “Two (Oswego) students are on their way there this semester,” Opello said. But the Beijing university has mainly served as a study-abroad destination for Oswego students.

“The agreement signed in 1993 seemed to allow much broader exchange and collaboration between the two universities,” Irminger noted. “Capital Normal expressed strong interest in expanding our current practices to include bilateral exchanges of students and faculty.”

The Chinese government grants scholarships to Chinese professors to go to the United States, but they need to find a host university, Opello said. Yang Mingjia of Wuhan University is at Oswego this year to work with Opello and Dr. Steve Rosow in political science.

Several Chinese faculty members at the various universities expressed interest in coming to Oswego in the future, Opello said. Irminger noted, for example, that a professor of philosophy at Capital Normal would like to come to Oswego as a visiting scholar.

Similarly, the opportunities for Oswego faculty to teach at the Chinese universities are attractive, Opello noted. The Chinese universities, he said, “have plenty of money to support this activity. If we can get faculty, they’ll take care of transportation. They’ll take care of room and board.”

Opello predicted that as many as 20 students and four faculty may come to Oswego from among the seven Chinese universities in the next couple of years.

As exchange students, the Chinese students and Oswego students would each pay the standard tuition at their home university, Opello explained. He said that he anticipated that some Chinese students who would sample Oswego as exchange students might stay to become full fee-paying students or return to Oswego later for graduate degrees.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Signing ceremony—Professor Zuguang Hu, president of Zhejiang Gongshang University, and Dr. Walter Opello of SUNY Oswego sign an exchange agreement in China last month. It is one of six new exchange agreements between universities in China and SUNY Oswego, which also has a longstanding agreement with Capital Normal University in Beijing.

(Posted: Feb 10, 2007)