Tuesday, June 11, 2013

[527] Visits to Chongqing and Beijing conclude MTSU’s China tour Delegation returned Tuesday from seven-city tour to bolster international enrollment

BEIJING, China — Middle Tennessee State University concluded its delegation’s visit to China on Tuesday after meetings at universities in Beijing and Chongqing and the main offices of the Confucius Institute.

The stops at Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications; Communication University of China in Beijing; and Hanban Confucius Institute’s global headquarters in Beijing wrapped up the delegation’s seven-city agenda.

“We have been buoyed by the support and awareness of MTSU from our colleagues and friends in China,” said MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee. “As a result, we forged many meaningful agreements and connections that will benefit our university.”

In Chongqing, McPhee met with CUPT President Lin Jianhua to discuss future exchanges between the two institutions. CUPT is one of the country’s top universities for information science and technology.

Lin designated a representative to attend MTSU this fall to pursue a graduate degree and begin planning a future visit to Murfreesboro by officials from Chongqing. McPhee also lectured to students about the advantages of international studies and talked about opportunities for graduate-level learning at MTSU.

In Beijing, state Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, led the delegation to meet with Wang Yongli, deputy-director general of Hanban. Wang helps oversee a network of more than 350 Confucius Institutes in more than 100 countries.

Ketron, a 1976 graduate of MTSU, expressed strong support for the institute’s work on the Murfreesboro campus in promoting Chinese language learning in Tennessee.

Ketron and the delegation’s visit to the Communication University of China included a lunch with faculty and administrators and a review of ongoing student and faculty exchanges. CCU is ranked as the country’s No. 1 media education university and has been called “the cradle of China’s broadcasting and television talents.”

Joining the session at CCU was Zeny Sarabia-Panol, associate dean of MTSU’s College of Mass Communication, who is teaching at the Beijing campus this summer.

MTSU has an international enrollment of more than 700 full-time, degree-seeking students, a 16.5 percent increase over last year and a jump of almost 30 percent from 2011. The university has targeted higher international enrollment as a way to diversify the MTSU campus and generate additional revenue.

The MTSU delegation also renewed or established relationships with Shanghai Jiao Tong University; Hangzhou Normal University; the Research Institute of Industrial Design of Shunde; Guangxi University; and the Guangxi Botanical Garden of Medicinal Plants. It also visited government officials in Guilin.

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