NANNING, China – Guangxi University in China will send 260 students to study at MTSU, almost doubling the goal set when the partners announced an ambitious “three-plus-two” program two years ago.
The surprise came before MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee wrapped up his fourth visit on Sunday to the Nanning campus serving the Guangxi region, located on China’s southern border with Vietnam.
“You have been a frequent visitor to Guangxi, which demonstrates the value and importance you place on our relationship,” Guangxi University President Zhao Yanlin told McPhee in announcing the new student total.
The program allows selected Guangxi seniors to come to the Murfreesboro campus for two years to finish their undergraduate studies and earn a master’s degree. The academic partners had set a goal of 140 students when the pact was announced two years ago. You can watch a video about the partnership at https://youtu.be/YqqhpfXTDKQ.
“While we have many partnerships in China, this one will be the model that we will use in establishing new relationships around the world,” McPhee said.
MTSU’s Jennings A. Jones College of Business has played a pivotal role in the partnership with most of the Guangxi students pursuing degrees in finance and business administration.
The MTSU business faculty members will teach at Guangxi this year, including Dr. Thomas Tang, who next week will wrap up a course in human resources management he has led on the Nanning campus. Tang, a faculty member in the Department of Marketing, joined McPhee in discussions with Guangxi officials about next steps in the partnership.
Six professors from Guangxi are expected to arrive at MTSU this fall, said Zhang Weiyu, executive vice dean of Guangxi’s International Education College.
Yanlin, who visited MTSU three years ago for a ceremony to launch the partnership, told McPhee that Guangxi was recently designated as one of China’s 14 key universities. He also said the university will have a medical school by year’s end.
“It is clear that, under your leadership, Guangxi is building a national reputation in China and, perhaps, all of Asia,” McPhee told Yanlin.
McPhee also lectured to several dozen Guangxi students about the advantages of studying at an American university, including a special emphasis on MTSU.
Founded in 1928, Guangxi has an enrollment of more than 24,000 students, similar to MTSU’s. Also like MTSU, most of its students are undergraduates, and it is known for its wide variety of majors within its 30 colleges.
Guangxi’s academic disciplines include various degree programs in public management, business and commerce, culture and mass communication, agriculture, and science, as well as specialties within education, science, and engineering.
Guangxi boasts academic exchanges with more than 150 universities or research institutes in 35 countries or regions.
McPhee, who is visiting with new and continuing partner universities during his China trip, travels next to an international ethnopharmacology conference for a presentation on MTSU’s research on traditional Chinese herbs for medicinal purposes.