Illinois university signs agreements with Chinese college

Updated: 2014-12-08 06:48

By PAUL WELIZKIN in New York(China Daily USA)

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

Illinois State University (ISU) has signed agreements with Wuhan University in China to exchange students and faculty members.

"Wuhan is considered one the top 10 universities in China so we are happy to have this relationship," Luis Canales, director of the ISU office of international studies and programs, told China Daily in an interview.

ISU President Larry Dietz signed two agreements with Wuhan officials last month, Canales said. "One is a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that calls for cooperation between the schools in teaching and student exchanges. The other includes four students from Wuhan coming to ISU for one or two semesters to study. We will send either four students or a combination of faculty and students to Wuhan for two weeks next summer."

ISU is in Normal, Illinois, about 130 miles southwest of Chicago. The school has about 20,000 students and was Illinois' first public university. Wuhan University is in Wuhan in Hebei Province in central China and has over 50,000 students. It has medical and law schools.

Canales said Wuhan is most interested in ISU's PhD programs in teaching and higher education administration.

He said ISU has about 400 foreign students with about 50 from China. "Like most of our overseas students, they are mainly interested in our business and engineering technology programs," he said.

According to the school, more than 400 Illinois State students go abroad to 60 countries every year.

Canales said ISU offers Chinese language classes.

Illinois State is committed to doubling the number of its undergraduate students who study abroad over the next five years and has joined the Institute of International Education (IIE)'s Generation Study Abroad initiative.

"One of the guiding principles of the Educating Illinois strategic plan is to prepare students to be informed and engaged global citizens, and an experience studying abroad is instrumental in this preparation," Dietz said in a statement last May.

Dietz told the Pantagraph newspaper in Bloomington, Illinois, that foreign student enrollment at ISU is currently 2 percent. Usually a school the size of ISU would have a foreign enrollment of 5 percent, he said.

"That's not going to happen overnight and we don't want it to come all from one country. We want a diverse international student population," Dietz told the newspaper.