On April 25, GSU President Mark Becker and Southwest Jiaotong University (SWJTU) President Chen Chunyang signed a strategic partnership agreement formalizing the two universities’ commitment to deepen and expand its long-standing relationship and to promote increased understanding between the United States and China.
President Becker and Associate Provost Liu traveled to Chengdu, China to finalize the agreement, which has been in the works for months. “Our faculty and students will benefit greatly from this university-wide partnership with a fine institution such as SWJTU, and we are excited to see this collaboration come to fruition,” said Becker.
“We are fortunate to have a strong partnership with such a renowned, highly-ranked university. This agreement fits within GSU’s strategic goal of globalizing the University and furthering international initiatives in one of our five strategic countries. This is the first university-wide agreement that GSU has entered with a Chinese institution, and we are confident that this agreement framework will provide each GSU college, school, or institute the opportunity for diverse and strategic collaborations,” said Liu.
At the university level, Georgia State is already benefiting from this relationship. Two graduating seniors have recently applied for SWJTU-sponsored Chinese Government Scholarships to complete their Masters degrees in Business. If successful, the students will start their programs in Fall 2012. “This generous support from SWJTU signals their commitment to attracting the best and brightest from GSU for knowledge- and culture-sharing with China. We are delighted that two of our students will have the opportunity to experience life in Chengdu,” said Liu.
GSU also has submitted four joint applications to the Chinese Ministry of Education for dual degree programs with Southwest Jiaotong University in Economics, Computer Science, Chemistry, and Biology. This is a competitive submission to facilitate support for Chinese students to obtain GSU and SWJTU degrees. While in Chengdu, Drs. Becker and Liu learned that the Sichuan Education Bureau has approved one program’s submission and will continue reviewing the other programs, with approval from the Chinese Ministry of Education forthcoming.
Robinson College of Business and the Center for International Business Education Research (CIBER) are initiating joint activities with SWJTU with the upcoming visit of CIBER Executive Director Professor Tamer Cavusgil to SWJTU. Meanwhile, six delegates from Andrew Young School for Policy Studies will be traveling to SWJTU this summer to discuss collaborative projects. Additionally, the College of Arts & Science has invited SWJTU faculty to Atlanta for collaborative research.
SWJTU is a top-tier Project 211 Chinese institution located in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. While its academic reputation lies in its excellence in railway engineering, the university also offers robust programs in Science, Management, Economics, Liberal Arts, and Law. The university boasts 74 undergraduate majors, 138 Masters programs, and 56 doctoral programs. SWJTU has exchange programs with over 80 universities and institutions in 60 countries, including the United States, Canada, France, and the Czech Republic.
GSU is eager to send its students to SWJTU’s beautiful 3,000-acre campus. Apart from its growth in the technology and engineering sectors, Chengdu is a culturally-rich historic city known for its cuisine, monasteries, festivals, and giant panda sanctuaries. With an international airport, as well as a major national railway station, Chengdu is easily accessible to visitors.
The Office of International Initiatives views this agreement as an important step toward building strong, university-wide relationships in China. To learn more about SWJTU, please visit their website.
May 7, 2012