[photopress:university_of_buffalo.jpg,full,alignright]Last year, officials from Daemen College, a small, liberal arts college in Amherst, came to China and signed a pact for a student-exchange program with two Chinese universities.
Edwin G. Clausen, Daemen’s vice president for academic affairs, said, ‘We decided we really wanted to push hard in China. The growth of China in all areas makes it a perfect place for collaboration.’
Daemen College is not the only advanced education establishment seriously keen to expand into China. The University of Buffalo is another example. Stephen C. Dunnett, UB’s vice provost for international education, said, ‘We need to have more young Americans who speak Chinese who know the country and can do business there.’
The University of Buffalo was the first American university to have an exchange agreement with a Chinese university. Stephen Dunnett and engineering professor George C. Lee negotiated a deal in 1980. The University of Buffalo still operates an executive MBA program in Beijing.
Stephen Dunnett said about his initial visits, ‘It was a very dark place. The universities were not in good shape. People were demoralized. What gave me hope were the students. They were diligent and eager to learn what they could from me. Many of them slept in the classrooms, because they didn’t have dorms.’
Quarter of a century later Edwin G. Clausen says a middle class has blossomed. Beijing and Shanghai make Manhattan look like it’s standing still.
More than 1,000 University of Buffalo students and faculty members and its partners in China have participated in joint exchanges, programs and research over the last 25 years. The University can boast that Zhou Ji, one of its alumni, is China’s education minister. Last year the University of Buffalo enrolled nearly 500 undergraduate and graduate students from China.
Source: Buffalo News