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Global Connections

New steps in CSU's China efforts: Provost Miranda, delegation return from 10-day trip

October 31, 2011

A 10-member delegation from CSU, led by Provost and Executive Vice President Rick Miranda, has returned from a 10-day visit to China that focused on establishing CSU-Coca Cola Water Scholarships for Chinese students, creating special partnerships with five leading high schools in China and strengthening the relationship with East China Normal University, CSU's key strategic partner in Shanghai.

Signing ceremony at Anhui Agricultural UniversityHeart of the strategy

Miranda said China is at the heart of CSU’s internationalization strategy.

“We have been especially involved in China for the past three years, and the personal relationships that we have developed are critical to the success of CSU’s China programs,” he said.

CSU-Coca Cola Water Scholarship

For example, the new CSU-Coca Cola Water Scholarships that were announced last week by Amy Parsons, vice president for University Operations, will provide $1 million in support for Chinese undergraduates specializing in water-related fields.  The first two of these awards were announced at East China Normal University and Anhui Agricultural University.

Miranda and the CSU delegation also met with top executives of Coca-Cola China, including CEO Doug Jackson. CSU is exploring how to work on water sustainability issues in China with Coke China and two of its partners in Beijing, the U.N. Development Program and the World Wildlife Fund.

Chinese students are the largest group of international students at Colorado State University, but most of them are graduate students or juniors and seniors who transfer to CSU from one of CSU’s Chinese partnership universities.

In an important new step, CSU signed agreements last week with leading high schools in China, encouraging their students to apply directly to CSU for their undergraduate education.

New agreements with high schools

CSU delegation visiting Yingzhou High School in China“We signed agreements with five high schools in the Wuxi and Hangzhou areas in China, and we expect some excellent students to enroll at CSU next year,” said CSU Vice Provost for International Affairs Jim Cooney.  “The truly unique part of these relationships is that we are working with the Chinese Association of Science and Technology (CAST) to identify the best students for CSU.”

In Cooney’s estimation, no other U.S. university has developed this kind of a trilateral relationship linking top high schools, a national ministry in the Chinese government, and an American institution of higher education.

East China Normal University is one of China’s leading universities, and 37 ECNU undergraduates are presently enrolled at CSU.  The two universities announced a Joint Research Institute for New Energy and the Environment in June 2011, and faculty members from both institutions are actively engaged in developing collaborative research projects.

College of Business signs letter of intent

The 60th anniversary of East China Normal University is particularly auspicious for institutions in China, and the two major events for ECNU’s celebration were televised nationally.  CSU sent the largest international delegation to the anniversary.   In addition, CSU’s College of Business, represented by Dean Ajay Menon, signed a letter of intent with the ECNU faculty of business to develop study trip and dual degree options.

Other initiatives are on the horizon, said Wei Gao, director of China initiatives. The College of Engineering, for example, is considering a special four-year program in mechanical engineering with China Agricultural University.  In addition, the president of the Chinese Institute for Water and Hydropower Research in Beijing, Kuang Shang, invited CSU to participate in the Global Water Project which IWHR hosts. Silvia Morimoto, the UNDP deputy country director for China, invited CSU to be involved with UNDP’s 30-member council of water experts.

“These are important developments that signal how highly respected CSU is in international organizations in China,” Gao said.

Contact: Emily Wilmsen
Phone: (970) 491-2336