ASU, Sichuan University renew ties
Arizona State University has had a deep partnership with Sichuan University for several years, including student and faculty exchanges, and the two institutions strengthened those ties on Tuesday.
A delegation from Sichuan UniversitySichuan University, in Chengdu, China, has 40,000 undergraduate students and more than 20,000 master's and PhD candidates. visited ASU to sign a renewal agreement and to discuss new programs that would benefit the two world-class universities. Sustainability, language studies and fine arts were mentioned as potential areas of collaboration.
“I think global studies is an important area for the two universities to work together,” said Shijing Yan, vice president of Sichuan University for international affairs and humanities and social science.
He cited the Confucius Institute at ASU as a particular benefit to both universities.
“It is highly appreciated,” Yan said.
The institute offers Chinese language lessons, a camp for Valley youths and community cultural events as well as an eight-week summer language program for ASU students at Sichuan University.
Provost Mark Searle said the Sichuan partnership is an important part of ASU’s mission.
“ASU has been on a continuous track for a number of years to globalize the institution by encouraging more international students to study here,” said Searle (shown above presenting a gift bag to Yan).
Nearly 10,000 international students attend ASU, with more than a third of them from China.
Searle mentioned ASU’s recent acquisition of the Thunderbird School of Global Management, and the potential for a partnership at the Glendale campus intrigued the Sichuan administrators.
“There might be another point of action there to build on,” Searle said. “Your students would come with a huge advantage. Thunderbird’s undergraduate and master’s program require second-language competency, and your students come with two languages.”
After the signing, the Sichuan delegation met with their own students who are studying at ASU, as well as with staff from the study-abroad office and several academic colleges.
Yan said the partnership has been beneficial to Sichuan’s students.
“The students say the summers are hot,” Yan said. “But this you cannot avoid.”