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Wayne State visit to China bolsters academic programs, cultural understanding
Wayne State University reaffirmed its commitment to economic, educational and cultural engagement with China in November with a delegation’s visit to several Chinese universities.
China is an economic world power, and familiarity with Chinese culture and business models is a critical component of higher education in America, said Ezzeddine, noting that President Obama in 2009 pledged to send 100,000 students to China over the subsequent four years. Speaking before an audience at SCUT’s 60th anniversary celebration, Ezzeddine noted that “academic, cultural and economic exchanges with China will be some of the most worthwhile in this exciting era of global collaboration.”
Ezzeddine also spoke about the large number Michigan companies that are successful investors in China, Michigan governor Rick Snyder’s focus on encouraging Chinese investment in Michigan, and the demand for teachers to teach Mandarin to business leaders in Metropolitan Detroit. Helping to meet this demand is the Confucius Institute, a partnership between Wayne State and Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, which helps the Wayne State College of Education recruit and train teachers who become certified to teach Chinese as a second language in Southeast Michigan. The Institute also helps Michigan high school students study in China and has partnered with Tech Town, Wayne State’s research park and incubator, to launch the Chinese Business Club, which helps Chinese companies locate to Detroit. Finally, Wayne State partners with Chinese universities and others around the world through Partners for the Advancement of Engineering Education, which provides millions of dollars of software and hardware from corporate donors to help prepare designers, engineers and analysts with skills to excel in a high tech economy.
Wayne State’s presence in China, which has historically sent more students to Wayne State than any other country, is part of the university’s larger commitment to international outreach, Ezzeddine said.
Meanwhile, said Ezzeddine, Wayne State gets great satisfaction serving the Chinese student body.
“We are always impressed by the focus and drive that Chinese students exhibit,” he noted. “These students come hungry to learn, and they master the knowledge they need about American systems and culture. We want to do everything we can to give our students the same insights about China.”