Youngstown State University has signed agreements with five universities in China as part of an effort to expand the institution’s global reach.
The agreements, which set the framework for a variety of educational collaborations, were inked during a two-week trip to China by a six-person delegation from YSU.
“There are tremendous opportunities in China for YSU to build relationships and establish partnerships that we believe, over the long haul, could be extremely beneficial for our students, faculty and the greater Youngstown community,” said Martin Abraham, YSU provost and a member of the delegation. “It was a whirlwind two weeks.”
In addition to the signed agreements, the delegation made three recruitment presentations, met with recruitment agencies and specialists, presented a lecture and showed a video about YSU’s additive manufacturing program, hosted a dinner for YSU alumni in Shanghai, and participated at an education expo. About 75 students completed inquiry cards to get more information about attending YSU.
Overall, the delegation visited five cities and nine universities. Abraham signed memoranda of understanding with five universities: Beijing Jiaotong University, China University of Petroleum Beijing, Beijing Northern Investment Group (representing 18 colleges with 200,000 students), Chengdu Technological University and Communication University of China in Nanjing.
Abraham said the memoranda set the stage for future discussions about more specific collaborations with the universities, such as 2+2 programs in which students study two years in China and two years at YSU and 3+1+1 programs leading to master’s degrees.
Other members of the YSU delegation were Mike Crist, interim dean of the College of Creative Arts and Communication; Hazel Marie, associate professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering; Patrick Bateman, associate professor of Management; Qi Jiang, professor of Sociology, Anthropology and Gerontology; and Ann Gardner, assistant director of the YSU Center for International Studies and Programs.
“We had some good conversations, opened up lines of communication and began to establish some excellent relationships; we now have a great deal of follow up to do,” Abraham said. “Our hope is to send a second delegation to China within the next year.”
The China initiative is part of a larger effort by YSU to expand its international footprint. The university is currently searching for an associate provost for international and global initiatives.