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UW Officials Visit Chinese Universities, Sign Two Agreements

June 5, 2019
group of people gathered around an exterior sign
UW representatives pose for a photo at the Shanghai University of Sport during their visit to China in May. (UW Photo)

Students from Chinese universities will have opportunities to earn University of Wyoming master’s degrees in atmospheric science, and study and train in Nordic skiing and other high-altitude sports at UW, as a result of agreements signed during a visit of UW officials to China last month.

The agreements with Chengdu University of Information and Technology (CUIT) and Shanghai University of Sport (SUS) were the highlights of the UW delegation’s weeklong visit in early May. The 10 UW officials also visited three other Chinese universities and a number of related educational organizations, and hosted a reception for UW alumni.

“Our visit to China was very productive,” says Anthony Ogden, associate vice provost for global engagement, who handled most of the visit’s arrangements. “The signing of agreements with CUIT and SUS was clearly the highlight, but we further enhanced long-standing relationships with other institutions that we expect will support our aims to realize our strategic plan objectives of increasing international partnerships and collaboration to benefit our institutions and the state.”

The agreement with CUIT paves the way for students enrolled in CUIT’s Master of Science program to simultaneously earn a UW master’s degree in atmospheric science -- by taking courses at CUIT in the first year and then completing coursework and research at UW in the second and/or third years. This innovative partnership enables two degrees to be awarded in as little as two years, something that normally would require at least four years.

The Chinese students will be required to pay for their own educational and other expenses at UW, but the two universities have compatible courses and program supports to help all students succeed.

“This dual degree program is established to enhance collaboration between the universities; to contribute to the development of our higher education institutions; to contribute to individual students’ personal development; and to improve their chances in an international professional environment; and to contribute to innovation and competitiveness as well as exchanges between China and the United States,” the agreement reads, in part.

Meanwhile, the agreement between SUS and UW will establish an SUS-UW Center in UW’s Division of Kinesiology and Health Promotion. It’s intended to support visiting faculty and scholars; facilitate education, training and research collaboration; and provide student and faculty exchanges. The collaboration will start with an SUS-funded graduate student program at UW in the 2019-2020 academic year.

“One of the principal duties of modern institutions of higher education is to enable students to acquire international competencies and cross-cultural experiences -- which help them prepare for professional life,” says Derek Smith, director of UW’s Division of Kinesiology and Health Promotion. “International friendship, mutual understanding and professional collaboration also enhance the global profile of institutions of higher education.”

The SUS agreement also establishes an education coaching program in Nordic ski training, in conjunction with UW’s competitive Nordic skiing program. SUS will provide funding for 10 of its students to come to UW to train with UW Nordic skiers; participate in classroom and field experiences and research; and learn coaching techniques.

While in China, the UW delegation also visited Shanghai University, Shanghai Normal University and the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics. The group included Ogden; Smith; Provost Kate Miller; Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Kyle Moore; College of Business Dean David Sprott; Mark Lyford, executive director of the Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning; Margaret Wilson, Department of Theatre and Dance professor; Qin Zhu, associate professor in the Division of Kinesiology and Health Promotion; Christi Boggs, associate lecturer in distance education and co-head coach of the Nordic ski team; and Rachel Watson, senior lecturer in the Department of Chemistry and co-head coach of the Nordic ski team.

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