BEIJING – Today Governor Sonny Perdue and senior officials of Tsinghua University in China announced the creation of a partnership between the University of Georgia (UGA) and Tsinghua University that will initiate mutual educational opportunities for UGA and Tsinghua students and faculty members.
“This partnership with China’s most prestigious university builds on Georgia’s many educational ties with China, and opens new frontiers for Georgia students,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “By creating international educational opportunities for our students we are preparing them to enter the global economy and to contribute to Georgia’s outstanding intellectual capital.”
The partnership agreement lays the foundation for a variety of cooperative research and educational exchanges between UGA and Tsinghua University. Potential programs include faculty and student exchanges, study abroad, collaborative research programs, seminars and workshops, and public service programs.
The signing of the partnership is a significant piece of Governor Perdue’s economic development mission in China and enhances the business aspects of the mission. Georgia’s highly-educated workforce is a critical business asset for companies seeking to locate or expand in the state. Atlanta, Georgia’s capital city, is home to the most highly-educated demographic group (ages 25 – 34) in the U.S., and more than 44,000 students graduate from Georgia universities and colleges each year.
The state’s highly-regarded universities have welcomed thousands of Chinese students and established strong links to leading Chinese universities. Among them are:
- The Asia Council of the University System of Georgia, which develops programs between Georgia institutions and partners in Asia, coordinates study abroad programs in China, and sponsors a Teach English in China program. The Council also organizes faculty exchanges with China.
- The University of Georgia’s Sino-American Joint Training Program and Center for Asian Studies.
- The Georgia Tech-Shanghai Initiative, which enables Georgia Tech students to live and study in China and exposes Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) students to Georgia Tech’s educational assets. An agreement between SJTU and Georgia Tech allows students of SJTU to receive dual master’s degrees from both institutions.
- Kennesaw State University (KSU), which houses the China Research Center, Sino-American Education Consortium, Center for International Programs, and Chinese Proficiency Testing Center.
“The partnership signed by Governor Perdue today solidifies a relationship we have been building for some time,” said Dr. Arnett Mace, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Georgia. “This new bond with Tsinghua University will provide outstanding opportunities for our students and faculty, and the ultimate beneficiaries will be the citizens of Georgia.”
A full contingent of prominent Georgia educators attended the signing ceremony at Tsinghua University, including Dr. Steve Wrigley, Vice President of UGA; Dr. Steven McLaughlin, Vice Provost for International Initiatives at Georgia Tech; Dr. Cheng Zhu of Georgia Tech; Dr. Sheb True, Director of Graduate Business Programs at Kennesaw State University; Al Hodge, Vice-Chairman of Georgia’s Board of Education; and Dennis Kelly, President & CEO of Zoo Atlanta.
After signing the partnership agreement, Governor Perdue delivered a lecture to an audience of Tshinghua students and faculty members on the topic “Open for Business: The International Spotlight of the Olympic Games.” The Governor’s well-received presentation, part of the university’s Global Vision Leadership Lecture series, highlighted the promising economic legacy the 2008 Olympic Games hold for China, based on the 1996 Games’ long-term beneficial impact on Georgia’s economy.
The five-day business mission will wrap up with a dinner Thursday evening hosted by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries in honor of Governor Perdue and the First Lady. The association was the State of Georgia’s official host during the mission.
For more information on Governor Perdue’s mission to China, visit www.stateofgeorgiamissions.com.