Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia and Nanjing University, one of China’s oldest and most highly regarded national universities, have signed an agreement to conduct a number of cooperative activities including student and faculty exchanges, collaborative research and possibly training for Chinese government workers.
This is the second cooperative arrangement UGA has made with a major Chinese university this month. UGA and Tsinghua University also have agreed to a collaborative partnership to provide educational opportunities for students and faculty at both institutions.
Both agreements were signed while a delegation of Georgia business, government and education officials led by Gov. Sonny Perdue was on a trade mission to China in early April. Among those in the delegation were Arnett C. Mace Jr., UGA’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, and Steve Wrigley, vice president for government relations and director of the Vinson Institute of Government.
Tsinghua University, located near Beijing, and Nanjing University, in the ancient city of Nanjing in east-central China, are considered two of China’s top universities, Mace said, and the agreements open doors to important economic, educational and cultural opportunities for UGA and the Chinese schools.
“These agreements are a giant step in strengthening the University of Georgia’s global presence, which is one of our major strategic goals,” Mace said. “Not only will they provide valuable educational benefits for the students and faculty of both universities, but they also support economic expansion initiatives that will lead to more jobs and greater growth for our state.”
The modern Nanjing University was founded in 1915, but its history dates back to the year 258, making it one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the world. Its host city, with a population of more than five million, is the second largest commercial center in East China and has served several times as the Chinese capital during the country’s long history.
Nanjing was the first co-educational university in China and the first university to offer doctoral degrees. It is considered one of the country’s most selective universities and a leader in such academic fields as Chinese language education and culture, literature, art, history, biology, physics, computer science and business studies.
The cooperative agreement with UGA provides for faculty and student exchanges, collaborative research programs and jointly sponsored seminars, workshops and service programs.
Wrigley said the agreement also may provide for the Vinson Institute of Government to conduct training courses in such areas as personnel management, budgeting, finance and leadership. The courses would be for government employees and also possibly for Nanjing students working on master’s degrees in public administration, Wrigley said.
The institute has conducted such programs through its International Center for civil servants in other Chinese cities and provinces since 1999.
Before the Tsinghua and Nanjing agreements were signed, UGA already had agreements with several other Chinese universities for study abroad and faculty and student exchange programs. UGA also offers a number of courses on Chinese language, history, culture and government.