Officials look on as MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and Wang Xiaochun, president of North China University of Technology, sign an academic cooperation pact on Dec. 10, 2013, between the two institutions while in China. (Photo courtesy of MTSU)
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee has signed an academic exchange agreement with North China University of Technology that will allow the two institutions to exchange students and forge other academic ties.
The agreement was reached as McPhee wrapped up his most recent visit to China on Tuesday. Earlier in the trip, he was honored by the global organization of Confucius Institutes for recent efforts to strengthen educational and cultural ties between China and the U.S.
The pact by McPhee and North China University President Wang Xiaochun focuses first on actuary sciences in the College of Basic and Applied Science, but allows for expansion in other academic areas.
“We have a number of programs that are comparable to the programs at your university,” McPhee said. “Like your university, we have a major strategic plan to internationalize the campus.”
The agreement comes only a few weeks after MTSU signed an agreement with Guangxi University, another Chinese university, and follows a recent string of efforts to strengthen ties with the country.
His efforts are part of a larger goal to strengthen international undergraduate and graduate student enrollment, expand its study-abroad and cultural opportunities, and develop research collaboration with international partners.
Wang said China’s central government has encouraged public universities to seek out international cooperation.
“In addition, our students also want to have study-abroad experiences,” Wang said.
North China University, located on the western side of Beijing, is a multidisciplinary university that combines the natural sciences and engineering with liberal arts, economics, management and law.
In 1978, with the approval of the State Council, it began to offer full undergraduate degree programs. In 1985, it was renamed as the North China University of Technology.
Founded in 1946, the university includes eight colleges with an enrollment of more than 10,200 undergraduate students, 1,500 graduate students, 200 international students and 2,400 students studying at the College of Continuing Education.
It features 32 undergraduate degree programs, 19 master degree programs, which focus on academic research with three years study, and 11 professional master programs, which focus on practice and application with two years of study.
North China University is also active internationally through more than 30 cooperative partnerships and exchanges. It has established partnerships with universities in the U.S., Japan, Germany, Great Britain, France, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.