ECNU President Qian visits USA and launches China research center

2019-05-11

8-13 April, an ECNU delegation led by president Qian Xuhong visited some of the universities in the United States of America. During this trip, the delegation accomplished key initiatives with their American counterparts: memorandum of cooperation and student exchange agreements with the University of Connecticut, student exchange deals with the University of Rhode Island, further possibilities with NYU to expand in science and innovation and an official agreement with the China Institute of America to set up the ECNU-China Institute of America China Research Center.

During the visit to the state of Connecticut on April 9, president Qian warmly welcomed the University of Connecticut’s president Susan Herbst, vice president for global affairs Daniel Weiner and assistant vice president Rong Yuhang. Additionally, they signed a memorandum of cooperation and a student exchange agreement.

Qian Xuhong, Susan Herbst and Daniel Weiner sign a memorandum of cooperation and a student exchange agreement.

This was president Qian’s first visit to the United States since he took up the post of ECNU president. He followed up by admitting that the visit to University of Connecticut is significant for many reasons. For example, both sides agreed that the two universities will be engaging in closer co-operation, not only because Rong Yuhang is an alumnus of ECNU but also due to years of co-operation in marine sciences, which has been on the increase in recent years.

Qian meets with Anne D’Alleva.

Qian visits the Department of Marine Sciences of the University of Connecticut.

Founded in 1881, the University of Connecticut (UCONN) is located in the central part of Connecticut - considered the center of the insurance industry - in the United States. It is also listed as one of the top-ranking public research universities in the United States. ECNU and UCONN had already developed a partnership for collaborative research in marine micro-plastics in the past.

In September of last year, Rong Yuhang paid a visit to ECNU whereby the two universities reached a consensus to establish all-round efforts on furthering intercollegiate agreements.

The ECNU delegation visits the University of Rhode Island.

Next up on the USA university tour, the ECNU delegation arrived at the state of Rhode Island on April 10. President Qian expressed appreciation for the support and co-operation between ECNU and the University of Rhode Island during a meeting with president David M. Dooley and assistant vice provost for global strategies and international affairs, Gifty Ako-Adounv. On the discussion of their partnership, president Qian was so grateful for the progress made on both sides.

Later on, President Qian discussed the university’s visiting scholar and student exchange programs in marine sciences, international politics and education, while also hoping to develop further ties for in-depth scientific research. President Dooley agreed with the statements about the university’s goals, adding that his two visits to ECNU in 2017 made him feel more confident about the future of their co-operation.

The delegation also observed the university's flagship Chinese language class where they interacted with the students learning Chinese. Afterwards, they visited the AI laboratory in the university library.


Qian Xuhong and David M. Dooley sign a student exchange agreement.

The University of Rhode Island (URI) is a leading public research institution that was founded in 1892. In December 2017, ECNU and URI signed a framework agreement for intercollegiate co-operation.

Qian Xuhong visits NYU.

Qian Xuhong and Andrew Hamilton.

During a visit to NYU on April 11, president Qian held meetings with his counterparts: president Andrew Hamilton, provost Katherine E. Fleming, and vice president Linda G. Mills. They held talks with academic representatives from the fields of chemistry, music and marine environmental sciences. President Qian thanked NYU for the hospitality towards its ECNU counterparts, noting that NYU Shanghai had established the first full-fledged Sino-American university.

In heart of this collaboration, president Hamilton noted that ECNU is an important partner of NYU. In so doing he presented NYU Shanghai with a medal in order to recognize the achievements that had been made through co-operation between the two universities so far.During the visit, an ECNU delegation also visited the NYU Langone Medical Center.

The ECNU delegation at Langone Medical Center.

Founded in 1831, NYU is one of the largest private research universities in the United States. ECNU and NYU became partners in 2006, jointly setting up the NYU-Shanghai university in 2012. Since then, they have built a number of joint research platforms covering mathematics, computational chemistry, brain and cognitive sciences, social development, physics, global history, economy and culture. In effect, bringing together university professors and scientists from notable universities and research institutions - at home and abroad - to carry out scientific research training, joint publishing, and visiting scholar programs.

President Qian and head of the China Institute of America James B. Heimowitz signed an agreement to establish the ECNU-China Institute of America China Research Center. The signing was witnessed by ECNU alumnus and Chinese consul general in New York, Huang Ping.


Huang Ping, the Chinese consul general in New York who is also an ECNU alumnus, attends the agreement-signing ceremony of the ECNU-China Institute China Research Center.

In his speech, president Qian took the opportunity to show support for the Confucius Institute Headquarters where ECNU and the China Institute have teamed up to build Confucius Institutes over the past 12 years, focusing on teacher career development training, public cultural projects and thematic cultural activities, and accumulating positive influence on the local environment. The ECNU-China Institute of America China Research Center intends to push bilateral cooperation to new heights by enlarging its reach to a global scale.

Ingrid Ehrenberg (2nd L), director of China Institute of America who is an ECNU alumnus, shows Qian Xuhong an old picture of himself when he studied at ECNU in the 1980s.

The China Institute of America is a nonprofit educational and cultural institution based in New York City, founded in 1926. Its founders are famous American scholar John Dewey and Chinese educators Hu Shi and K.P. Wen. In addition to its work in developing a deeper understanding of all things China, there is an emphasis on programs for enriching education, culture, art, and business.

In 2006, ECNU and the New York-based institute jointly set up a Confucius Institute (CI) in New York City. At present, there are three CI classrooms, with 1,200 registered and unregistered students totaled at the end of 2018. Nearly 7,000 people took part in cultural activities organized by the institute in 2018.


Edited by Linlan Zhang    Proofread by Joshua Mayfield    Reviewed by Wenjun Guo


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华东师范大学
East China Normal University