BGSU to expand ties with Chinese universities

BOWLING GREEN, O.—A Bowling Green State University delegation will travel to China this week as part of an expansion of the University’s connections there and to promote enhanced academic opportunities for students. The University will sign memoranda of understanding with two universities: the University of Political Science and Law, in Beijing, and the nearby Hunan Normal College.

“Both are very prestigious, nationally ranked institutions,” said Paul Hofmann, director of International Programs at BGSU.

Hofmann is joined at points on the trip by President Carol Cartwright; Dr. Rodney Rogers, dean of the College of Business Administration; and marketing faculty member Dr. Mark Bennion, coordinator of the CBA’s study abroad program.

“The knowledge our students gain both academically and culturally through studying in China, particularly for those in business and now political science, will give them an invaluable perspective and make them more competitive candidates in the job market,” Cartwright said. “And by bringing Chinese students to BGSU, we internationalize our campus while boosting recruitment. The exchange of scholars and ideas strengthens the educational experience in ways both personal and professional.”

The memorandum of understanding with Hunan University will set up an undergraduate student exchange with two years in each country, as well as a program through which the Chinese students can spend their first three undergraduate years at Hunan and then come to BGSU for their senior year and their graduate education at the College of Business Administration. Graduate degrees from American universities are highly regarded in China, Bennion said. 

He and Rogers are also exploring additional possibilities with the two universities coming on board, he said. For example, BGSU now has a program with the University of Macau in which auditing classes there and in Bowling Green work together on a hypothetical case study. Hong Kong Baptist is interested in replicating the program, Bennion said.

Hofmann and Cartwright will meet with officials at Hong Kong Baptist (now a nonsecular institution) on April 15 to renew its study-abroad agreements with BGSU. Begun in 2007, the partnership provides exchange opportunities for students from the College of Business Administration and their Chinese counterparts. Bennion and Rogers were instrumental in negotiating the first partnership. BGSU is also looking forward to a faculty exchange between the two schools, Bennion said. “We will be discussing common research interests.”

Seven BGSU business students now studying at Hong Kong Baptist will accompany the president to Beijing and the Great Wall of China, among other sites. The students will also join a roundtable discussion in Beijing with students from UPSL. “This will be a real cultural immersion for our students and a great opportunity for both groups to gain insight into one another’s cultures,” Bennion said.

Participating will be Greg Blinn, a junior from Maumee, Ohio, with a dual major in finance and international business and a minor in entrepreneurship; Clayton Brahier, also a junior from Maumee, majoring in accounting with a minor in entrepreneurship; Nicholas Ruhly, a senior honors student from Waterville, Ohio, with a dual major in finance and accounting; Lauren Simon, a sophomore from Brookville, Ohio, majoring in accounting; Chelsea Soss, a sophomore from Chardon, Ohio, majoring in accounting; Brandon Washington, a senior from Detroit majoring in general business, and Austin Zachrich, a junior from Fort Wayne, Ind., majoring in marketing with a minor in entrepreneurship and international business.

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(Posted April 14, 2011 )