Cooperation between Shanghai and Clarion grew a little closer when Clarion University and Sanda University, Shanghai, China, signed a partnership agreement.
“The agreement signed with Sanda University is a critical piece of Clarion's educational expansion in a global market place,” said Clarion University President Joseph Grunenwald. “We are proud to be able to partner with such an outstanding university. We look forward to many years of success in this unique international experience.”
Dr. Valentine James, Clarion University provost, said, “Clarion's interest in internationalizing its curricula will be enhanced by the agreement. This will be an excellent opportunity for Clarion University to invest in one of the world's critical languages – Chinese. Our business, education and arts and sciences programs will benefit from this partnership. Our education students who are interested in teaching English to Chinese students would have the opportunity to do so once the plans have been completed.
“Chinese students interested in business education will have the opportunity to study business at Clarion University. Our MBA program is very attractive to our Chinese colleagues and I am certain that they are going to encourage their students to apply to the MBA program. It is truly a "win-win" situation.”
Grunenwald and Professor Lianquing Qiang, chairman of the visiting delegation from Sanda University, signed the agreement during a ceremony in Carlson Library. The affiliation agreement, which becomes effective with the Fall 2009 semester, focuses on five main points of cooperation:
•Sanda undergraduate and graduate students will matriculate at Clarion.
•Sanda students with an associate degree can complete a bachelor’s degree at Clarion.
•Sanda exchange students will receive four weeks or one semester of intensive English instruction at Clarion.
•Clarion University faculty and graduate students may participate in an exchange program where they would teach English at Sanda; and Sanda faculty and graduate students participating in exchange programs to teach Chinese at Clarion.
•Reciprocal visits will be held in the future.
“This is Clarion University’s first partnership with a Chinese university,” said Dr. Jocelind Gant, associate vice president for social equity and director of international program at Clarion University. “Clarion currently recruits Chinese students in Shanghai, Beijing, and Tianjin through ACES, a Chinese Agency.”
Gant explained that Dr. George Xu, professor of English at Clarion University, initiated the talks leading to the affiliation agreement. Xu, a native of Shanghai met with Sanda representatives and explained Clarion’s partnership interests.
“This is a very exciting and sustainable affiliation agreement,” said Gant. “We are excited by the possibilities this affiliation will offer.”
After Xu’s contact, a delegation from Sanda arranged the visit to Clarion. The delegation included Qiang, Mingdong Zhong, director of the office of international exchange and cooperation, and Professor Xianhong Jin, vice president.
While visiting Clarion University the delegation attended a dinner hosted by President Joseph and Janice Grunenwald; had breakfast with Clarion University’s deans and directors; toured campus and Carlson Library; and had lunch with the President’s Executive Council, deans, and department chairs.
Sanda University traces its origins to June 26, 1992, when a group of professors from Shanghai Jiaotong, Peking and Tsinghua Universities, three of the leading universities in China, initiated the notion of establishing a university with funding from the private sector. It received affirmative response from the government and the public. Sanda University was thus founded on Aug. 11, 1992. It was recognized and approved by the then National Education Commission of China, which has since re-adopted its original name of the Ministry of Education, in February 1994.
It was the first full-time private university offering programs leading to accredited certificates and diplomas in the country, and on March 6, 2002, with the official ratification of the Chinese Ministry of Education, it became, under the supervision of Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, the first full-time private comprehensive university providing undergraduate courses in China. In pursuance to an ordinance promulgated by the Ministry of Education in 2002, Sanda University changed its name to Shanghai Sanda Institute. Sanda's present total enrolment is 9,749.