April 9, 2018

UCR explores collaboration with Chinese leaders

Spring visit cultivates relationships with medical, science, and technology universities

Author: Brittney Carolina
April 9, 2018

This spring, a University of California, Riverside delegation traveled 6,698 miles west to Guangzhou, Guangdong, and Anhui Province in eastern China to strengthen UCR’s relationships with the region’s top educators, researchers, and government officials. Across the Pacific Ocean, Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox and Kelechi Kalu, vice provost of International Affairs, led a group of UCR administrators and faculty from the Bourns College of Engineering (BCOE), College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (CNAS), School of Business, and School of Medicine to meetings in Guangzhou and Anhui Province.

International Affairs works with UCR’s colleges and schools to establish strategic partnerships around the world. During the visit, UCR’s delegation pursued intentional and reciprocal relationships with the Anhui Provincial Ministry of Education, Anhui University, Anhui Agricultural University, Anhui Medical University, Guangdong University of Technology, Hefei University, Hefei University of Technology, Jinan University, and the University of Science and Technology of China. These universities were selected as potential partners because their research complements UCR’s research mission.

“The delegation trip was even more successful than our ambitious expectations,” said UCR Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox. “UCR’s international presence has never been stronger, and these new partnerships promise to expand our research efforts and provide a wealth of new opportunities for our students.”

Deborah Deas, School of Medicine dean, along with Paul Lyons, David Lo, and the UCR delegation, explored opportunities for clinical exchanges, medical education, student rotations, and translation support. The team met with UCR trustee Xiangdong Li from the Sino-Western International Education Foundation in China and signed a memorandum of understanding with Anhui Medical University. The university’s president, Yunxia Cao, is an obstetrician-gynecologist who has helped produce more than 60,000 births using In Vitro Fertilization.

“We identified connections in research and education to enhance the curriculum at the School of Medicine and Anhui Medical University. The visit was productive, yielding critical areas for collaboration in our Center for Molecular and Translational Medicine and medical education. The challenges and opportunities at Anhui Medical University compare to the School of Medicine. The collective wisdom from each institution provides positive results for our educators, researchers, students, and the patients we serve,” said Deas.

The group also visited China’s state of the art teaching hospitals in Nanjing and Shanghai.

UCR leaders met with administrators in the province to explore opportunities for cross-continental collaboration that intersect with the business, education, and economic interests of the university. Yunzeng Wang, School of Business dean, along with the UCR team, started their tour in Guangzhou where they met with Guangdong University of Technology, Jinan University, and entrepreneurs who specialize in logistics to discuss UCR’s operations and supply chain management program.

Jingsong Zhang, CNAS chair of chemistry, along with UCR delegates, connected with Anhui Agricultural University and the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) to pursue opportunities in the physical sciences. USTC is the only university in mainland China with two national laboratories – the National Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory and the Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale. More than 70 percent of undergraduate students participate in USTC’s research program for undergraduates at the university’s labs and the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ research institutes. Xiaoping Hu, BCOE chair of Bioengineering, along with the UCR team, connected with Hefei University, Hefei University of Technology, and USTC, to explore opportunities in education and research.

UCR is already part of the fabric at USTC. USTC alumni, Jingsong Zhang and Xiaoping Hu, are part of UCR’s CNAS and BCOE faculty. In 2016, UCR signed a memorandum of understanding with the university for a funded exchange program for graduate engineering students. The agreement enabled two UCR graduate students to conduct research at USTC and USTC graduate students participated in a short-term research opportunity at UCR.

“UCR’s forthcoming collaboration with institutions in Anhui Province will engage all dimensions of the academic mission – research, teaching, training, student recruitment, and entrepreneurship in addition to corporate and community partnerships,” said Kalu.

The visit serves as an extension of UCR’s 2020 strategic plan which consists of developing a preeminent research university, enhancing opportunities for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, and engaging global relationships. As part of the plan, UCR aims to grow its international research partnerships and exchange programs, preparing students for a diversified workforce. By 2020, UCR plans to expand its international profile by increasing the international student population by 50 percent and increasing the number of international scholars visiting the Riverside campus by 15 percent.

Across the basins of the Huai and Yangtze rivers, Anhui Province is home to more than 100 universities and about 60 million people. The opportunity to explore Anhui Province began with a teleconference meeting in spring 2017 and continued when a delegation from the province visited UCR earlier this year.

“UCR’s connections in Anhui Province and beyond have the potential to enhance scholarship for our faculty and provide learning experiences for our students which support UCR’s strategic goals for academic excellence, access, diversity, and engagement,” said Kalu.

Participants in the UCR delegation include:

  • Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox
  • Associate Chancellor Christine Victorino
  • Vice Provost of International Affairs Kelechi Kalu
  • School of Business Dean Yunzeng Wang
  • School of Medicine Dean Deborah Deas
  • School of Medicine Senior Associate Dean of Medical Education Paul Lyons
  • School of Medicine Senior Associate Dean of Research David Lo
  • BCOE Chair of Bioengineering Xiaoping Hu
  • CNAS Chair of Chemistry Jingsong Zhang

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