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UM launches partnership with North China U-of-T

By Edwin Smith

University of Mississippi

Citing successful past collaborations and hopes for future expansion, the University of Mississippi and North China University of Technology have formally entered into a new partnership that will give students opportunities to receive instruction at both schools.

The UM Office of Global Engagement launched the initiative to develop and establish a 2+2 Articulation Degree Program with NCUT.

Under the terms of the agreement, undergraduate students accepted into the program would take courses in China for their freshman and sophomore years. They would transfer to UM for their junior and senior years. Upon completion of all Ole Miss degree requirements, the students would receive a UM degree. They’ll also be able to receive their NCUT degree if they complete all degree requirements for that institution.

UM Chancellor Jeffrey S. Vitter met with NCUT leadership Tuesday (May 10) during the signing of the agreement of collaboration between the two institutions. Other signees included Zheng Wentang, president of NCUT; Shen Zhili, NCUT vice president; Morris Stocks, UM provost and executive vice chancellor; Xiong Jiaquan, NCUT director of international office; and Nosa O. Egiebor, UM senior international officer.

The UM-NCUT initiative will contribute significantly to the university’s strategic objective of “bringing the world to Mississippi and taking Mississippi to the world,” Vitter said.

“We are committed to broadening the university’s reach around the world,” he said. “This will provide many more opportunities for our students to get real-world experience beyond the classroom and also allow our students and faculty to apply their knowledge to help solve global problems that affect us all.”

Speaking through a translator, Zhili expressed similar optimism.

“We deeply appreciate the University of Mississippi’s mission statement and the quality of education found here,” she said. “What is being done on the campus here is exactly what we are endeavoring to achieve on our campus in Beijing.”

During their two-day stay, the Chinese delegation also met with the deans of the university’s schools of Accountancy, Business Administration, Engineering and Journalism, and the College of Liberal Arts, as well as the chair of the Department of Public Policy Leadership and the executive director of the Lott Leadership Institute.

“In our present globalized world, the University of Mississippi takes the education of our students as global citizens very seriously,” said Egiebor, who is also UM’s executive director of global engagement. “Therefore, the development of a strong presence in China will not only enhance the global reach of the University of Mississippi, but also contribute significantly to our ongoing comprehensive campus internationalization efforts.”

During the visit, officials also discussed the possibility of UM establishing an international school on NCUT’s campus. Pending further negotiations, additional details will be forthcoming.

Founded in 1946, NCUT is in the Shijingshan District of Beijing. Accredited by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Education, the institution is among China’s top five public universities. With an enrollment of about 15,000 students, NCUT offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in science and technology, engineering, business and social sciences, the arts and humanities.

UM launched an Ole Miss in Africa initiative in 2015, and also engaged in concurrent efforts to expand the university’s international footprint in Asia with China and India as anchor countries. Similar initiatives are planned in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Australia.