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Mississippi College

Mississippi College Signs Partnership With University in China

May 8, 2013

Mississippi College is thousands of miles away from the Yangtze River, Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall of China.

But MC’s ties with China and its 1.3 billion people just got a little stronger. President Lee Royce recently signed an agreement with Hubei Polytechnic University leaders that opens the door for faculty and student exchanges between the two institutions.

The partnership documents were signed during brief ceremonies at Alumni Hall on the Clinton campus on April 30 as a delegation from the 20,000-student Chinese university was on hand. Vice President Qingyun Wang signed papers for his institution in China.

“Our relationship will be mutually beneficial as we work out teacher exchanges and recruit Chinese students into undergraduate and graduate programs offered by MC,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs Ron Howard.

Hubei Polytechnic University “is a rising institution in one of the fastest-growing industrial provinces of the People’s Republic,” says Howard, who’s writing a book about China touching on its politics, culture and history.

At this stage, it’s difficult to estimate how many students from the Chinese university will be studying at Mississippi College starting this fall.

“But I can assure you that we will start seeing students and faculty from the city of Huangshi where Hubei Polytechnic University is located through these programs,” said Mei-Chi Piletz, director of MC’s Office of Global Education.

The partnership includes the 2 plus 2 degree program where a student would spend the first two years at HBPU and the last two years taking classes at MC.

Others would involve Hubei junior faculty sponsored by the Chinese government and the institution. They will come to MC, possibly as early as this fall, to conduct research and teach for either one semester or a year. In addition, Hubei may send some of its undergraduate students to Mississippi College for one year on its annual non-degree study abroad program.

Leading the Hubei delegation, Vice President Wang, and others, were “impressed by what we can do for their students and I am impressed by what they can offer to our faculty and American students,” Howard said.

Academic programs at the prominent university in China include engineering, natural sciences and economics. Hubei Polytechnic University was founded in 1975.

Mississippi College is home to more than 200 international students from two dozen nations, and the vast majority come from China.

Photo: Mississippi College President Lee Royce and Qingyuan Wang, vice president at Hubei Polytechnic University in China, sign an agreement on April 30 that opens the door to student and faculty exchanges between the two institutions. Mei-Chi Piletz, director of MC's Office of Global Education, looks on at Alumni Hall.