October 17, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Beijing International Studies University MOU Promotes Scholarship, Study Abroad

MOU signing with Ohio University, Beijing International Studies University. Photo by Stephen Reiss.

MOU signing with Ohio University, Beijing International Studies University. Photo by Stephen Reiss.

By George Mauzy

Ohio University’s academic reach around the world was extended on Oct. 15 when it entered into a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Beijing International Studies University (BISU) in China.

The MOU states that the new partnership is designed to “promote sustainable scholarly activities and international education” in an effort to “ensure that students and faculty at both universities are well prepared for the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly interconnected world.”

Some of the likely areas of collaboration include:

  • Students, staff and faculty mobility
  • Diploma partnerships (double diplomas or joint-diplomas)
  • Short-term study abroad students
  • Research projects
  • Publications, reports and other academic information
  • Professional development

The MOU was signed at a Baker University Center 1804 Lounge ceremony that included representatives from both institutions, including BISU Vice President Ming Qiu, and three professors from BISO’s School of English Language, Literature & Culture. The representatives included Associate Dean Hong Liang, acting Dean Hong Wang and Professor Rong Yan, who served as Qiu’s English language interpreter throughout the ceremony.

Qiu signed the MOU on behalf of BISO and through his interpreter, he said it was an honor for him to visit such a beautiful campus and that although BISO was founded 160 years after Ohio University it has quickly become an institution full of vigor and vitality.

“This MOU commits us to work together on common goals,” Qiu said through his interpreter. “Today we are partners. I look forward to our future success.”

Others in attendance who spoke on behalf of OHIO included: Lorna Jean Edmonds, Vice President for global affairs; Barbara Trube, Professor of childhood education at the Chillicothe Campus; Dr. Linda Rice, associate professor of English; Dr. Robert Frank, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences; and John Henning, Associate Dean of the Patton College of Education.

Trube said the groundwork for the BISO partnership began in 2002 when she met Yan at an academic conference. She said the growth of their professional relationship eventually led them to co-author a book chapter and see Yan serve as a visiting professor at OHIO several years ago in the Patton College of Education.

Rice, who was Yan’s faculty sponsor during his visiting professor appointment, told the audience that Yan was a tireless worker while here at OHIO. She also said the MOU was primarily a result of Trube’s hard work, generosity and kindness.

Frank shared his thoughts on the new partnership.

“We know the relationship will serve faculty and students very well,” he said. “I look forward to seeing some exciting research projects in the future and we also have hopes for collaboration around teaching.”

The MOU is valid for five years and is not automatically renewed or extended, but can be extended with the mutual consent of each institution. It became effective on Tuesday after it was signed and dated by OHIO President Roderick J. McDavis, Edmonds and Qiu. Edmonds will coordinate the joint activities on behalf of OHIO, while Liang will serve in the same role for BISO.

According to its website, BISO was founded in 1964 at the suggestion of China’s late premier Zhou Enlai and boasts a wide range of disciplines such as literature, economics, management and law.

Its mission is to train professionals with international horizon and hands-on-skills and experiences in foreign affairs, tourism and business.

See the article in Compass.

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