One of the leading universities in mainland China, Beijing Normal University, has signed an agreement to offer courses from Fort Hays State University at its campus in Zhuhai, near Hong Kong.
The partnership became official this morning in a formal signing ceremony on the FHSU campus.
"I am pleased to visit Fort Hays State and to be able to enter into this agreement on behalf of our students," Zhongzheng Miao, president of BNU-Zhuhai, said through a translator. "Education is very important to China and to the ongoing development of Zhuhai."
Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president, said the partnership with BNU-Zhuhai has special significance because the two universities have similar histories and because of the stature of BNU in China.
"BNU and Beijing University originally were one university but split during the Qing Dynasty, which ended in 1912," he said. "Like FHSU, Beijing Normal University marks 1902 as its year of origin and both schools began as teacher colleges. Also like FHSU, BNU later expanded its mission -- in the 1980s -- to become a comprehensive university. It is recognized as one of the top 10 universities in China and is still the number one teaching university in China."
BNU expanded to the southern city of Zhuhai in December 2001, and Dr. Miao was the founding president of the Zhuhai campus.
This was President Miao's first visit to the Hays campus. In addition to the president, the Chinese delegation included Xiaohong Bian, dean of the International Finance College, BNU-Zhuhai; Jun Wang, assistant dean of the International Finance College, BNU-Zhuhai; Peter M. Chow, director of U.S. Study Programs, BNU-Zhuhai; and Dr. Caleb Zia, chair of the American Institute for Knowledge Management Inc.
Officials representing FHSU and BNU-Zhuhai began developing the partnership last fall when they signed an initial agreement for FHSU to offer a bachelor of business administration degree in finance to Chinese students. Under that agreement, students will come to Hays for two years to complete the finance degree at FHSU.
The agreement that was signed today paves the way for a dual bachelor's degree in General Studies. Through this agreement the students will not come to Hays, but instead will live in Zhuhai and complete two degrees, one from BNU-Zhuhai and one from FHSU.
The dual BGS degree will permit FHSU to expand its offerings in mainland China to the southern region. Zhuhai is located across the strait from Hong Kong.
This new agreement mirrors FHSU's other partnership arrangements in mainland China. Students will enroll in courses, yet live and study in China. Students will graduate with degrees from both BNU-Zhuhai and FHSU. The initial area of concentration available through the BGS degree will be Global Finance.
In addition to meetings with academic and operational units at FHSU during their visit to Hays, President Miao and his delegation will also visit the Sternberg Museum of Natural History.
Other universities that have signed agreements with FHSU are Sias International University, Xinzheng; the University of International Business and Economics, Beijing; Shenyang Normal University, Shenyang; and Hong Kong Tak Ming College in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Canada; Hong Kong Institute of Continuing Education, Hong Kong; Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou; and Tianjin University of Science and Technology, Tianjin.