University in U.S. Illinois to expand education cooperation with China

By Xu Jing
  • World
  • Thursday, 30 Nov 2023

CHICAGO, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Chicago-based Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) is set to expand its education cooperation with China, IIT President Raj Echambadi announced at the 7th China General Chamber of Commerce (CGCC) - Chicago Annual Gala held recently in Chicago.

IIT is embarking on a two-pronged strategy with regard to China. First, IIT will send students from its Chicago campus to study in China through unique study programs for six months or a year. "We are calling it a Send China program," Echambadi said in a group interview with the media on the sidelines of the annual gala.

Then "we want to set up multiple joint programs in China, as well as a joint institute. We have actually signed an MOU with a university (in China)," Echambadi said, calling this "breeding capacities in China" - a strategy of meeting learners in China and building capacities within China.

By launching the two-pronged strategy, IIT can learn from China, while bringing its practices of melding the rigor of the classroom education with the relevance of the real world to China, Echambadi said. "The goal for our Chinese partner and us is to produce global citizens that will go on to become people that matter and change the world."

Echambadi hailed the Chinese leader's plan of bringing 50,000 U.S. students to China as incredible. "Can you imagine what happens when American students go to China? I think great things are gonna happen because there's a collaborative spirit that is gonna happen, which will benefit both China and the United States," he said.

Cultural understanding is absolutely critical for the relationship between China and the United States. "The United States and China are the two largest economies in the world. When they work together, when they collaborate together, the possibilities are infinite," Echambadi said.

As a higher education university, "our goal is to send more students to China so that they can actually become very good global citizens. At the macro level, when a lot of universities start doing it from the United States and Western Europe, and send people into China, you're gonna have a lot of peace and prosperity around the world."

Echambadi has been to China many times. What "has always struck me is despite the differences in the political systems or a variety of other superficial things, the underlying core happens to be the same," he said. "It is always about the hopes and aspirations for the family, how you can serve your community, how you can serve your society. And that is common for people around the world, and that is what I hope these kinds of educational collaborations will foster, where it'll enable us to see people as people, and unleash the potential of people."

IIT launched a joint program with the China University of Geosciences in Wuhan, capital city of Hubei Province, in 2020, which now enrolls about 250 Chinese students focusing engineering study. It is one of the few schools in the world offering a Mandarin language MBA.

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