At Global Education and Training, we are proud to contribute to strengthening the University of Illinois’ strategic partnership with Zhejiang University (ZJU) (浙江大学).
ZJU, a comprehensive research university, with its main campus in the city of Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province, is considered one of China's oldest and most prestigious institutions of higher education. Illinois has established multiple modes of cooperation with ZJU, from faculty research collaborations to student exchanges. Formal agreements supporting dual degree programs in multiple disciplines and a joint institute for engineering on ZJU's international campus in Haining highlight the innovative institutional strategic partnership between the two universities.
From 2017 - 2019, GET has worked strategically with campus partners at Illinois to develop training programs in coordination with ZJU, including:
“Building a World-Class University through Education Reform and Innovation”
GET's higher education management programs are centered around this curricular theme. From 2017-2019, over 60 top administrators from ZJU have attended training programs on the Illinois campus. The majority are Deputy Deans, representing diverse departments, colleges, and offices from Zhejiang University.
Each year, over 40+ different administrators and faculty leaders at Illinois engage with these ZJU participants, covering training topics, such as:
On-campus meetings at numerous research institutes and facilities were also arranged to showcase Illinois' breadth of disciplines. This 3-week program also included visits to regional higher education institutions, such as Purdue University and selected universities in the greater Chicago area.
Ma Chunbo, Associate Researcher, within the Division Chief of Supervision Office at Zhejiang University, was the 2018 program delegation leader. They shared the following feedback on their time with GET:
"In addition to the knowledge and experience, it is very important that we have also gained friendship. The previous president of Zhejiang University, Zhu Kezhen, graduated from [Illinois]. We feel like home here. Although our schooling mode, management system, and cultures are different, we share the same ultimate goal to cultivate talents, innovate knowledge, and contribute to human development and progress."
These cross-cultural exchanges are built upon a solid foundation of education, friendship, and knowledge.
Summer school spotlight: ZJU-SESE
Since the summer of 2015, ZJU has also sent 150+ students to Illinois to participate in GET's 3-week undergraduate summer school programs.
GET summer school programs, at a glance:
- Students complete readings, homework, and assessments (e.g., final exams/projects) and receive grades.
- Participants do not receive credit from Illinois, but grades are reported to ZJU, which assigns course credit.
- While on-campus, students live in Illinois residence halls, eat meals at Illinois dining venues, and have access to facilities, such as: the Activities and Recreation Center and the Undergraduate Library.
Previous program topics have included:
- Information Science and Engineering, with courses on Control Systems, Network Analysis, and Artificial Intelligence, taught by Illinois faculty in Mechanical Science and Engineering, the School of Information Sciences, and Computer Science.
- Accounting and Finance, with courses on Accounting Theory, Financial Management, and Entrepreneurship, taught by Illinois faculty in Accountancy and Finance.
In summer 2019, GET created a new summer school program, in partnership with ZJU and the University of Illinois School of Earth, Society, and Environment (SESE). Faculty experts from the Departments of Atmospheric Sciences, Geography, and Geology conducted interactive courses and lectures on natural hazards and climate risk for the ZJU students, majoring in similar subjects.
In addition to learning in the classroom about educational opportunities at Illinois in SESE, ZJU students also went on a hiking trip with Professor Steve Altaner in the Department of Geology to Starved Rock State Park.
Customized educational workshops
When developing a program, we aim to connect our participants with experts at Illinois. Cheelan Bo-Linn, a Senior Specialist in Education, within the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning at Illinois, has provided her expertise during multiple GET training programs. She has also collaborated with GET to provide workshops overseas to international educators.
During GET's higher education management programs from 2017-2019, Cheelan has held workshops on teaching, active learning for faculty-student engagement, and pedagogy. When designing these workshops, Cheelan emphasizes active learning. She explains:
"When I work with faculty, we can take all sorts of risks, try out things - they can be very honest - because this stays confidential. And they'll say "What is this? Why would you do that?" And I kind of joke with them, so that's why they trust me. They may get the wrong answer, but they can figure it out."
At Global Education and Training, we welcome the opportunity for future collaborations with Zhejiang University. Director Matt Rosenstein confirms:
"Innovation and economic development will continue to thrive as long as there is a sharing of knowledge through joint activities in research, teaching, and public engagement. In short, our work in higher education is better when we work together."