UC Merced and the Communication University of China recently initiated an academic exchange program that will encourage the flow of understanding, ideas and information between the two universities. This is the first international exchange program established by UC Merced, with efforts under way to facilitate similar relationships with educational institutions in other countries around the globe.
A special meeting was held at UC Merced on April 13, 2005, to sign the memorandum of understanding detailing the new agreement. Along with Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey and CUC President Liu Jinan, who signed the agreement, the group in attendance included University Librarian Bruce Miller, Professor Ruth Mostern, and a delegation of several Chinese faculty and staff members. The group celebrated the agreement with afternoon tea.
All the attendees found an encouraging amount of common ground to work on in the future, especially since CUC is in the early stages of building its second campus at the same time UC Merced is preparing to open as the 10th campus in the UC system. Chancellor Tomlinson-Keasey has visited CUC in the past and developed a special working relationship with President Liu, building on their shared position as pioneering female leaders of growing universities. CUC hosts an annual conference for female presidents of universities, and at last year’s conference, Tomlinson-Keasey was the keynote speaker.
The initial agreement for the academic exchange program includes the exchange of students, and members of the faculty and teaching staff. The universities will also share books and other academic materials, largely through their respective libraries. The accessibility of these informational resources will be increased largely through connections made relying on the Internet. In addition, the two universities agreed to collaborate in organizing academic conferences on issues of mutual interest and make reciprocal visits during the next three years, after which they can renew the agreement.
Opening up the world of China to UC Merced students, the relationship will help build bridges between the cultures and the universities, highlighting both common interests and different perspectives. Located in Beijing, the Communication University of China was established in 1954 and helps train leaders in the nation’s media and other communications industries.