February 24: “How Should Chinese & American Universities Cooperate in the New Geopolitical Context?”

Faculty Roundtable: 2:00–3:30 pm. Register here.

Cooperation in higher education has been one of the foundational elements in US-China relations.  Today, there are over 350,000 students from the PRC studying in undergraduate and graduate programs across the US. In addition, over the course of four decades, US and Chinese universities have built up an array of collaborative research projects that have resulted in a growing number of publications in top tier refereed journals. The relationship in higher education seemed to be of substantial benefit to both sides, even if there have been shifts in geopolitical currents and a variety of on-going issues to be resolved.

Most recently, however, with the souring of the overall bilateral political relationship, the bilateral higher educational relationship has encountered numerous challenges. The number of US students wanting to study in China has declined, and the number of Chinese students willing to come to the US also has diminished. For many PRC students, getting a visa to come to the US has proven increasingly problematic because of tighter US controls. Research collaboration also has declined precipitously because of growing national security and competitiveness concerns. It seems as if things are moving in a downward spiral with no bottom in sight. The proposed panel will examine evolving trends and developments regarding US-China university cooperation and exchanges. The experienced panelists will offer their frank assessment about the prospects for the future, commenting on those forces that will shape the bilateral higher education relationship in both the short and medium-to-long term.

Panelists:    Professor Denis Simon, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Professor Qiang Zha, York University (Canada)

Professor Hantian Wu, Zhejiang University (China)

Moderator:  Professor Baoyan Cheng, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Co-sponsor: UH Department of Educational Foundations

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