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Sunday, November 30, 2014

ISU seeks more exchanges with China

"As part of its efforts to provide students with a global perspective, Illinois State University has signed an agreement with Wuhan University in China that will lead to faculty and student exchanges." reports Bloomington Pantagraph.
Illinois State University - Wuhan University

 “Wuhan University is a first-rate research university, but they also offer strong education programs,” ISU President Larry Dietz said.

The agreement calls for exchanges of faculty, staff and students; training and joint research activities; and exchange of academic material and other information.

Perry Schoon, dean of ISU's College of Education, who accompanied Dietz on the trip to China, called it a cooperative agreement in which “we can learn from each other's best practices.”

Within the next five years, ISU wants to double the number of students who study abroad. The university also wants to increase the number of foreign students studying in Normal. Currently, the number going each direction — about 400 — is nearly the same.

ISU's strategic plan calls for providing programs “that prepare students to excel in a globally competitive, culturally diverse and changing environment.”

As much as ISU would like more students to study abroad, leaders recognize that most won't, for financial or other reasons.

Increasing the number of international students and faculty at ISU is “a way of bringing the world to Illinois State,” Dietz said.

International students make up about 2 percent of ISU's student body. Typically, a university of ISU's size would have about 5 percent international students, he said.

“That's not going to happen overnight and we don't want it to come all from one country,” Dietz said. 
“We want a diverse international student population.”

Schoon said three ISU programs he expects to be most involved are special education and instructional technology on the undergraduate and master's degree levels and teaching and learning at the doctoral level.

Dietz said Wuhan University has an advanced student assessment program and high-tech facilities for distance learning.

Source: Bloomington Pantagraph