The University of Missouri-Rolla agreed April 21 to establish a program of academic cooperation and educational exchange in the environmental discipline with Tongji University, which was founded in 1908 in the People’s Republic of China.
“This memorandum of understanding took two years to complete and included on-site visits by Dr. Jianfu Zhao, vice president of Tongji University, and UMR faculty,” says Dr. Wayne Huebner, vice provost of research and sponsored programs at UMR. “It will enable a whole host of interactions between China and our university.”
The new partnership focuses on graduate student exchange and faculty collaboration in the environmental discipline. UMR officials anticipate the five-year agreement will increase the university’s visibility in China, improving its ability to attract excellent students to pursue advanced degrees and enhancing its research productivity.
“This agreement is the culmination of a lot of hard work by Dr. Jianmin Wang and his colleagues here at UMR and at Tongji University,” says Dr. William Schonberg, chair of the civil, architectural and environmental engineering department at UMR. “It is a terrific opportunity for both institutions. I expect that this agreement and the collaborative efforts to follow will enrich the academic missions of both institutions while upholding and furthering their traditions of academic excellence.”
The agreement states that the development of academic cooperation will “facilitate the international exchange of ideas and enhance the scholarly efforts” of both institutions. Agreement highlights are:
- UMR will provide teaching and research assistantships to outstanding qualified Tongji University graduates who are pursing advanced degrees at UMR. Tongji University will host UMR students with opportunities to conduct research and gain international experiences in China.
- Faculty members in both universities will regularly meet together and apply for research funds from both governments and international organizations. As funding allows, UMR will co-sponsor Tongji University faculty members for training and collaborative research at UMR.
UMR, recognizing the value that a global perspective can give to students and faculty, has partnerships with more than 130 colleges and universities in more than 35 countries.