Representatives from Missouri S&T and China University of Petroleum (CUP) met recently to sign a transfer agreement between the two universities. The agreement will allow CUP students to transfer to S&T after their first two years of study in geology and geophysics.
The signing ceremony was held on Dec. 2, at the Havener Center on Missouri S&T’s campus.
“China University of Petroleum is the top university in China with regard to petroleum exploration and development,” says Dr. Robert Laudon, professor and chair of geological sciences and engineering at S&T. “We are fortunate to have this agreement.”
“This is the first time CUP has partnered with an American university,” says Dr. Stephen Gao, professor of geophysics at S&T. “They identified S&T’s geology and geophysics as a strong program that would be compatible with their program.”
By drawing top Chinese students to S&T, the “2+2 Program” is expected to benefit S&T by increasing student diversity, familiarizing S&T students with Chinese culture, and providing them with future personal connections in China, which Gao says is rapidly becoming a major player in the world’s science, technology and economy.
The program was conceived by Gao and Dr. Kelly Liu, associate professor of geophysics at S&T. Gao taught at CUP from 1984 to 1989; Liu received her bachelor’s degree from CUP in 1984 and taught there until 1990. They both earned their master’s degrees and Ph.D.s from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the 1990s and have taught at S&T since 2006.
“The idea of the program began in 2007 after talking with a professor at a meeting in San Francisco, who began a similar program,” says Gao. “Kelly and I knew that the curriculum of both S&T and CUP were similar enough for this to work.”
“Drs. Gao and Liu have worked very hard to bring this agreement to fruition,” says Laudon. “We are very fortunate to have them as members of our faculty.”
The creation of the 2+2 Program is a collaborative effort between members of S&T’s international affairs and enrollment management offices, and the geology and geophysics faculty. Also instrumental in the program’s development was Dr. Lianzhang Zhu, a visiting scholar from CUP, who spent a year at S&T from October 2008 through October 2009.