Iowa-based Cornell College has entered in an agreement with a Chinese university allowing the exchange of students and professors between the two institutions.
Cornell announced the partnership with Beihua University on Monday, after the Chinese Ministry of Education approved the program.
Under the plan, the Chinese university will cover financial expenses of the Cornell professors who will teach a portion of the course at their university. The professors will also provide instructions in different areas like computer science, mathematics, and physics.
The agreement took formal shape after two Cornell professors Leon Tabak and Tony deLaubenfels visited the university in May.
“It was wonderful,” deLaubenfels said. “The best thing about this experience was getting to know a dedicated group of students who not only worked hard in our courses but took us to lunch in the student cafe, walked us to campus each morning, and struck up conversations with us.”
The program also provides an opportunity to Beihua students to attend Cornell for their further studies.
“It gives our faculty the opportunity to teach in a new place across the world, provides financial benefits in the form of future students, and could open up future international connections with other universities,” Dean of Cornell College Joe Dieker said. “For Beihua, they can attract more students because there are prestige factors to being associated with a nationally-recognized American college.”
Meanwhile, the latest partnership comes in the backdrop of U.S. universities severing ties with Chinese institutes. Last month, Cornell University cut its ties with Renmin University that was accused of suspending its students who were seeking more protections for low-income workers.
In August, the University of North Florida announced the closure of a branch of the Confucius Institute, a non-profit public educational organization affiliated with the Ministry of Education of China, amid growing concerns over the Chinese influence on campuses across the country.