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Friday, January 14, 2005

Three from Chinese university receive UNCP degrees

Two-and-a-half years ago, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke embarked on an historic mission to China.

Grads – From left: Cui Lan, Wu Gang and Wang Yan Qui picked up master’s degrees from UNCP Dec. 11.

Grads – From left: Cui Lan, Wu Gang and Wang Yan Qui picked up master’s degrees from UNCP Dec. 11.

The plan – to offer UNCP’s Master’s of Public Administration program to students of the prestigious Chinese University of Mining and Technology (CUMT) – paid dividends in several ways on both sides of the globe.

The first three CUMT students traveled to the U.S. to receive their diplomas at Winter Commencement on December 11, 2004. CUMT placed three of its administrators into the management training program.

Wu Gang heads CUMT’s international languages and communication center; Cui Lan is deputy director for the computer science and enterprise management program; and Wang Yan Qui is office director of the electronics design program.

“We were very excited to see our teachers again,” Gang said. “They were very kind and gave us much scholarly wisdom and expertise.”

Holding class on the other side of the globe presented an interesting challenge for UNCP’s professors.

“In all, eight of our professors traveled to CUMT, which is located in Xushou, a city of more than 9 million,” said Dr. Robert Schneider, chair of UNCP Political Science and Public Administration Department. “We did two-weeks of extensive face-to-face teaching and then completed course requirements online.”

“Our professors delivered an inspired performance,” Dr. Schneider said. “They regard it as a professionally valuable experience and good for our University.”

The new graduates from CUMT said the program offers valuable training for managers.

“We had cutting-edge management training,” Gang said. “Before, I tried to solve the problem; now I listen.”

Chinese delegation – From left: Cui Lan, Wang Yan Qui, UNCP’s Dr. Robert Schneider, Wu Gang and Yin Xinping.

Chinese delegation – From left: Cui Lan, Wang Yan Qui, UNCP’s Dr. Robert Schneider, Wu Gang and Yin Xinping.

Language was an obstacle at first, but the Chinese students learned quickly that English was less a problem than “technical management language,” Gang said.

“The professors motivated us and encouraged us to answer questions,” he said. “After two years, we express ourselves clearly.”

The Chinese hunger for all things American including management methodology, Dr. Schneider said.

“They are eager to soak up everything,” he said. “This is a developing opportunity for U.S. institutions of higher education.”

Yin Xinping, executive dean of CUMT’s College of Adult Education, said the relationship with UNCP holds great potential for the future. First, he offered greetings and appreciation for UNCP’s hospitality.

“It is a great honor to be here, and we have received a good reception from Chancellor Meadors and the faculty,” Dean Yin said. “This program enhances the friendship between individuals and our institutions.”

“CUMT is a prestigious university in China that is the most famous school for mining and technology training,” Yin said. “Our students learned a lot from the eight professors who participated in this program. We are old friends now.”

“This is an excellent cooperation,” the dean said. “We are seeking the possibility of further cooperation in the future.”

A growing university of 23,000 students, CUMT is planning a public administration program of its own, Dean Yin said. There are 19 colleges within the university and a second campus in Beijing.

For UNCP, the experience in China was invaluable as the University seeks greater international experience for its students and faculty. UNCP is in negotiations to offer its MPA program at a second Chinese university.

“We have a great MPA program for our region and state, but now we have an outstanding global program as well,” Dr. Schneider said.

For more information about international programs at UNCP, please contact Dr. Alex Chen at 910.775.4095 or email alex.chen@uncp.edu. For information about the Master of Public Administration program, please call 910.521.6637 or email amelia.elk@uncp.edu.

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