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“Penn State Academic Exchange Day“ at PKU

MAY . 23 2011

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Peking University, May 21, 2011: The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) Academic Exchange Day was held at Peking University (PKU) on May 18 to promote the cooperation between the two universities.


PKU President Zhou Qifeng received Professor Graham Spanier, president of Penn State, and his colleagues at the Yingjie Overseas Exchange Center. Professor Zhou introduced PKU’s developing situations in international exchanges and cooperation to the guests at first. PKU is one of the most internationalized universities in China. PKU has a long-term cooperation with Penn State in various subjects and scientific fields. Professor Zhou hoped that both universities could gain more achievements to enhance the friendship and partnership between both sides through this visit. 


Penn State President Graham Spanier and PKU President Zhou Qifeng


Professor Graham Spanier considered it as a great honor to visit PKU for the second time. He also expressed his compliments on the achievements obtained during the previous cooperation. He said that Penn Sstate made rapid progress in its internationalization in recent years. There are many students and teachers in Penn State coming from China, who have made contributions to promote the cooperation between the two universities. He expressed that there was still a large space for both universities to improve their cooperation in fields like clean energy, medical, welfare, and information science and expand their influences in the world.


After the meeting, Professor Zhou and Professor Graham Spanier signed the PKU-Penn State Memorandum of Understanding, reaching an agreement on academic communication and student exchange. PKU and Penn State will also establish co-research centers to extend their cooperation in the fields of math and information science.






When the signing ceremony was finished, Professor Graham Spanier delivered a speech. He focused on the situation of American higher education and Chinese students in the US. He also expressed his opinions on the internationalization of universities and the education cooperation between China and the US. He recalled the unique friendship between Penn State and PKU, which could date back to the nineteenth century. After reforming and opening up, the president of Penn State paid a three-week visit to China together with twelve top scholars. With increasing concern between Chinese and American students, the number of Chinese language learners in the US quintuples, and China becomes the American students’ first choice to study in Asia. Meanwhile, the number of Chinese students in Penn State increases by 30%, higher than 3% – the average rate in the US. In the future, Penn State would enhance its development with China, especially with PKU. Professor Graham Spanier thought highly of Chinese teachers and students in Penn State and he admired the accomplishment made in higher education by China. He said that PKU, as a remarkable representative for Chinese higher education, was not only a world-class university, but also an internationalized university. He showed great interest in the cooperation between the two universities in every filed and was willing to expand and promote their partnership.


President Spanier speaking at PKU


After the speech, Professor Graham Spanier exchanged views on the development of universities and the cooperation between the two universities in detail with the attended teachers and students. Later in the afternoon, the delegation attended the opening ceremony of the Academic Exchange Day. More than one hundred scholars from PKU and Penn State discussed certain topics concerning different subjects.


Background Info:
Built in 1855, Pennsylvania State University is one of the ten biggest public universities in the US. It is also one of the top five well-known research universities. It has about 5,000 overseas students, nearly 2,000 of who are Chinese students



Written by: Qian Xin
Edited by: Su Juan
Source: PKU News (Chinese)