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U-M-China partnership deepens ties with new collaborations

May 24, 2018
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Signing ceremony at between University of Michigan and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

SHANGHAI—The University of Michigan and Shanghai Jiao Tong University—U-M’s biggest global partnership—have dedicated a new building and signed another 10-year agreement to continue support of its joint institute in China.

The new agreement between the two universities will foster new collaborations in international education and faculty development.

Housed at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the new U-M-SJTU Joint Institute Long Bin Building was created to enhance student learning and faculty intellectual engagement. The building is named after U-M benefactor and alumnus John Wu’s parents, who are long-time faculty members at SJTU. In 2015, Wu donated $10 million to support professorships, faculty awards, scholarships, student entrepreneurship funds and other programs at the U-M-SJTU Joint Institute.

“The Shanghai Jiao Tong University collaboration is U-M’s largest and most comprehensive partnership in China,” said U-M President Mark Schlissel. “It has given hundreds of students from both our nations the opportunity to pursue excellent academic programs and conduct research. We have also fostered more than a decade of research interactions among faculty. I am further excited by the possibilities as we extend and enhance our partnership.”

Founded in 2006, the U-M-SJTU Joint Institute has become an important model for academic joint ventures in China. In 2014, the collaboration won the IIE Andrew Heiskell Award—one of the highest honors in global higher education—for best practices in international partnerships. It was the first time a U.S.-China collaboration won the award in the category.

Global Degree Pathways

Building on the joint institute’s place as a hub for international education, U-M and SJTU have developed a new pathway to encourage students from the institute’s bachelor’s programs to pursue master’s programs at U-M and other international institutions.

New building for University of Michigan and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

“We are very excited about the Global Degree Pathways at the U-M-SJTU Joint Institute,” said James Holloway, U-M vice provost for global engagement and interdisciplinary academic affairs. “As it builds out, it will offer an opportunity for all JI students to achieve a highly valuable bachelor’s-master’s degree combination.”

Undergraduates at the U-M-SJTU Joint Institute will be offered a number of GDP programs with U-M across a broad set of disciplines, including programs with the Ross School of Business, College of Engineering, School of Information, School of Environment and Sustainability, and College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

“This is the next step in the development of one of our key strategic educational partnerships in China,” Holloway said.

Faculty Development

In order to improve faculty training and development practices, and the quality of teaching and learning in Chinese universities, U-M and SJTU have formed a new partnership in faculty development.

“U-M’s Center for Research on Learning and Teaching is the oldest teaching center in the U.S., with work in China that goes back a decade,” Holloway said. “This new partnership will greatly amplify CRLT’s reach across China, where higher education is growing and evolving at a rapid pace.”

Open to all who are involved in faculty training and development in Chinese universities and colleges, the joint training program consists of two parts, with the first located at SJTU campus and the second at U-M’s Ann Arbor campus. The program launched this month.

Through lectures, discussions and interaction with faculty developers at both institutions, participants will be exposed to innovation pedagogies and learn how to run a successful faculty development engagement center to advance a culture of teaching on their own campuses.

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