Administrators visit South Korea, China

Provost Bonnie Higginson stands in front of a welcoming sign she encountered at at partner university in Korea last week. || Photo courtesy of Bonnie Higginson

Chris Wilcox
Staff writer

Four of Murray State’s administrators worked side-by-side with Chinese and South Korean colleges for 22 days this month to build partnerships geared toward increasing recruitment for the University and involved developing exchange programs.

Don Robertson, vice president of Student Affairs, Provost Bonnie Higginson, Luis Canales, director of the Institute for International Studies, and Guangming Zou, associate director of the Institute for International Studies returned last week.

Zou said Murray State has active partnerships with eight universities in Korea and 12 universities, including the People’s Education Press, in China.

Higginson said the goal of the trip was to rekindle agreements that have gone dormant and to develop partnerships with other universities.

“The main point of the trip was to visit our existing partner universities in China and South Korea and to establish one, maybe two new agreements,” she said.

Murray State has several existing exchange programs used every year, she said.

“Every year, four of their (professors) come here, two in the fall and two in the spring,” she said. “They work here for a semester for experience.”

Higginson said the trade-off is that during the summer the University has programs called Discover China in which the college takes Murray State faculty and students to Beijing, under the sponsorship of foreigh schools

“It’s a wonderful agreement that provides a cultural tour for students and faculty,” Higginson said.

Robertson said another objective of the trip was to develop relationships to generate programs for faculty exchange, study abroad programs and discover programs that he said the University hopes to promote for many years to come.

“We met with a lot of institutions, made contacts, did presentations over what we hoped to achieve as a university,” he said. “We made good connections while we were there.”

Zou said the administrators visited three universities in Korea – Sangmyung University, Chungnam National University and Gyeongsang National University, and seven universities and one educational institution in China – Yunnan Normal University, Gannan Normal University, Jiangxi University of Science and Technology, Jiangxi Environmental Engineering Vocational College, Ludong University, Hebei University of Economics and Business, Beijing Language and Culture University, along with the People’s Education Press.

Canales said China and Korea are two countries in which recruitment is imperative.

“China is, in fact, the country that currently sends the most students to the U.S., so naturally we want to recruit over there,” Canales said.

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