Capping a trip to southern China, an OSU delegation led by OSU President Dr. E. Gordon Gee met with leaders in education, business and government in Shenzhen introduced by the OSU Chinese Flagship Program and Columbus Culture Co., Ltd. (Shenzhen).
President Gee was joined by Senior Vice President for University Development, Dr. Andrew Sorensen, Vice Provost for Global Strategies and International Affairs, Dr. William Brustein, Special Assistant to the President, Melinda Church, Director of the OSU China Gateway, Phoebe You and OSU Chinese Flagship Program Undergraduate Program Manager Patrick McAloon.
The visit began at the Shenzhen Municipal Education Bureau, where the delegation was received by Deputy Director Cao Saixian. Both sides introduced their activities and interests, with President Gee welcoming Shenzhen’s high school graduates to apply to Ohio State and offering teacher and administrator training services to the Education Bureau. With millions of RMB having just been made available to Shenzhen’s teachers and administrators for overseas training, Ohio State is well positioned to support this internationalization push.
President Gee’s delegation then visited Shenzhen Middle School, one of the city’s best high schools. Here, where over 70 students from the class of 2011 have applied to colleges in the US, the delegation took questions from a group of 30 students and parents. With flawless interpretation provided by a senior named Emma, students asked about how to be a competitive applicant, the possibility of combining studies of engineering and music, and the availability of study abroad in Japan. President Gee, Vice Provost Brustein and Dr. McAloon took these questions and hopefully created a few more Buckeyes in the process.
Lunch was hosted by the Second Foreign Language School of Nanshan, a K-9 school that has a sister-school relationship with The Miami Valley School in Dayton, Ohio. This relationship was set up by Columbus Culture (Shenzhen) and Miami Valley’s Li Ting, a Chinese teacher trained by OSU’s Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures. Students from Miami Valley will visit Shenzhen in summer 2011 and students from SFLS will be applying to Miami Valley for high school and, potentially, Ohio State for college.
In the afternoon, the delegation formed the American half of the US-China Forum on Business-Education Cooperation hosted by the Nanshan District Government, the Nanshan District Science & Technology Association and Shenzhen University. The speakers at this meeting arranged by Vice Chairman Chen Kanghou of the Nanshan District People’s Consultative Congress were leaders from Shenzhen University, Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School, Qinghua University Shenzhen Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Ha'erbin Institute of Technology Shenzhen Graduate School, Huawei Technology, Tencent Corporation, BYD and the Nanshan District Industry Union. Ohio State alumni were represented by David Huang of Great China International Group, Patrick Zhuang of Tencent, Zhou Yu of Peking University, and Nelson Kuo, of Kentex, Inc. Opportunities for training programs, joint research and internships in the fields of education, clean energy, environmental protection, and automotive design were discussed at the forum.
Following the forum, the mayor of Shenzhen’s Nanshan District, Li Xiaogan, appeared to observe the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Ohio State and the Nanshan District Environmental Protection Bureau. Nanshan District has a registered population of 920,000 and an average individual annual income of about 30,000RMB, slightly higher than Shanghai.
Dinner was hosted by the Nanshan District Science & Technology Bureau, represented by bureau Director Zhu Jianping. Columbus businessman and OSU alumni father Nelson Kuo provided additional support.
The Chinese Flagship Program at Ohio State will support projects that result from this visit by providing language and culture services as well as highly trained American speakers of Chinese.