Chinese institutions and Vincennes University sign academic cooperation agreements

President Chuck Johnson and Huaping Zhou shaking hands at press conference.

December 06, 2017

VINCENNES, Ind. - The first student from Jiangsu County in China will soon attend Vincennes University, thanks to agreements signed on Dec. 5 at VU.

Huaping Zhou, president of the Institute of Xuyi Vocational Education, and Tiancheng Ge, principal of Xuyi High School, both signed agreements with VU President Chuck Johnson that commit their respective institutions to “academic exchange and cooperation in teaching, research, and training.”

Delegates from China touring the VU campus.As part of the ceremony, Vincennes Mayor Joe Yochum also signed a Sister City agreement with Xuyi County, Jiangsu Province, China, which Yochum said he hopes will help attract students to VU “as well as open economic opportunities in business exchange and tourism.”

Johnson welcomed the guests to VU, thanking them for their “great hospitality” during a visit by a Knox County delegation last July to Xuyi County. “I think this is the start of something that could be very special,” Johnson said.

Under the agreements, VU and the Chinese educational institutions will work to develop a partnership that will allow Chinese students to enroll at VU to seek associate or bachelor’s degrees. “There will be a student from Xuyi County to VU very soon and we hope this opportunity will bring us more opportunities for cooperation. I hope in the future we have more and more students and faculty members come to Vincennes to learn and succeed,” Ge said.

The Chinese visitors to Vincennes also included Xuyi County officials Shizhu Zhang, director of General Affairs, and Guangjin Liu, director of the Judicial Bureau.

Upon signing the academic cooperation agreements, Johnson said, “This will deepen our relationship and help us move together as we develop educational, cultural, and economic partnerships.” The ceremony concluded with the exchanging of gifts between the educational institutions and the City of Vincennes and Xuyi County.

“This is a region of China that does not have quite as much exposure to U.S. universities and colleges so this gives us a chance to get in front of these students and get them engaged to make VU a top choice for them,” Johnson said.

The agreements also open opportunities for faculty members to have beneficial exchanges on topics such as different teaching approaches in their respective countries.

“We have enjoyed many Sister City exchanges through the years but the one with Xuyi County is especially exciting and rewarding. We are grateful,” said VU Provost Laurel Smith.

Kent Utt, president of the Knox County Development Corporation, who traveled to Xuyi County last summer with Yochum and Johnson, said he was glad to welcome familiar faces to Vincennes. “I am so encouraged by the sharing of talent that we have in the room. The fact that you have students interested in sharing their educational experience here shows this will blossom,” Utt said.

While in Vincennes, the Chinese delegation toured the community and VU, accompanied by city, county and VU officials.

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