Photo courtesy of MTSU News
Middle Tennessee State University and Zhejiang University of Science and Technology signed an agreement on Thursday that will allow MTSU to begin discussions about student exchanges, joint faculty research and degree programs that will boost international enrollment at MTSU.
President Sidney A. McPhee and ZUST President Ye Gaoxiang have reestablished their friendship because of this alliance. In 2009, Gaoxiang led Hangzhou Normal University in its aid to MTSU’s creation of the Confucius Institute.
Gaoxiang has been a member of ZUST since 2013 and McPhee has held lectures to ZUST students interested in studying in the U.S.
“It is my great pleasure to again partner with President Ye on what could be the beginning of a fantastic relationship between our universities,” McPhee said. “President Ye has been on our campus many times, lectured to our students and stayed in my home. It is wonderful to be reunited with him.”
At the signing ceremony, Gaoxing honored McPhee by wearing a True Blue tie with a pattern of MTSU logos.
Founded in 1980, ZUST has an enrollment of more than 16,000 students, with a focus on sciences, engineering, economics, marketing and digital media. ZUST also hosts an international population of approximately 1,000 students from more than 100 countries.
During a presentation to McPhee and his delegation, ZUST officials emphasized their desire to establish ties with American institutions, noting MTSU’s new $147 million science building.
“We know you have a great relationship with Hangzhou Normal,” said ZUST Vice President Yougu Zheng. “We hope we can establish similar ties with our university.”
McPhee will be visiting China are will stop at several partner institutions, as well as lecturing in Nanning to present MTSU’s ongoing research on the study of traditional Chinese herbs for medicinal purposes.
On Wednesday, McPhee met with officials from Dongcheng Educational Group in Hangzhou to discuss plans for a trip to China in July by Rutherford County schoolchildren, teachers and administrators. It will be the third overseas trip that McPhee and his wife will have coordinated.