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2010 News Releases

Longwood signs exchange agreement with second Chinese university

July 22, 2010

Signing of the exchange agreement between Longwood and Qinzhou University in China Those attending the signing of an exchange agreement between Longwood and Qinzhou University in China were, from left, translator Huang Wei and Liu Weiling, Qinzhou’s vice director of international exchanges; Deborah McWee, Dr. Robert Frank and Dr. Wayne McWee of Longwood; and Dr. Li Shangping, president of Qinzhou, Wang Guohong, a vice president, and Feng Li, director of international exchanges.

Longwood University recently signed its second exchange agreement with a Chinese university.

The new agreement is with Qinzhou University in the city of Qinzhou (pronounced Chin-joe) in Guangxi (pronounced Gwahng-shee) province. Because Qinzhou is a comprehensive university with many similarities to Longwood, this exchange program is expected to provide broader possibilities than the exchange, primarily in business, with Anhui (pronounced Ahn-way) University of Technology, launched in 2004.

The agreement was signed June 28 on the Quinzhou campus by Dr. Wayne McWee, then provost and vice president for academic affairs at Longwood, and by a vice president of Qinzhou, Wang Guohong. McWee described the document as "a framework for a final cooperative agreement." The final details will be worked out by Dr. Robert Frank, Longwood's director of international affairs, who accompanied McWee on a two-week trip to China, and by Frank's counterpart at Qinzhou University, Feng Li.

In his previous job as associate dean for international education at Morehead State University, Frank developed contacts and worked with education officials in Qinzhou and throughout Guangxi province, a coastal province in southeastern China that borders Vietnam.

"I thought Qinzhou University was a great fit for Longwood," said Frank. "It was a teachers' college until 2006 and has a strong teacher education program, is now a comprehensive university with 10,000 students, has the same types of programs as Longwood, and recently went from college to university status. It has been designated the lead school in China for oceanography and environmental studies. We're their first American partner, so they were excited and honored to receive us. They have a second campus now under construction, and when it's ready in three years they will grow to 20,000 students. We wanted a broader exchange, and this new agreement expands our possibilities in China. Longwood students studying in disciplines other than business will have possible contacts with Chinese students."

"This exchange will be aimed at the education school and the arts and sciences," said McWee, who has returned to the College of Business & Economics to teach. "There will be opportunities for student teacher and practica placements for Longwood teacher education students. Longwood faculty can go there to teach or to supervise."

The second campus, which is at the harbor, will be connected to the main campus by an expressway that is also being built. "The distance between the two campuses is now 20 kilometers (12 miles), but the expressway will cut that to six kilometers (3.5 miles)," McWee said.

Frank and McWee were accompanied on the trip to China by the latter's wife, Deborah McWee, an adjunct member of the psychology faculty. They left June 21 and returned July 4. The trio also visited Anhui University of Technology, in Ma'anshan in Anhui province; Guangxi University in Nanning, the capital of Guangxi province; Hong Kong; and Shanghai.

"It was a busy two weeks. We got a lot of miles in," said Frank, who, when working at Morehead State University, visited Guangxi province four times and twice took students to Qinzhou. "Qinzhou has a population of three million, which is considered a small city by Chinese standards. The province has 55 million people."

In Qinzhou, they visited Middle School No. 1, which Frank had visited previously. "Middle  School No. 1 wants Longwood student-teachers to come there and teach English," he said. "Middle schools in China are grades seven through 12, between primary school and university. This school has 10,000 students, all residential, with 72 in each classroom and eight students living in each dorm room. They pay a fee; Chinese schools are free only up to the sixth grade. Students are tested in the ninth grade and can attend grades 10 through 12 only if they pass.

It's a very select process. We're hoping we might expand this cooperative effort to exchanges with high school students and high school teachers."

At Anhui University of Technology, McWee and Frank met with faculty in two business colleges, management and economics, and discussed "how best to proceed with the exchange," Frank said. They also met with Dr. Robert Cochran, associate professor of accounting at Longwood, who taught at Anhui for five weeks in June and July (he was the first Longwood faculty member to teach there), and with Bee Edmunds, an American educator who for several years has gone to Anhui in the summer to teach English to students preparing to come to Longwood, to help with obtaining visas, and to prepare them for life at Longwood.

"We're looking to develop, through the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), a joint degree program with Anhui that is a 1-2-1 program," Frank said. "In such a program, Anhui students would do a year there, do two years at Longwood, then do their final year back at Anhui, and they would earn a degree from both institutions. Currently, most Anhui students are at Longwood for one year, some for two years, and they earn a degree from Anhui University. The Anhui program was developed through AASCU, but the program with Qinzhou University has been independently established."

The Anhui president visited Longwood in August 2009, and in September 2010 three people from that university, including party secretary (a position with no U.S. equivalent) and the director of international affairs, will visit Longwood.

Wayne and Deborah McWee also visited China in 2005, accompanied by Longwood President Emeritus William Dorrill, a China specialist, and Wendell Barbour, dean of the Library and Learning Services. At that time, they visited Anhui University of Technology, Shanghai, and Beijing, where they attended an AASCU conference. The McWees were struck by the phenomenal growth in China since their last visit, especially by numerous skyscrapers in and on the outskirts of Shanghai on what had been rice fields.

"Some 50 percent of the world's high-rise cranes are in China, and 80 percent of the world's concrete is being used in China," Wayne McWee said, shaking his head. "They use bamboo scaffolding, which is very strong, on these buildings. They're building expressways that you can't imagine."