Carnegie Mellon joins popular trend of U.S., China universities partnering
By Debra Erdley
Published: Monday, April 8, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
It's been three decades since Jimmy Zhu came to the United States as a student from China.
Back then, Zhu was one of the few. Today, China leads the world in sending students to U.S. universities.
Zhu, now an engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University, is helping export CMU's engineering prowess to China as co-director of a new graduate school: the Joint Institute of Engineering at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou.
CMU is hiring faculty and exporting its curriculum to the new school, which will enroll its first class this fall.
Meanwhile, officials at University of Pittsburgh's School of Engineering are preparing to start an undergraduate program in engineering at Sichuan University in 2014. Pitt's medical school is partnering with Tsinghua University in Beijing to accept 25 to 45 biomedical researchers every year for two years of training here as visiting scholars.
Jacqueline Chen, a recent CMU graduate who came here from China, celebrates such partnerships.
“We want to introduce Pittsburgh to the world,” said Chen, who will chair Carnegie Mellon's second annual summit on U.S.-China Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Carnegie Mellon's Chinese Student and Scholar Association sponsors the international summit, which will bring 1,000 students, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and policymakers to Pittsburgh on April 27-28.
The event emphasizes shared values over cultural divides. It attracted coverage from China Central Television last year.
Cash-strapped universities faced with dwindling government support increasingly are looking East. Pitt and CMU are among five universities — the others are Duke University, the University of Michigan and New York University — starting partnerships in China.
They follow a decade in which the number of Chinese students studying in U.S. universities tripled from 63,211 in 2001-02 to 194,029 in 2011-12, according to the Institute of International Education's Open Doors report.
Officials at Pitt and Carnegie Mellon said their involvement will enhance their standing in the world's most populous country and pave the way for partnerships with businesses.
Pitt officials said Sichuan University will invest $40 million to erect and equip a new building for the Sichuan University Pittsburgh Institute. Scheduled to open in 2014, it will adopt Pitt's engineering curriculum, and Pitt will recruit faculty.
“It's not designed to provide direct financial benefits (to Pitt),” said Larry Feick, Pitt senior director of international programs. “We expect to enroll 1,600 students (in Sichuan), and up to a quarter of those will transfer to Pitt to get a double degree.”
Carnegie Mellon will focus strictly on graduate education at Sun Yat-sen. Classes in both institutes will be taught in English.
Zhu said Sun Yat-sen, located in the midst of a major enterprise zone in southern China about two hours from Hong Kong, has no engineering program.
“Two years ago a new university president at Sun Yat-sen decided his legacy would be an engineering school he would build,” Zhu said.
The school is erecting one building for the engineering institute; another nearby will be a research and innovation center.
Students will spend one semester at Carnegie Mellon in Oakland or the Silicon Valley. The institute intends to start a doctoral program.
“China has had various programs to reverse its brain drain. With this school I think we can do something significant,” Zhu said.
Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- ‘We’re so proud’ Obama says of CCAC West Hills Center students
- South Fayette parents express dissatisfaction with handling of bullying
- Legal experts question prosecuting South Fayette boy for recording bullies
- South Fayette mother wants case against bullied son to be dropped
- Several Duquesne homes damaged in fire
- Defense experts tell of disease they say claimed 4-month-old from Castle Shannon whose father is charged with homicide
- For undercover officer who tried to nab Lawrence County flasher, work can be ‘drag’
- Moon school hiring under fire
- Methane emission levels by shale natural gas drillers disputed by EPA, researchers
- Woman charged in Schuylkill County stabbing death
- Comedian Gallagher gets his money from North Versailles promoter