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Delegation from NMSU visits China

A delegation of New Mexico State University professors and administrators traveled to China in October to establish collaborative work, recruit students and develop agreements with Chinese universities.


In one proposed program, known as a 1-2-1 agreement, Chinese students take one year of courses at a Chinese university, the next two years at NMSU and the final year back in China. Upon completion of the program, students will receive dual bachelor's degrees from both schools.

A 1-3 agreement is similar, but Chinese students would only attend one year of courses at a Chinese university before transferring to NMSU.

"The key is to make sure there is a good match in the curriculum," said M. Ida Baca, associate dean for international programs. "The first year courses in China are similar to those at NMSU and if there's a good match, the 1-2-1 system works beautifully."

NMSU delegates were William Flores, executive vice president and provost; Everett Egginton, dean of international and border programs; Wesley Holley, associate dean in the College of Agriculture and Home Economics; Kenneth Hammond, associate professor of history; Yu-seng Lee, assistant professor of economics and international business; Martha Rowe, associate professor of music; Charles Townley, professor in the educational management and development department and a Fulbright Scholar at Beijing Normal University; and Candace Kaye, a graduate faculty member in the curriculum and instruction department. The delegation visited Shanghai, Wuhan, and Beijing, China.

"The purpose of the trip was to follow up on a visit by representatives of several Chinese universities to NMSU last March, which was sponsored by World American Cultural Exchange (WACE)," Egginton said. "In the near future, NMSU will sign agreements with at least four WACE-affiliated universities in China to bring Chinese students to NMSU."

The universities that are expected to sign the agreements are Huashong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan University and Wuhan Institute of Technology in Wuhan City, Hubei Province and Sichuan Conservatory of Music in the city of Chengdu in Sichuan Province.

In addition, the delegation visited Beijing Normal University (BNU) and made an agreement with administrators there.

"On Oct. 16, I represented NMSU in an official signing of an agreement linking NMSU with BNU on a number of specific initiatives," Egginton said.

Those initiatives include sending an NMSU professor to BNU next summer to teach applied statistics, offering a distance learning course in early childhood education to be taught by Kaye and taking a group of NMSU College of Education students on a two or three week "professional experience" in China sponsored by BNU.

"The delegation had a great deal of success," Kaye said. "I think there is an understanding in the U.S. that many times one meeting can be enough. However, Chinese protocol is different; the first meeting opens the door. We were very successful in laying the groundwork for future conversations."

The delegation also discussed particular initiatives with Beijing University of Technology, Renmin University of China and Beijing Agricultural University, which include joint research, faculty exchanges, study abroad opportunities and 1-2-1 and 1-3 exchange programs.

Fortunately, the trip was not all business.

"A visit to Beijing without visiting such sites as the Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and, of course, the Great Wall would, quite simply, be incomplete," Egginton said. "Not only was our visit not incomplete, the visits to all of those sites were much enhanced by Ken Hammond's wealth of knowledge regarding their historical origins. The trip was, in a word, unforgettable."