University of Wisconsin-Stout

Nov. 2, 2011

University of Wisconsin-Stout and China’s Shenzen Tourism College of Jinan University signed an agreement Wednesday pledging that the two institutions will work together in a variety of areas.

The Memorandum of Understanding calls for “academic collaboration” in the areas of research, scholarly activity, student exchanges, faculty exchanges and short-term visits. Specific projects would require follow-up agreements.

Shenzen Tourism College has an academic focus similar to UW-Stout’s School of Hospitality Leadership.

Six officials from Shenzen Tourism College met with several UW-Stout officials, including Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen and Provost Julie Furst-Bowe.

Sorensen and Lin Rupeng, deputy president of Jinan University, signed the agreement and exchanged gifts.

“China is a world power. Collaboration at this level can cement the relationship between your country and this country,” Sorensen told Rupeng, through an interpreter.

Jinan University, founded in 1906, is based in Guangzhou and has campuses in two other cities. It has about 40,000 students from 87 countries. Shenzen Tourism College opened in 1993; it has 1,000 students.

After the agreement was signed, four students from Jinan who are at UW-Stout this fall talked with the group. Three of them are studying hotel, restaurant and tourism management and one is taking golf enterprise management. They spoke positively about their academic, social and cultural experiences, although they said school and living expenses are much higher in the U.S.

The Jinan delegation, which included four associate deans, also toured campus and met with School of Hospitality Leadership directors and Hong Rost, director of the Office of International Education.

UW-Stout has 189 international students this fall. That total includes 28 students from China, a number expected to grow, said Vickie Kuester, Office of International Education associate director.

UW-Stout also has a study abroad program with Minzu University from Beijing, China, and with other foreign universities.

Next week, Nov. 7-11, is International Week at UW-Stout. Programs will be offered each day, culminating with the International Fair from 3-6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, in the Sunken Lounge of Merle M. Price Commons. The free fair will include cultural exhibits and performances.