Troy University welcomes Chinese students, officials

Posted: Wednesday, 09 December 2009

TROY, Ala.—Troy University officials formally welcomed a delegation of university officials from the People’s Republic of China today in Hawkins Hall.

The 1-2-1 Sino-American Dual Degree Program Convocation sought to recognize the partnership between TROY and some 27 active partner institutions in China. Through the program, pioneered at TROY and now used as the standard model by universities throughout the United States, Chinese students may begin studies at their home institutions, transfer to TROY for two years and return to their home institutions for a final year of study. Upon completion of the program, the students are then awarded a degree from both Troy University and their home institution.

“Troy University feels a close friendship with China and the influence of Chinese culture is prevalent on this campus,” said TROY Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr.

“At Troy University we will continue to work with you to further strengthen our partnership, and we will partner with our state government to sponsor trade and education missions to China,” he said, adding that TROY was proud to be the home of the state’s only Confucius Institute.

“The Confucius Institute promotes the study of Chinese language and culture. In so doing it promotes appreciation and understanding between our two nations,” Dr. Hawkins said.

Currently, there are 79 students on the Troy Campus, according to Debbie Davis, coordinator of international student life at TROY. Another 23 are in their final year at their home institutions, and this summer are expected to graduate. The China commencement exercises will mark the 10-year anniversary of the 1-2-1 Program.

“A program’s success is measured in many ways, but perhaps the most telling is that since 2001 we have had 205 graduates of our program,” Davis said.

Of the 79 1-2-1 students currently on the Troy Campus, three are graduate students in the Sorrell College of Business, which also boasts the largest number of 1-2-1 undergraduates with 50 students. The College of Arts and Sciences hosts 14 students, the College of Communication and Fine Arts hosts 10 students and the College of Education, three 1-2-1 students.

One student, Zhang Ren, will be returning to Soochow University near Shanghi after this semester to complete his final year. An English major, he offered his perspective to newly arrived students from China.

“Coming to TROY was like a new beginning in my life,” he said, addressing the Convocation. “As an English major in China, that meant I was studying the language. Here, (my challenge has been) to have a good command of language and be ready to use it to further my learning.”

His advice to those students beginning their studies through the program: Don’t take the easy way out; make the most of the TROY opportunity.

“I believe if you find a way to get good grades without learning, that’s not productive. What matters the most is not GPA or honors, it is what we learn while we are here. Make friends with American students and with your professors and that will greatly add to that learning,” he said.

Representing the partner institutions was delegation leader Dr. Wang Yongsheng, vice president of Beijing Jiaotong University, a first-year partner in the program that has four students currently at TROY.

He challenged the students to follow the example of their classmates.

“Echoing the students who have spoken before me today, make the most of your opportunity here to succeed. Work hard and strive to be your best both in the classroom and out,” he said.

Also attending the Convocation were Qui Ping, vice president of Lanzhou University of Technology; Cai Wenhao, vice president of Lanzhou University of Finance and Economics; Wang Lianguo, dean, College of Information Science and Technology, Gansu Agricultural University; Hu Yun’An, vice president of Gansu Agricultural University; Nie Liya, dean International Exchange College, Ningbo University of Technology; Gao Hui, deputy director of the Office of International Relations, Shihezi University; Zhou Shenggui, chairman of the University Council of Shihezi University; Deng Jianhua, deputy director, China Center for International Exchange; and Wang Xiao, program manager, China Center for International Exchange.

The delegation will remain in Troy Thursday conducting meetings with academic counterparts and students.

Dr. Larry E. DiChiara

Troy University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr., front right, welcomes official university representatives from the People’s Republic of China and 1-2-1 program students Wednesday afternoon at Hawkins Hall on the Troy Campus. The delegation and students attended a special convocation. (TROY photo/Kevin Glackmeyer)