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SUNY Hosts Undergraduates From Sichuan Province, China

2008-08-01 03:00 894

Program to Train Young Leaders to Rebuild Earthquake-ravaged Communities and Sino-U.S. Links

ALBANY, N.Y., Aug. 1 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- Twenty two campuses of the State University of New York’s 64-campus system are opening their doors for the next year to 150 Chinese undergraduate students from the Sichuan Province of western China, site of a massive earthquake in May. The majority of these students come from 40 counties around Wenchuan, the center of the quake.

The students, primarily sophomores and juniors, will study for two semesters as full-time students at SUNY state-operated and community college campuses, beginning this fall. The goal is to build a team of young leaders based on their common experiences in the U.S.

When they return to China, these talented men and women from diverse Chinese ethnic groups will help re-build the local economy and infrastructure in the region impacted by the earthquake. Each student has committed to return to China upon completion of the program in May/June 2009 and to a period of national service in Sichuan to help with the rebuilding effort.

SUNY students and faculty will benefit from the presence of the Chinese students, who will contribute to the growing global presence of the State University and lead to long-term friendships and important connections between communities in New York and China.

“On behalf of all New Yorkers, we are pleased to welcome these students to our State University system and to ensure that there is no interruption in their college studies despite the tragic natural disaster that hit Chengdu in May,” said New York Governor David Paterson, in a press release (http://www.ny.gov/governor/press) announcing China 150. “SUNY will provide these students with valuable leadership training, which will help prepare them to return to China to assist with rebuilding efforts and the aftermath of the earthquake. SUNY’s deep educational ties with China allow our state university campuses to play a global role -- and to be at the forefront of international educational experiences.”

“The State University of New York has a long and mutually productive relationship with a number of Chinese Universities, particularly in Jiangsu Province,” said Carl Hayden, Chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees. “This initiative further strengthens SUNY’s ties to China even as it provides desperately needed humanitarian support for students from Sichuan Province displaced by the devastating earthquake of last May. It enjoys support at the highest levels of both the Chinese government and our own.”

“We see this program (the SUNY China 150 Program) not only as a way to grow educational cooperation and exchanges with SUNY, but also as a critical first step in helping to expand mutually beneficial economic and commercial relations between Sichuan Province and New York State,” said Wang Fengxiong, Vice Director of the Education Department of Sichuan Province.

“SUNY has been collaborating with Chinese universities for more than 25 years,” said Interim Chancellor Dr. John B. Clark. “I commend Governor Paterson for his support of China 150 and thank each of the SUNY campuses for their participation in this most important international initiative.”

“Broadening our international relationship with China benefits SUNY and New York State, as it will benefit the rebuilding effort in the Sichuan province,” said Dr. Denis Simon, provost at SUNY’s Neil D. Levin Graduate Institute of International Relations and Commerce in New York City and one of the organizers of the initiative. “Using education and partnership in response to such a disaster seemed a natural for SUNY.”

Read the entire press release at http://www.suny.edu/sunynews/News.cfm?filname=2008-07-31%20final%20China%20150.htm.

Source: State University of New York
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