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A Collection of Some of Penn’s Partnerships with Chinese Institutions

September 28, 2010, Volume 57, No. 05

School of Social Policy & Practice: Penn-China Civil Society Initiative

The University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) has launched the Penn-China Civil Society Initiative, a program to assist China’s budding non-governmental sector.

Dean Richard J. Gelles signed a memorandum of understanding with officials from the Beijing Normal University One Foundation Philanthropic Research Institute, agreeing that the School of Social Policy & Practice will serve as a collaborative advisor in developing China’s NGO and philanthropy sector.

“This is a historic moment for the nonprofit, civil society sector in China,” Dean Gelles said this summer. “Moreover, it’s another way that our School embraces the Penn Compact. We’re integrating knowledge among the disciplines to strengthen our global engagement.”

The agreement between the two universities promotes the development of collaborative training programs, along with international scholarly communication and cooperation.  It encourages professors and researchers to host international exchanges, research projects, lectures and other activities.

“NGOs are essential in addressing social problems in China, but there’s a divide. Some officials believe NGOs are needed, while others see NGOs as a source of potential problems,” Dr. Gelles said. “NGO development in China lags behind the country’s rapid economic growth. In addition, China has experienced unprecedented philanthropic activity after the earthquake in 2008 and the Olympics in Beijing. Now, it’s just a matter of how to channel those philanthropic dollars to make the strongest, long-term impact, and this agreement is the first step in structuring the development of NGOs there.”

The memorandum also calls for creating joint-research publications on the philanthropic sector, surveying the state of Chinese philanthropy, designing programs to improve the capacity of China’s philanthropic sector and developing professional standards.

The Penn-China Civil Society Initiative will be implemented during an 18-month timeframe, offering seminars in the U.S. and in China. The initiative will draw from expertise from schools across the University, including Wharton and Law, in addition to the School of Social Policy & Practice.

With private funding and a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, the vision of Tianxue Qiu, a 2009 SP2 alumna who serves as a key advisor in developing the NGO sector, has turned into reality. Ms. Qiu will serve as the project’s U.S.-based coordinator, housed at the SP2.

The Henry Luce Foundation support will focus on promoting and influencing the regulation and legislation of the NGO sector in China.

To see video from the signing of the memorandum of understanding between Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice and the Beijing Normal University One Foundation Philanthropic Research Institute, visit http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMTgzNTQ1Mjgw.html

GSE: Students in Joint EdD Program with China

Penn GSE is partnering with East China Normal University on the first-ever doctorate of education program offered in China.

The first cohort of students arrived on the Penn campus this fall for an intensive 12-week course that introduced them to cutting-edge issues in American education. Combined with site visits to area schools and universities, the course at Penn is designed to expand the students’ understanding and introduce an international comparative element to their doctoral research.

 “Penn GSE is breaking new ground internationally by working with ECNU,” said Cheng Davis, Vice Dean for International Programs and Development. “The program, a practical departure from the more theoretical PhD programs available in China, allows participants to tap into the experiences and resources of Penn GSE and other leading players in American education, in order to improve the schools and universities they administer.”

Based in Shanghai, ECNU is one of China’s premier teachers’ colleges, and the Penn GSE-ECNU Joint EdD Program has been developed in cooperation with the Chinese Ministry of Education. Program degrees will be issued by ECNU.

Penn GSE provided expertise in developing the program’s curriculum and is also coordinating instruction—both through Shanghai-based seminars by Penn faculty and associates and through the accelerated period of study and research in Philadelphia.

During their stay, the first cohort of 14 students participated in seminars conducted by faculty and guest speakers from Penn, Harvard, and other organizations. Topics focused on education management at the senior administrative level, including the effects of globalization, global competitiveness, diversity, institutional ranking, leadership and governance, student affairs, and community and government relations.

Through visits to the Penn Alexander School, the Philadelphia and Lower Merion School Districts, and the Haverford School, students had the opportunity to observe both public and private K-12 education in action.

Site visits also introduced them to the broad range of higher education available in the US, from Ivy League universities like Penn, to smaller private colleges like Bryn Mawr, Drexel, St. Joseph’s and Villanova, to the large state system of Rutgers, and even to computer-based distance learning as typified by the Distance Education Program of the University of Maryland University College.

At the end of their program at Penn, the students were required to give oral presentations, in English, introducing their doctoral research projects and indicating how their term of study at Penn had changed or expanded these projects.

Said Ms. Davis, “These students took home a wealth of relevant experiences and knowledge with direct application to their work toward their degrees and, we hope, pleasant memories of their stay in Philadelphia. The success of this program, the product of the long-standing relationship between Penn GSE and ECNU, will further promote that cooperation and is expected to lead to even closer ties between the sister schools in the future.”

Annenberg: Health Communication Program at Chinese University

Renmin University in Beijing is beginning a health communication program with help from faculty and researchers from the Center for Global Communication Studies at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication.

A Summer Institute for Health Communication Studies took place at Renmin University. Faculty from Annenberg led classroom sessions on a variety of health communication subjects. The participants included junior faculty members and advanced graduate students from selected Chinese universities.

“This represents a wonderful opportunity to enrich cooperative scholarship between great American researchers and their counterparts in China,” says Monroe E. Price, director of Annenberg’s Center for Global Communication Studies, which helped to coordinate the institute.

Several Penn faculty and researchers participate, including Annenberg professors Joseph N. Cappella and Robert Hornik, and researcher Amy Jordan, who heads the Media and the Developing Child sector of the Annenberg Public Policy Center. Other participants from the U.S. included Michael Slater from Ohio State University and Xiaoquan Zhao from George Mason University. Dr. Zhao received his doctoral degree from Annenberg in 2005. Annenberg doctoral students Dina Shapiro and Rui Shi also participated.

Penn has an ongoing commitment to scholarship in China. Earlier this year Penn President Amy Gutmann signed a memorandum of understanding with Peking University recognizing shared academic interests between the two universities. This builds on several existing partnerships between Penn and institutes of higher education in China, including activities by the Wharton School and Penn’s School of Dental Medicine.

The Institute began with a one-day symposium on health communication studies in the U.S. and China, with a focus on communicable disease. Participants included Penn’s faculty, along with officials from the Chinese Ministry of Health; the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and provincial CDCs; Chinese scholars and practitioners; and doctoral students.

Penn Law and University of Hong Kong Exchange Program

The University of Pennsylvania Law School and The Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong have established a Master of Laws degree student exchange program.

The JD/LLM exchange program will allow up to three students from each of the universities to spend their third year of law school at the partner institution and complete a Master of Laws program.

“This program offers students at Penn Law and HKU a unique opportunity to pursue a truly international legal education,” said Professor Eric Feldman, Deputy Dean for International Affairs at Penn Law.

“The new program with Penn Law is an acknowledgement of the globalization of the practice of law,” said Professor Johannes Chan, Dean of Law at HKU. “Under this program, students will benefit from both institutions, which distinguish themselves as some of the oldest and most academically vibrant law schools in their regions.”

Students can begin submitting study abroad applications for the 2011-2012 academic year.

Secrets of the Silk Road to Travel to Philadelphia: Tickets Available

Individual tickets are now on sale for Secrets of the Silk Road—a landmark exhibition from China making its only East Coast stop at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Penn Museum) February 5 through June 5, 2011. Timed tickets can be purchased online at www.penn.museum/silkroad or by phone: (877) 77-CLICK.


Almanac - September 28, 2010, Volume 57, No. 05