July 21, 2014
A contingent of Chinese post-secondary students and teachers is visiting Memorial over the next four weeks as part of a summer school hosted by the Faculty of Business Administration.
Twenty-three students and four teachers arrived from Xi’an Jiaotong City College (XJTCC) in Xi’an, the capital city of Shaanxi province in China, on July 15 to take part in the Global Business Summer School.
“The purpose of this summer school is to build a stronger relationship with one of our most important partners in China,” says Dr. Larry Bauer, associate dean of academic programs at the business faculty. “The idea is that it helps to strengthen the relationship between Memorial and City College and it also fosters cultural exchange.”
Xi'an Jiaotong University, one of China’s top universities, created XJTCC in 2006 as part of a system of residential colleges that provide a greater student-focused experience within the environment of a large university.
The business faculty has offered a two-plus-two dual-degree program in partnership with XJTCC since 2006. This program allows students to simultaneously complete the program requirements for both institutions and earn degrees from both Memorial and XJTCC. To date, 28 students have earned degrees through the program and a further 60 students are currently completing the Memorial portion.
This is the first time the business faculty has hosted a summer school targeted at a two-plus-two partner school.
“It’s not our expectation that these specific students will come to Memorial as part of the two-plus-two program. It’s very much about cultural exchange. Our hope is that the students and their teachers will come to Memorial, love Memorial, love Newfoundland, and go back to their college and help raise awareness about Memorial and our province,” says Dr. Bauer.
“It’s very much a relationship-building kind of experience. The better we understand them [and] the better they understand us, the stronger our relationship will be.”
The Chinese students will have the opportunity to complete a non-credit course in international business, participate in guest lectures on topics such as the music and culture of Newfoundland and Labrador, take in cultural and tourism activities such as visits to The Rooms and local businesses and a boat tour from the harbour, as well as experience some social events.
The teachers accompanying the group will also sit in on business classes and meet with some local professors to gain a better understanding of teaching techniques at Memorial.
“Teaching techniques in China are very different from here. There, it’s primarily lecture based whereas here, it’s more participatory. They’d like to learn more about that style of teaching, and we’re hoping to learn from them as well,” says Dr. Bauer.
The business faculty currently has 11 partner schools in four countries across Asia and Europe offering two-plus-two programs. Dr. Bauer says he hopes to grow the summer school in the future.
“We hope in future years to expand it to other institutions in different countries as well. It would improve the multi-cultural aspect immensely.”
The Global Business Summer School will be ongoing until Aug. 8.