Fifteen UK faculty were able to "see globally" at Shanghai University (SHU) in China during the 2014 summer term, through the UK Confucius Institute’s (UKCI) “UK Faculty China Short-Term Teaching Program.”
The program fosters global literacy throughout the UK campus by embedding UK faculty members in SHU’s departments where they teach students for one week, meet professional colleagues, identify shared research interests and gain key insights into China that they can then share with their students in Kentucky.
“Students need to know how knowledge is created, disseminated and used in a commercial and global environment of commerce,” said Susan Carvalho, associate provost for internationalization. “By sending UK faculty from a broad range of disciplines to teach at Shanghai University – some of whom have never been to China – they will return with global experiences and perspectives that will be infused across campus.”
Following the teaching week UK Provost Christine Riordan, College of Arts & Sciences Dean Mark Kornbluh, College of Fine Arts Dean Michael Tick, Associate Provost for Internationalization Susan Carvalho and UKCI Director Huajing Maske joined the visiting UK faculty to celebrate “UK Week at SHU."
During “UK Week at SHU” members of the UK delegation delivered lectures providing Shanghai University faculty members the opportunity to connect with UK’s disciplinary and academic expertise.
The UK Confucius Institute held a similar “UK Week” at Jilin University in Spring 2012.
The UK-JLU Collaborative Framework was established as a result of “UK Week” at Jilin University, which includes a 2+2 agreement and faculty exchange agreement with the Gatton College of Business and Economics; and a 4+2 agreement with the College of Public Health. Partnerships with UK’s Computer Science Department, College of Communication and Information and College of Arts & Sciences are still being negotiated.
“Based on our great success at Jilin, the UK faculty who are teaching at SHU this summer and our strategic partnership with SHU, we decided to hold another ‘UK Week’ at SHU,” said Huajing Maske, director of the UK Confucius Institute and executive director of UK’s new Office of China Initiatives. “This week-long event deepened our ties with SHU and provided a base for future research collaborations.”
Ernest Yanarella, chair of the Department of Political Science, taught a course as part of the “UK Faculty China Short-Term Teaching Program” in 2012. The title of his course was, “Bridging Modernity, Globalization, and Sustainable Development in China and the West.”
“I must say that teaching in China to young Chinese college students was one of the most meaningful educational experiences I have had as a scholar and university professor,” Yanarella said. “It proved to be a splendid opportunity for an American scholar and teacher to engage in a real dialogue with future leaders of the People's Republic of China.”
Yanarella said that such partnerships are a win-win situation for Chinese universities and UK.
“The opportunity for UK faculty to teach at Chinese universities opens up possibilities of promoting greater cultural understanding across political and other divides and generating collaborative teaching and research projects with Chinese scholars,” he said.
As the Executive Director of the Office of China Initiatives Maske is hoping “UK Week at SHU” will help UK faculty find opportunities to access research dollars that are available in China through collaborative research. “There are considerable resources that UK faculty can access in China that will help them fund their research, access data and increase opportunities to publish.”
To learn more, visit www.uky.edu/international/.