Amer­i­can school taps en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By YU RAN in Shang­hai


In re­sponse to ex­pand­ing re­search and ed­u­ca­tional part­ner­ships in China, Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­sity in St. Louis opened an of­fice in Shang­hai’s Knowl­edge In­no­va­tion Com­mu­nity on May 25.

The Shang­hai of­fice will serve as a key re­source for its alumni, prospec­tive stu­dents and friends to en­joy stronger con­nec­tions to the uni­ver­sity as well as regular pro­fes­sional ed­u­ca­tional work­shops.

“We are de­vel­op­ing an ecosys­tem for in­no­va­tion in en­trepreneur­ship that helps us take im­por­tant re­sults from re­search to devel­op­ment and com­mer­cial­iza­tion,” said Mark S. Wrighton, chan­cel­lor of the medium-sized in­de­pen­dent uni­ver­sity that is well-known for its re­search, pa­tient care and ser­vice to so­ci­ety.

Through the years, it has de­vel­oped sig­nif­i­cant aca­demic and re­search part­ner­ships in China with Pek­ing Uni­ver­sity, Ts­inghua Uni­ver­sity and China Agri­cul­tural Uni­ver­sity in Bei­jing, and Fu­dan Uni­ver­sity in Shang­hai, through its McDon­nell In­ter­na­tional Schol­ars Academy.

The lat­ter brings to­gether ex­cep­tional in­ter­na­tional grad­u­ate and doc­toral stu­dents from its 28 part­ner in­sti­tu­tions world­wide to pur­sue world-class ed­u­ca­tion and re­search while forg­ing a strong net­work with one an­other.

The academy also en­cour­ages other ini­tia­tives, such as fac­ulty col­lab­o­ra­tion across in­sti­tu­tions on global is­sues.

McDon­nell schol­ars will re­ceive free tu­ition to cover all their ed­u­ca­tional ex­penses, a living al­lowance, a travel award to St. Louis and a round-trip ticket back to China once a year. The whole pack­age is worth over $300,000.

“We have at least one part­ner in ev­ery pop­u­lated con­ti­nent, so China fig­ures promi­nently in this part­ner­ship with four uni­ver­si­ties since it launched in 2015,” said James V. Wertsch, vice chan­cel­lor for in­ter­na­tional af­fairs at Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­sity in St. Louis.

Among the cur­rent batch of 55 McDon­nell schol­ars who spe­cial­ize in dif­fer­ent ar­eas around the world, about 30 are from China. Fu­dan has amassed 300 alumni over the last decade.

They reg­u­larly take trips, have meet­ings and learn about lead­er­ship by go­ing on cour­ses to cre­ate large net­works to ben­e­fit their fu­ture ca­reers.

“We are keen to gen­er­ate fu­ture lead­ers with ex­ten­sive net­works be­cause it is im­por­tant for them to have friends and peo­ple they can work with in In­dia, Brazil and any­where in the world,” said Wertsch.

In ad­di­tion to the schol­ar­ship, Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­sity in St. Louis and Fu­dan Uni­ver­sity are also col­lab­o­rat­ing on a cou­ple of de­gree pro­grams — the new mas­ter of so­cial pol­icy/ mas­ter of arts dual-de­gree pro­gram and the ex­ec­u­tive MBA pro­gram, China’s first joint ven­ture in this area.

“As one of our great­est suc­cesses in China, the ex­ec­u­tive MBA pro­gram at Fu­dan Uni­ver­sity has got 600 alumni who are se­nior-level pro­fes­sion­als in China and ea­ger to achieve global lead­er­ship,” said the chan­cel­lor.

The uni­ver­sity will both com­pete and col­lab­o­rate with ri­vals who are build­ing sim­i­lar part­ner­ships with lo­cal in­sti­tu­tions in a bid to re­cruit more top-cal­iber stu­dents in China.


chan­cel­lor of Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­sity in St. Louis, came to Shang­hai to ex­pand part­ner­ship with lo­cal schools.

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