School builds international outlook on campus
Education professionals are looking at developing summer school courses to boost internationalization in higher education.
The University of International Business and Economics launched a four- week international summer school program in July, which attracted more than 2,000 students, including from foreign universities.
Under the program, the university invited 92 scholars and professors from different countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia and Germany, to give lessons on economics, management, literature, jurisprudence, linguistics and physical education.
“This is to build an international atmosphere on campus. Through the program, we hope students can improve their individual development and international competitiveness,” said Zhao Zhongxiu, the university’s vice-president.
“These courses, taught by famous scholars, will help the students to extend their intellectual horizon and experience the most advanced research issues. The program not only offers an opportunity for academic enrichment, but also provides a platform for international cultural exchange,” he said.
Summer courses in the university were launched last year. Students from 2010 and 2011 can decide on their own to select summer courses as primary or supplementary courses. The 2012 undergraduates have been mandated summer courses as major requirements.
Peng Boyi, 20, a sophomore at the university, selected international finance as his summer course.
The course is an introduction to global financial management, especially to the foreign exchange market, the risks inherent in that market, and the tools used to manage those risks, he said.
“My major is about logistics. I have learned about international finance before, but I still learned something new from my foreign professor,” he said.
“For instance, foreign professors gave examples from other countries to illustrate, creating a kind of global perspective to think about economic issues,” he said.
Peng’s class is taught by Ralph Huenemann, professor emeritus at Peter B. Gustavson School of Business in the University of Victoria, Canada.
Huenemann simulates foreign exchange trading in class.
“Students like playing with computers and it is fun. Students set up their accounts. If it’s fun it’s easier to learn,’’ he said.
The professor spent about 15 years from 1988 working in China for the World Bank.
“It is hard to explain why I am so interested in China. I studied Chinese when I graduated from university when I was 20. That was unusual in the US at the time since China was completely undeveloped,” Huenemann said.
The professor taught a course on the Chinese economy in Tajikistan last summer.
Huenemann said compared with regular courses teaching for four months, the one- month summer course is a challenge. “Now I am just thinking about how to make a one-month course a good course.”
Ralph Huenemann (top), a professor emeritus at the University of Victoria, Canada, teaches students how to trade on the foreign exchange market during UIBE’s international summer school program (above) in July. Huenemann was one of 92 scholars invited to teach at the program.