Queensboro Community College took the first step to opening a cross-cultural student exchange program with a Chinese university Friday when it welcomed a delegation of Chinese diplomats and professors for a tour of the college.
Dr. Eduardo Marti, president of Queensboro, showed the delegation, which was also on a fact-finding mission to help China develop a community college system, some of the many different programs offered at the college.
Zhao Humin, acting consul general and deputy consul general of the Peoples Republic of China, Dong Jinsheng, a counselor of science and technology at Beijing University, and Ai Fang Lin, a counselor of education and foreign students at Beijing University, spent the morning visiting a music technology class, computing center, a laser and fiber optics class, the nursing department and an English language class for foreign students.
We heard that China wants to develop a community college system, Marti told the delegation. And we want to share our knowledge with you.
He said the visit was significant to the college because of its large Asian population and its Port of Entry Program, which teaches foreign students English.
It is important for economic development that we establish relations with China, Marti said. We can benefit from their knowledge and experience and they can benefit from our knowledge and experience.
Susan Mikkelsen Curtis, director of enrollment management, said the meeting between the Chinese delegation and the college opened up an enormous opportunity for growth. She said the school sends some of its students to study in China, but Chinese students do not come to Queensboro.
The college wants to set up an arrangement under which there is a real exchange. She would like to have Queensboro students go to a university in China and have Chinese university students come to Queens.
It is a good beginning, she said. It is the start of a successful exchange program. This meeting was the first step in the process.
Humin said he was happy to have the opportunity to spend time at the college and examine some of its extensive programs. After exploring the Queensboro campus, he told a number of administrators and teachers it was one of the best community colleges in the United States.
For higher education a country needs its Harvards and MITs, but it also needs universities such as community colleges, he said. China does not have a community college system and we need to develop a similar system. We can learn from the United States to develop such a system.
Community college systems are important for a students education and career, Humin said, and are just as important for societys greater good. But, he said, China is only at the beginning stages of designing its own community college system.
In addition, he said, opening up a cross-cultural exchange between schools would benefit both countries.
The Chinese Department of Education will learn from the United States community college system and it has send people to examine the European system, Humin said. We will compare the merits of the United States and European systems and take the best from each.
Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.
©2002 Community News Group
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