Fudan University

CSUF President Milton A. Gordon and Fudan University Chancellor Qin Shaode shake hands over an agreement to offer a master of science in education degree to Chinese students. In February, Shaode and a delegation of Fudan officials toured the campus and met with CSUF administrators and faculty members.

CSUF to offer Master’s in Education Degree to Students in China

A positive step in the longstanding partnership between CSUF and Fudan University

March 1, 2007

By Debra Cano Ramos

In a first-of-its kind agreement with Fudan University, Cal State Fullerton and the Shanghai institution are partnering to offer a master of science in education degree to Chinese students.

 “Fudan’s students will be coming here because they want to earn a master’s degree so they can go back and work as leaders in education in China,” said President Milton A. Gordon during the signing of the agreement in February. “It’s a win-win for both Cal State Fullerton and Fudan University.”

Fudan University Chancellor Qin Shaode hailed the agreement as a positive step in the longstanding partnership between the universities.

Fudan University is Cal State Fullerton’s oldest institutional partner abroad — a continuous relationship of more than 20 years.

“The signing of the agreement has brought our relationship with Cal State Fullerton to a new, distinct level,” Shaode said in a statement through a translator. “We treasure our relationship with Cal State Fullerton. This program is going to expand Cal State Fullerton’s resources to our students in China.”

Claire Cavallaro, dean of the College of Education, called the international program — Cal State Fullerton’s second master’s degree program offered overseas — groundbreaking for the college.

“It’s very exciting for our faculty to have this chance to work with students from China,” Cavallaro said. “We’re honored to provide this program to Fudan University — one of the most prestigious universities in China — and to share our outstanding curriculum. It’s a way that we can reach out globally and expand the benefits of our work.”

The master’s program, with a concentration in educational administration, will be launched in spring 2008, said Louise Adler, chair and professor of educational leadership. Up to 24 English-proficient students from Fudan University will study at CSUF for six months and take 18 units of the 30-unit degree program, Adler said. Students will complete the remaining units in China, including conducting field research for their master’s projects.

“These students from China complete the same program as their American counterparts and will receive a Cal State Fullerton degree,” Adler said.

College of Education faculty members will travel to China to teach courses, administer final grades and attend graduation ceremonies. Fudan University will fully fund the program for their students.

The Shanghai institution currently does not offer an educational program for educators — such as school principals, senior teachers and administrators — who wish to earn advanced degrees in administration and leadership, Adler said.

“Fudan doesn’t have the infrastructure to provide this degree, but by partnering with our university, it will help them to meet the needs of their students,” Adler said. “Also, our faculty will be able to learn more about China’s culture and educational system and can share this knowledge and experience with students and others here,” Adler said.

“For us to keep a relationship for more than 20 years indicates that Fudan University views Cal State Fullerton as a valuable partner,” said Lisa Xue, director of international programs, Asia for university extended education. “This new agreement ties in with Cal State Fullerton’s mission to continue to build a university with a global outlook and to promote academic exchanges such as this one.”

The agreement also ties in with the university’s mission to reach out globally, to foster cooperative programs that enrich students’ and faculty members’ lives outside the classroom, noted Gordon. “It’s important to establish these relationships because it brings people together to better understand each other.”

Cal State Fullerton’s role in educating students from abroad is an important mission, added Gordon, because “one day they will be leaders in their own countries.”

The university currently has partnerships with 63 universities and colleges across the globe, said Ray Young, associate vice president for academic programs. “Over the last three years, we’ve added more than 10 new partners around the world,” he said, noting that the list includes universities in Egypt, Finland, Japan and Taiwan.

The international partnerships involve student and faculty exchanges, as well as collaborations on research.

“Each semester we have six to 10 exchange faculty members here from universities elsewhere in the world,” Young noted.

In addition to the new program, CSUF offers a master of arts in communications with Hong Kong University’s School of Professional and Continuing Education.

CSUF faculty members spend part of the semester in Hong Kong to teach the program there.

University officials also are exploring prospects to offer additional master’s programs in such areas as international business, nursing and other education fields, Young said.

Last fall, faculty members from universities in Spain, Brazil and Australia guest lectured on campus. This semester, there are visiting scholars from Korea, Bangladesh and China, including a professor from Fudan University.

A delegation of faculty and staff members will participate in an annual seminar this summer that includes visits to Fudan and other Chinese universities.  Applications for the 13th annual CSUF/Fudan University seminar are available from the Office of Academic Programs in Room 111 of McCarthy Hall. Deadline for submissions is Monday, March 19. For more information, contact Emma Hernandez at 278-3744.

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