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Strengthening Global Partnerships in Asia

Chancellor Woodson and a team of colleagues from the Office of Global Engagement embarked on a two-country, six-day journey to Asia last month, visiting NC State’s partner universities and meeting with leadership, alumni and students currently in the region. The purpose of the visit was to discuss current collaboration and make plans for the future. Coordination with the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina also leveraged connections in Tokyo and Shanghai; the key destinations of the trip.

Chancellor Woodson began his visit at Nagoya University, a partnership that began in 1985 with a Cooperation Agreement to promote academic exchanges and collaboration. There the NC State delegation met with Dr. Seiichi Matsuo, President of Nagoya University and senior management personnel where they discussed ongoing collaboration and future arrangements for both universities to enhance research collaboration and academic exchanges. The visit also included a tour of the cutting-edge research facility at the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) and a lecture from Chancellor Woodson entitled “The Challenge of Change: Engaging Public Universities to Feed the World.”

The next stop on the visit to Asia was Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), a significant partner in research collaboration with science, technology, engineering, math and the agriculture and life science disciplines. There he was greeted with a tour of the University of Michigan-SJTU Joint Institute, which offers degree programs in Mechanical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering; all part of a student exchange program established in 2016. Chancellor Woodson also met with President Lin along with SJTU faculty, students and administrators where he spoke on how universities can be drivers of economic development.

Also in Shanghai, Chancellor Woodson met with Vice President Gong and leadership in the International Office at Shanghai University to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to broaden academic exchanges, research collaboration and educational training. The partnership between NC State and Shanghai University was initiated by Poole College of Management with a summer study abroad program and undergraduate dual degree program.

The visit also aligned with the second week of the Poole College of Management’s Operations & Human Resource Management summer study abroad program taking place at the Yanchang Campus of Shanghai University. Student members of the program were thrilled to meet and interact with Chancellor Woodson as he attended the event and they shared their experiences.

Chancellor Woodson later visited Donghua University and met with President Jiang, Vice President Liu and college deans of Textiles, Design, Fashion and Innovation to discuss the importance of the partnership between NC State’s top-ranked College of Textiles and Donghua, which is the premier textiles university in China. They agreed on how  academic exchanges were beneficial for students and faculty at both institutions and discussed future plans.

The trip concluded with an alumni event, attended by a diverse representation of NC State alumni, graduating from the late 1960’s through December 2016. Attendees came from the Shanghai area and beyond and most are now faculty at premier universities such as Shanghai Jiao Tong, Fudan and  Donghua University. Others are business owners, entrepreneurs and educators.

Building partnerships locally and globally is one of NC State’s strategic goals. Global partnerships provide opportunities for study abroad, faculty scholarship, academic exchanges and research collaboration.  “I appreciated the ability to meet with our partners in China and Japan. These collaborations propel us to think beyond boundaries and do the extraordinary, through increasing awareness of the world’s complexity, heightening cultural sensitivities, and enriching the student experience,” says Chancellor Woodson.

The Office of Global Engagement facilitates incoming and outgoing delegation visits with partner institutions across the globe. Contact David Dixon, Director of Global Partnerships, at to learn more.


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