University of Delaware
UD student Hilary Conway at work learning Chinese language at Xiamen University.

UD Day in Xiamen

UD delegation celebrates partnership with Xiamen University


2:47 p.m., April 7, 2014--Hilary Conway sat in the back of the room absorbing the conversation until she was asked to stand and introduce herself. The University of Delaware junior did exactly that in Chinese, with pronunciation that was praised by Xiamen University faculty and administrative officers.

Conway is currently a student at Xiamen University, learning Chinese through a scholarship provided by UD’s Confucius Institute. She typically spends her days studying and living at Xiamen’s brand new 600-acre Xiang’an campus. At a pace indicative of recent Chinese expansion, the dozens of buildings on the campus were all built within the past two years. 

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Conway traveled the 50 minutes from Xiang’an campus to the university’s main campus to take part in UD Day at Xiamen, a celebration of partnership between the two institutions. 

The day, which actually spanned two days, included:

  • The signing of an agreement with the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics establishing a joint degree program for Xiamen students to complete a master’s degree in accounting by spending one year at each university.
  • Speeches by Provost Domenico Grasso, Deputy Provost Nancy Brickhouse and Xiamen University President Chongshi Zhu.
  • An academic symposium featuring speakers from UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.
  • A meeting of the UD Confucius Institute’s board of directors.
  • A roundtable discussion with Xiamen faculty and staff who spent time during the past two summers in Newark with the intention of gaining a deeper understanding of the management of an American university. 
  • A tour of the Xiang’an campus.
  • A concert hosted by Xiamen’s Arts School.

The days’ events celebrated the strong relationship between the two universities, which first signed an agreement in 2007, connecting Xiamen’s College of Oceanography and Environmental Science with UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.

Last May, UD awarded Zhu an honorary degree during spring commencement. Xiamen, an island city of 3.5 million people, is located in the country’s southeast across the Taiwan Strait from Taiwan. 

The UD delegation is visiting several universities in China to strengthen ties. 

Next stop -- Shanghai

Dispatch filed from Xiamen by Andrea Boyle Tippett

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