University of Delaware
Officials from the University of Delaware and Xiamen University sign an agreement to bring doctoral students from China to the UD campus.

Xiamen delegation

University signs agreement to bring doctoral students from China


1:55 p.m., Oct. 13, 2014--Amid the backdrop of “Global Confucius Institute Day” and the fourth anniversary of the Confucius Institute at the University of Delaware, UD welcomed distinguished guests from China’s Xiamen University on Friday, Sept. 26.

The international delegation, including University Council Chairman Yang Zhenbin and University Vice President Zhan Xinli, was on campus to sign an agreement that will pave the way for 40 doctoral students from Xiamen University to study at UD during the next five years.

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The agreement outlines a list of nearly 25 UD programs in which Xiamen students will be eligible to apply for graduate study. They include oceanography, animal and food science, urban affairs and public policy, computer sciences, financial services analytics and mechanical engineering.

“I am very pleased that the partnership between Xiamen and UD has thrived over the past years and will certainly continue into the future,” said University Council Chairman Yang Zhenbin. “I look forward to a more rewarding partnership between Xiamen and UD, one that would benefit both institutions on their path to excellence.” 

Xiamen plans to reach agreements with 10 top-ranked universities in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. Its goal is to train between 400-500 students who can then return as faculty at Xiamen.

UD is the second institution of higher learning to sign an agreement with Xiamen. Last year, the University of Southampton in the UK signed a similar agreement. 

“One of the major indicators for any research university is the diversity and strength of its graduate student population,” said Provost Domenico Grasso, who visited Xiamen last spring and was the UD signee on the agreement. “We will benefit from the cultural and intellectual exchange, and we will also enhance our ability to impact the world through the University’s research and scholarship.”

“Our agreement represents an exciting opportunity for UD to expand its international footprint,” said Jim Richards, vice provost for graduate and professional education.

After signing the agreement, representatives from both schools gathered for a dinner followed by a performance by the Xiamen University Performing Arts Troupe.

Setting the stage

Xiamen’s formal partnership with UD extends back to 2007, when an agreement was signed to enhance marine science and policy research collaborations based on groundwork in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment. 

Building upon that agreement, UD and Xaimen established the Joint Institute for Coastal Research and Management, which opened in June 2008.

The universities created a dual doctoral degree program in oceanography in 2011; the program graduated its first student in the spring of 2014.

Founded in 1921, and located in Siming District, southwestern Xiamen, China, Xiamen University is a leading comprehensive university with a total enrollment of more than 38,000 full-time students on campus, including 20,575 undergraduates, about 18,150 graduate students, and more than 2,500 international students.

Photo by David Barczak

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