updated: 10/28/2008 8:59:47 AM
Indiana University School of Education Dean Gerardo Gonzalez is leading a delegation in China this week in hopes of exploring new possibilities for collaboration with Chinese universities and providing professional development to its higher education leaders. Five IU faculty members and a higher education policy studies student from China are visiting six universities.
Source: Inside INdiana Business
Oct. 27, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A delegation led by IU School of Education Dean Gerardo M. Gonzalez is in China this week to explore new possibilities for collaboration with Chinese universities as well as provide some professional development to Chinese higher education leaders.
The delegation of five faculty members and a higher education policy studies student from China left on Saturday for a visit to six Chinese universities. Until Nov. 4, the delegation members will be exploring the most important issues in Chinese higher education policy and also participate in a day-long workshop on educational equity.
Gonzalez said the delegation hopes to build upon long-standing relationships with Chinese universities. "The purpose of the trip is to help solidify and build on those partnerships that have evolved over the last decade or more," Gonzalez said. "We want to think about ways to increase the collaboration going forward."
Among the goals of the trip is to hold another education conference in China, repeating a conference first co-sponsored by the School of Education in the 1990s under dean emeritus Don Warren, who is part of the delegation on this trip.
"We're discussing having a second conference, a kind of sequel to the first, on higher education policy reform," said Heidi Ross, director of Indiana University's East Asian Studies Center and professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the School of Education. "So at each of the stops we're making in Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou, we'll be talking with our colleagues about how we might structure that conference."
Aside from Gonzalez, Ross and Warren, the delegation includes Barry Bull, professor of philosophy of education and education policy studies; Rob Toutkoushian, assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies; and Faridah Pawan, assistant professor in language education. Doctoral student in educational leadership and policy studies Yuhao Cen is returning to her home country of China and alma mater, Peking University, for this trip.
The delegation will start in Beijing, visiting Peking University, Tsinghua University, Beihang University and Beijing Normal University. In Shanghai, delegates will visit colleagues at East China Normal University, then go to Hangzhou's Zhejiang University. Peking University and Zhejiang University have signed partnership agreements with Indiana University. All of the institutions have ties to the IU School of Education, either through current students now enrolled at IU or graduates and visiting scholars.
"We now have alumni who are working there," Gonzalez said. "We have a number of faculty who have came here on exchanges and now have gone back there or are visiting scholars." Gonzalez pointed out that while there is much more scholarly exchange with China now, the conference the School of Education co-sponsored in the '90s was one of the first.
Ross said the Chinese institutions are seeking equal partnerships with U.S. institutions as policy makers seek to manage the massive growth of higher education enrollment. According to China's Ministry of Education, the total number of university students increased from 3.8 million in 1998 to more than 19 million in 2007.
"Higher education infrastructure and challenges have grown up around this tremendous expansion," Ross said. It is one of the reasons Chinese higher education leaders asked the IU faculty to speak with them about educational equity on this trip. "They want to understand what other countries are doing and why, and think about whether our challenges and solutions help them think about their own questions and answers. Likewise, we have a great deal to learn from our Chinese counterparts."
Source: Indiana University