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UCLA aims to foster new China ties

By Wang Yanfei (China Daily) Updated: 2016-02-09 15:45

University of California Los Angeles will seek closer links with future applicants and alumni in China, Chancellor Gene Block said during a recent trip to Beijing.

UCLA is California's largest university in terms of enrollment, and a national and international leader in the breadth and quality of its academic, research, healthcare, cultural, continuing education and athletic programs.

"UCLA has established cooperative connections with top higher education research institutes in China, and we are seeking more opportunities," Block told China Daily at the first UCLA Global Forum held in Beijing on Dec 10, featuring leaders who engaged participants in lively discussions on economic development and other issues of global and local relevance.

Block said the trip aimed to strengthen relationships and ties with UCLA alumni and future students, parents and friends in China, as part of efforts to enhance its global network.

Under his leadership, UCLA has offered exchange programs for students and staff from China and the United States, and so far has partnered with several top universities in China, including Peking University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhejiang University, Fudan University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

"Among many, I think the UCLA-Peking University Joint Institute for Science and Engineering is really worthy of mention," said Cindy Fan, vice-provost for international studies and global engagement. "It is quite unique among all schools in the UC system - as the first joint research institute between the UC campus and an overseas university, it provides opportunities for students to go through complete research with professors during summer sessions, and it's a good chance to get recommendation letters."

Many students will apply to UCLA after the program is finished, Fan said.

Block said he is very impressed with the academic performance of Chinese students who "provide insights that equally benefit American students".

Apart from programs for higher education institutes, the UCLA Confucius Institute offers training programs for Chinese language credential teachers and classes on Chinese culture in the California K-12 system.

"The institute extends our education programs outside the UC campus and plays a vital role in connecting two countries," said Fan.

In the last year, the institute was honored by the Chinese National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, also known as Hanban, as one of a small number of Confucius Institutes of the Year.

Through extensive connections and cooperative programs, UCLA is consistently recognized in international rankings and has remained attractive for years to Chinese students.

China continues to be the country with the highest number of international students admitted into a UC campus for the 2015-16 academic year, and China ranks top among international students being admitted.

"We have made our first attempt to reach out and communicate with Bruins in China, and through events of this kind we hope that there will be more students who would like to join our community in the future," said Fan, referring to the school's mascot.

wangyanfei@chinadaily.com.cn

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