Writer: Linda Fresques
On September 5, the presidents of New Mexico State University and Changchun Institute of Technology signed a five-year memorandum of understanding to increase opportunities for Chinese students to pursue graduate studies in engineering at NMSU.
The joint program initially will focus on electrical engineering and automation, particularly on the development and use of smart grids and electrical generation and distribution infrastructure.
“By focusing on this area of expertise, we can address some global problems,” said John Floros, NMSU president. “It will also help our students to become more aware and enter careers that are targeted on solving the problems of the future.”
Changchun Institute of Technology is located in northeast China. The school is primarily focused on engineering with approximately 17,000 full-time students.
“We have numerous high-priority international agreements with the United Kingdom, Russia, Spain and South Korea,” said Ming Hu, CIT president while signing the agreement at NMSU. “This is our first international partnership in the U.S. and so we place particular importance on this joint educational collaboration.”
CIT and NMSU will collaborate on a bachelor’s degree that will be offered and awarded by CIT. NMSU will introduce its curriculum to CIT, help develop part of the core courses, and provide training for CIT instructors. The standardization of curricular requirements ensures that students completing the bachelor’s degree at CIT will be prepared to enter the graduate program at NMSU. NMSU will only admit CIT students who meet NMSU’s graduate school admission requirements. CIT will pay for all expenses related to the implementation of the program and for all of their students’ expenses as well.
“I believe that diversity and internationalism is more important for our institution now than at any other time. The population at NMSU is very diverse and this relationship will provide a very important long-term pipeline of graduate students,” said Lakshmi N. Reddi, College of Engineering Dean. The agreement is beneficial to both schools, Reddi added. While the Changchun Institute of Technology (CIT) is a well-known university focused on science and technology, it offers few programs at the graduate level.
The agreement was initiated by NMSU’s Ruinian Jiang, Engineering Technology and Surveying Engineering Department Head. In 2014, Jiang initiated a memorandum of understanding for a collaborative doctorate program in civil engineering between the NMSU College of Engineering and the North China University of Technology College of Architecture and Civil Engineering, and the Highway Research Institute of the Ministry of Transport of China. That cooperative agreement has brought seven Ph.D. students to NMSU, of whom two have received their doctoral degrees from NMSU. Six faculty members of NMSU have visited NCUT and HRI for international conferences and research exchanges under the above agreements.