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Lt. Governor Signs Agreement with UW-Madison and Tsinghua

October 16, 2008
Lt. Govenor Barbara Lawton

Lt. Govenor Barbara Lawton

DATE: October 16, 2008

CONTACT: Masarah Van Eyck, 608-262-5590

Madison–In a press conference with the Division of International Studies yesterday Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton announced the signing of a University of Wisconsin-Madison exchange agreement with one of China’s largest and most prestigious universities–an agreement she said would help spur the expansion of economic and cultural relations between Wisconsin and the world’s fastest growing economy.

The lieutenant governor also reached an agreement for the two universities to form an exploratory committee to establish a Global Manufacturing Institute in collaboration with the University of Warwick in England. The institute would establish an international university-industry consortium on advanced and sustainable manufacturing research.

“There is perhaps no more important bilateral relationship in the world than that between the USA and China,” said Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton. “This student exchange agreement will better prepare Wisconsin students to compete in today’s global economy with firsthand knowledge of Chinese culture and China’s emerging economy.”

Lt. Governor Lawton and Tsinghua University Director Xie Weihe sign the student exchange agreement

Lt. Governor Lawton and Tsinghua University Director Xie Weihe sign the student exchange agreement

“Our students must have the skills, attitudes, and knowledge to work in a global sphere,” said Gilles Bousquet, dean of the Division of International Studies. “We aim to make China the number-one study abroad destination within the next five years.” Presently China is fourth among the most popular destinations for study abroad at UW-Madison.

Ben Nyquist shares his experiences

Ben Nyquist shares his experiences

Ben Nyquist, a junior at UW-Madison, spent the summer of 2007 on a UW program in Tianjin, China. Speaking at the conference, he said he has since established a business importing electric bikes from China to Madison. “I learned how much international business is a reflection of how global our economy has become,” he said.

On the Tsinghua exchange, UW-Madison students with Chinese language skills may take courses offered in the native language, many courses–particularly those in business, engineering, and agriculture–are taught in English. Students from each university will pay the same tuition as if they were enrolled at their own universities.

The campus-wide agreement was developed in collaboration with the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the College of Engineering, the School of Business, and International Academic Programs (IAP). At UW-Madison, the student exchange will be administered by IAP, the central study abroad office on campus and a unit in the Division of International Studies.

Gilles Bousquet, dean of the Division of International Studies, Lt. Govenor Barbara Lawton, and Professor Leyuan Shi

Gilles Bousquet, dean of the Division of International Studies, Lt. Govenor Barbara Lawton, and Professor Leyuan Shi

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