Branching way out—to China (Part 1) By Dean Cathy Sandeen

UCLA’s Chancellor Block recently returned from a trip to China where he spoke at a major conference in Beijing. UCLA’s  strategic location on the Pacific Rim makes our campus a particularly great fit for a variety of relationships in China.

I traveled to China myself recently to forge even stronger ties with universities, governmental agencies, and companies in China. As part of UCLA’s international strategy, UCLA Extension has developed major partnerships in China for over eight years. These have become stronger and more prolific as our own understanding of China and its educational and economic development needs has grown. Our partnerships benefit UCLA Extension in many ways, not the least of which increasing our own global awareness.

Here’s a quick overview of my trip to China in November 2011.

First, I visited Guangzhou in South China, in particular two of China’s top universities, South China University of Technology, and Sun Yat-Sen University where we have hosted study abroad students and MBA students for customized programs here in Los Angeles. I had not been to Guangzhou in four years. The newly developed area along the Pearl River and around the Canton Tower is remarkable.

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Canton Tower, Guangzhou, at night  (photo from TravelPod blog)

Next, I was off to Shenzhen, also in South China near Hong Kong. Shenzhen is one of China’s first “Special Economic Zones,” developed in the 1970s, to foster and encourage entrepreneurship and free enterprise. Shenzhen is a thriving, modern city. I participated in a large conference, sponsored by the State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs (SAFEA) and China Association for International Exchange of Personnel (CAIEP). The annual conference supports the international exchange of specialized technical and managerial personnel between China and other countries.  

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View from hotel in Shenzhen

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At the CAIEP Convention in Shenzhen

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The view inside the convention center

My first trip to China was in 2001. I am increasingly amazed by the development of China and by the high level of enthusiasm for establishing partnership with US universities.  Stay tuned for my next post describing more of my recent trip to China.

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