As part of the Lally School’s strategic initiative to build global innovation partners, Dean David Gautschi traveled to China March 714 to meet with leaders at universities and economic development institutions. Gautschi visited Beijing, Tianjin, Hangzhou, and Wuhan, accompanied by Assistant Professor Hao Zhao and Hongda Zhu, MBA ’10.
The Lally team met with more than 400 students and faculty at five universities, including Zhejiang University, Tianjin Institute of Urban Construction (TIUC), Renmin University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), and Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications. The Lally delegation also met with senior executives at the Tianjin Economic Development Authority (TEDA), Northern China’s first state-sponsored economic development area for high-tech industry.
“Of the five trips I have made to China since I have been at RPI, this was unquestionably the most successful,” said Gautschi. “The response from students we met has been uniformly enthusiastic. Our relationships with the faculty of Renmin and Zhejiang [where Lally has established formal academic partnerships] have reached the point where we have real collaboration starting. Our reputation both at the Institute level and at the Lally School level appears to be rising significantly.”
China is a key player in today’s global economy, and is the United State’s second largest international trade partner after Canada. Building strategic partnerships with Chinese educational and business institutions is part of Lally’s long-term strategy and its commitment to training global business leaders of the future. “The current global economic recession and the financial crisis have pushed China into a prominent role that will very likely transform it into an even stronger player among the major political economies of the 21st century,” Gautschi said. “We are very likely at a turning point that should encourage Americans, in particular, to redouble their efforts to learn about this remarkable and rapidly emerging phenomenon.”
In Tianjin, the Lally delegation visited the Tianjin Institute of Urban Construction (TIUC), where Shihe Zhu, president of the TIUC, and Dean Gautschi announced the launch of the “Summer Cultural Institute,” an exchange program that Lally will host on the Rensselaer campus beginning this summer. More than 20 TIUC undergraduate students will join with students from other international institutes to learn more about U.S. culture, American business, and the U.S. style of classroom education. Also in Tianjin, Gautschi met with representatives of Nankai University and TEDA College. TEDA is Northern China’s first state-sponsored economic development zone, and is now part of the larger Tianjin Binhai New Area investment zone.
In Hangzhou, Gautschi visited Zhejiang University, one of the China’s oldest and most prestigious institutions. Zhejiang has signed a five-year agreement with Lally to strengthen the global reach of both partners’ entrepreneurial business and technology programs. In a grand ceremony, Gautschi and Zhejiang School of Management’s Executive Dean Wang unveiled the Lally/Rensselaer office in the Zhejiang Center for Entrepreneurship Research.
In Beijing, Dean Gautschi spoke with students at Renmin University, one of China’s top universities. At the Renmin School of Business, currently ranked third in China, he met with administrators to formalize an agreement for educational exchanges between Renmin and the Lally School.
The Lally delegation also contacted established corporate partners. China Three Gorges Project Corporation (CTGPC) in Yichang, Hubei Province, China, manages the Three Gorges Dam, which spans the Yangtze River and houses the largest hydroelectric power station in the world. CTGPC has sponsored executive educational exchanges at the Lally School and hopes to have a group of managers return to the Lally School in the 2009-2010 academic year. The trip ended with a dinner celebration with about 20 Lally and Rensselaer alumni and friends in Beijing.
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