April 12, 2016
Topic: Global Engagement
The University of Michigan is celebrating the success of its biggest partnership in China as it begins a new collaboration in the country — a top destination for researchers and students.
The 10th anniversary of the UM-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute was marked with festivities in China last Sunday. The award-winning partnership has become a model for joint ventures in education in the Asian nation with the world's second-biggest economy.
Each year, more than 1,000 Chinese undergraduates study mechanical or electrical and computer engineering at the institute in Shanghai. For U-M students, the institute has become a popular place for education-abroad opportunities.
"U-M is proud to be part of this long-running, fruitful and growing partnership with SJTU," said James Holloway, vice provost for global and engaged education at U-M.
"Together, we have created unique educational platforms and undertaken important joint research projects whose results will benefit all. We have good friendships with many colleagues here in Shanghai, and are proud to celebrate this anniversary with them."
Two days after the celebration in Shanghai, U-M signed an agreement in Beijing Tuesday to establish the Tsinghua-Michigan Society of Fellows. The partnership promotes scholarship and academic exchanges in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.
U-M's partner is Tsinghua University, one of China's leading institutions of higher education. The society will be housed in Tsinghua's Institute for World Literatures and Cultures in Beijing.
The collaboration is modeled on the Michigan Society of Fellows, established in 1970 and based at the Rackham Graduate School.
Each year, the program at Tsinghua will offer three three-year fellowships for recent Ph.D.s in the humanities or humanistic social sciences. Tsinghua will provide an annual stipend of 300,000 yuan ($46,449 in U.S. dollars at the current exchange rate) per each fellow, along with subsidized housing and a medical program.
One of the three fellowships will be reserved for a recent Ph.D. from U-M. The number of fellowships may be increased in subsequent years.
"We are thrilled to start this new partnership with Tsinghua University, and especially excited that there is a focus on the humanities," Holloway said. "Chinese universities have increasingly realized the importance of the liberal arts in the development of both deeper educational institutions and a better society. We are pleased to help Tsinghua push this envelope."
Fellows will teach six semester-long small seminars during their three years at Tsinghua. They may spend up to one semester of their fellowship term in residence at U-M's Society of Fellows.
One of the chief architects of the collaboration with Tsinghua was Donald Lopez, chair of the Michigan Society of Fellows.
"The partnership will provide an opportunity for a group of outstanding young scholars to teach and conduct research in an interdisciplinary setting at one of China's leading universities," Lopez said.