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UMass signs agreement with China's Tsinghua University

Yesterday, University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson signed a groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding with President Gu Bing Lin of Tsinghua University in China.  Zheng Yankang, Vice Chair of the Tsinghua University Council and President of Tsinghua University's Lanfang Institute, delivered the MOU from President Gu to President Wilson for his signature.

During the presentation President Zheng said: "Tsinghua University values the relationship with the University of Massachusetts and looks forward to the implementation of programs bringing benefit to both universities as well as to the local economies of Massachusetts and Hubei Province."

This agreement is the University's latest formal initiative in an ongoing effort to develop closer relationships with China.  Recognizing the rapid economic growth taking place in China, President Wilson said, "Many economists predict that China will surpass Japan as the second most powerful economy in the world by 2020.  It is essential that we recognize this fact of our quickly changing global economy and take steps to maximize potential educational and business opportunities for our University and for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."

Other UMass initiatives include plans to open a UMass China Office, to develop a variety of partnerships with that nation's educational establishment, to organize a U.S./China business forum and to have a UMass delegation make a visit to China later this year.

President Wilson added, "The goal is clear and simple: to build a platform in China for the benefit of students and faculty members, as well as to provide services and assistance to local businesses and communities."

"We appreciate the support we have received from both the Legislature and the Governor's office for our efforts to connect Massachusetts and its students with other countries around the world," President Wilson affirmed.  "This agreement has the potential to provide significant economic opportunities for Massachusetts companies and complements the Romney administration's own trade relationships with key international markets," said Secretary of Economic Development Ranch C. Kimball. 

Already, the UMass President's Office has successfully developed several key partnerships with Chinese government agencies and top universities such as Hanban, Tsinghua University and Wuhan University. 

In late September, President Wilson will lead a delegation to China comprised of UMass officials and local political and business leaders.  The aim of the visit will be to strengthen further existing valuable relationships and to build and develop channels of communication. 

The delegation's agenda will also include visiting UMass partners in Beijing, Wuhan and Shenyang, meeting with senior Chinese officials, and participating in roundtables with political and business leaders.  Key topics of discussion will include technology transfer, opportunities for Massachusetts companies, and other potential projects that could be aided by University of Massachusetts expertise.  

Contact:  William H. Wright, 617-287-7065

5/3/06