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American Exchange Center Opens

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Chinese students and faculty are getting better acquainted with American culture through a new American Exchange Center at Xi’an Jiaotong University, which deepens the University of Nebraska’s collaboration with China.

Opened in April 2012, the center is an NU-wide effort to expose Chinese faculty and students to U.S. history, law, medicine, art, culture and government. It’s part of the university’s strategy to strengthen relationships with key nations that will benefit Nebraska and the world.

Harvey Perlman, UNL chancellor (left), and Zheng Nanning, Xi’an Jiaotong University president

“The students in Chinese universities today will be the government and business leaders of China tomorrow, and cultural understanding is an essential ingredient to peaceful and constructive relationships,” NU President James B. Milliken said.

Through the center, NU’s four campuses will provide lectures, events, cultural performances and instructional courses at the university and in Xi’an and Shaanxi Province. It also will sponsor student exchanges.

“Our partner, Xi’an Jiaotong University, has created a physical space that is far beyond our expectations and will serve us well in the years ahead as we bring American culture and perspectives to China,” UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman said. Perlman led NU’s exchange center proposal, one of only 10 nationwide to earn U.S. State Department seed funding.

A leading research university, Xi’an Jiaotong has more than 30,000 students. Xi’an, population 10 million, is China’s third “international city,” but has had less exposure to American culture than Beijing or Shanghai. The center will host educational events that provide a broader view of U.S. history and culture than popular films or television.

The center operates much like UNL’s Confucius Institute, another partnership with Xi’an Jiaotong, which promotes Chinese language, culture and history.


New Beijing Office

An office in Beijing expands UNL’s ability to work with China on agriculture, food security and natural resource challenges.

UNL’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources opened an office at China’s State Administration of Grain, or SAG, in June 2012. An agreement with SAG provides greater access to Chinese universities for research collaborations in UNL’s areas of strength, including agricultural biosciences, food science and technology, engineering, water and animal sciences. Student and faculty exchanges also are planned.

“This will provide a platform to work together on important agricultural problems in a coordinated and synergistic way,” said Ronnie Green, Harlan Vice Chancellor for IANR and University of Nebraska vice president.

The agreement also strengthens the Nebraska Department of Agriculture’s efforts to expand opportunities for Nebraska businesses in China.

“We have a vision of working side by side with the university to boost relationships for Nebraska companies,” said Greg Ibach, Nebraska Department of Agriculture director.