- Twenty two campuses of the State University of New York’s
64-campus system are opening their doors for the next year to 150 Chinese
undergraduate students from the Sichuan Province of western China, site of a
massive earthquake in May. The majority of these students come from 40 counties
around Wenchuan, the center of the quake.
students, primarily sophomores and juniors, will study for two semesters
as full-time students at SUNY state-operated and community college campuses,
beginning this fall. The goal is to build a team of young leaders based
on their common experiences in the U.S.
return to China, these talented men and women from diverse Chinese
ethnic groups will help re-build the local economy and infrastructure
in the region impacted by the earthquake. Each student has committed to
return to China upon completion of the program in May/June 2009 and to a period
of national service in Sichuan to help with the rebuilding effort.
SUNY students and faculty will benefit from the presence of the Chinese
students, who will contribute to the growing global presence of the State University and lead to long-term
friendships and important connections between communities in New York and China.
of all New Yorkers, we are pleased to welcome these students to our State University system and to ensure that there is no interruption in their college studies
despite the tragic natural disaster that hit Chengdu in May,” said New York
Governor David Paterson, in a press release
announcing China 150. “SUNY will provide these students with valuable
leadership training, which will help prepare them to return to China to assist with rebuilding efforts and the aftermath of the earthquake. SUNY’s deep
educational ties with China allow our state university campuses to play a
global role – and to be at the forefront of international educational
University of New York has a long and mutually productive relationship with a
number of Chinese Universities, particularly in Jiangsu Province,” said Carl
Hayden, Chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees. “This initiative further
strengthens SUNY’s ties to China even as it provides desperately needed
humanitarian support for students from Sichuan Province displaced by the
devastating earthquake of last May. It enjoys support at the highest
levels of both the Chinese government and our own.”
this program (the SUNY China 150 Program) not only as a way to grow educational
cooperation and exchanges with SUNY, but also as a critical first step in
helping to expand mutually beneficial economic and commercial relations between
Sichuan Province and New York State,” said Wang Fengxiong, Vice Director of the
Education Department of Sichuan Province.
“SUNY has been collaborating with Chinese universities for
more than 25 years,” said Interim Chancellor Dr. John B. Clark. “I commend
Governor Paterson for his support of China 150 and thank each of the SUNY
campuses for their participation in this most important international
“Broadening our international relationship with China benefits SUNY and New York State, as it will benefit the rebuilding effort in the Sichuan province,” said Dr.
Denis Simon, provost at SUNY’s Neil D. Levin Graduate Institute of International
Relations and Commerce in New York City and one of the organizers of the
initiative. “Using education and partnership in response to such a disaster
seemed a natural for SUNY.”
The 22 SUNY Host Schools
Farmingdale State College, 19 SUNY Potsdam, 5 College
of Technology at Canton, 6
SUNY Cobleskill, 18 Jamestown Community College, 5 Alfred Ceramics, 5
Buffalo State College, 17 University
at Buffalo, 4 Binghamton University, 2
Herkimer Community College, 11 SUNY Delhi, 4 SUNY-New
Clinton Community College, 10 SUNY Maritime, 4
Genesee Community College, 8 SUNY Brockport, 4
University at Albany, 6 SUNY Oswego, 4
Stony Brook University, 6 Monroe
Community College, 3
SUNY Plattsburgh, 6 Alfred State College, 2
SUNY has consistently
engaged in productive and mutually beneficial educational exchange
and research collaborations with China. The China 150 initiative will further
increase the connections between New York State and Sichuan Province (a province of 90 million people) and with China overall, leading to economic,
educational, and cultural benefits.
Support from all Quarters
The State University has undertaken a fundraising drive so this initiative will not result in any
costs to New York State taxpayers.
SUNY initiative enjoys the strong support of the U.S. Department of State,
which, thanks to the leadership of Deputy Secretary John Negroponte, has
facilitated the visa process. SUNY has worked with both the U.S. Embassy
in Beijing and the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu (Sichuan).
The program is under the overall coordination of University Counsel and Vice
Chancellor for Legal Affairs Nicholas Rostow, who also serves as University
Fellow at the Levin Institute and formerly was General Counsel of the U.S.
Mission to the United Nations.
highest levels of the Chinese Government, Premier Wen Jiabao has personally
endorsed the program, and State Councilor Liu Yandong and Minister of Education
Zhou Ji (who holds a Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo) helped
shape the initiative to ensure the students are competent in English and
otherwise prepared for the adventure of two semesters of U.S.-based college
the Educational Experience
are more than 2,316 Chinese students studying at SUNY schools—42 percent of the
overall Chinese student population in New York State (5,532). In addition,
there are exchange agreements between 15 SUNY campuses and more than 30 Chinese
participating students include 53 men and 97 women and there are about 10
percent who are Chinese minorities, meaning they are from the Zang (Tibet) and Qiang ethnic groups. Among those living in the earthquake-affected areas,
the Zang and Qiang minorities suffered a great deal. SUNY asked that in
addition to gender balance and a focus on Sichuan natives, the Chinese also
include minority participants. The authorities in Sichuan were very
sensitive to that request.
The 150 students
were chosen after a careful review of their academic performance as well as
English language testing conducted by a team of eight experienced English
language teachers from across China.
The selected students had to be Sichuan residents and were selected from four
national universities under the leadership of the Ministry of Education in Beijing and from among several local/provincial colleges and universities in Sichuan. Students were assigned to various SUNY campuses through a sorting process
that involved a team of experienced academic administrators. Assignments
were made on the basis of student interests as well as the ability of the
respective campuses to accommodate additional students from abroad in currently
available spaces. The China 150 Program does not impact current student
enrollment or fall applications at SUNY.
About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive
university system in the United States, educating more than 427,000 students in
7,669 degree and certificate programs on 64 campuses. To learn more about
how SUNY creates opportunity across the globe, visit our Office of International
For additional background, see the Institute of International Education’s
recently released briefing paper, “Educational
Exchange Between the United States and China.”