Hargises lead OSU delegation to explore overseas opportunities
President Burns Hargis and Ann Hargis recently led an OSU delegation to China to meet with students and institutional leaders of key university partners in China.
OSU has several joint degree programs in China, including a program in agribusiness with China Agricultural University in Beijing as well as a joint degree in fire protection and safety engineering and campuswide dual degree program options with Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu. Students in these programs study for the first part of their degree at their home institution in China, then come to the Stillwater campus to complete their degrees.
“These joint degrees allow students to learn in two different academic environments, picking up the strengths of both institutions,” President Hargis said. “This gives them a real advantage when they go out and find jobs, because they can bring all of this experience to their professional career.”
Yudong Liu, who graduated from the Southwest Jiaotong/OSU program in industrial engineering and management in 2017, is one of the project leaders on the speed skating stadium for the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. The stadium, called the Ice Ribbon for its unique architectural design, will be prominent in the games.
Liu credits his experience in the SWJTU/OSU program with his ability contribute to the project.
“At Southwest Jiaotong, I learned the fundamentals of engineering, and at OSU, I learned about advanced project management,” he said. “Plus, I learned how to interact with people from many different countries, which is absolutely necessary in this job.”
In addition to meeting with students at these institutions, the OSU delegation also visited other key Chinese universities to explore opportunities for Chinese students to study at OSU and for OSU students to study in China.
“Although we have some real challenges in our relationship with China at the political and even the economic level, it is absolutely vital that our students understand these challenges and learn to meet them,” President Hargis said.
The delegation visited a number of Chinese institutions, including Ocean University of China in Qingdao, the Sichuan Conservatory of Music in Chengdu, and Fudan University in Shanghai. Each institution offers opportunities for OSU students.
"Our goal at OSU is to train our students to be leaders not just in Oklahoma but around the world, and student exchange is one of the best mechanisms for doing so."
In the summer of 2019, for example, five students from the School of Media and Strategic Communication visited Fudan University to understand China’s rapid changes and the challenges facing the nation and students in China. The program, led by SMSC faculty members Skye and Asya Cooley, allowed the OSU students to attend classes with Chinese students and develop collaborative video projects with them to explore different dimensions of life in China today.
Besides the Hargises, the delegation members included College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology Dean Paul Tikalsky, Spears School of Business lecturer Julie Tikalsky, School of Global Studies and Partnerships Dean Randy Kluver and Vivian Wang, manager of China programs for the university.