[China Trip Update] Delegation to China Highlights UW Connections

BEIJING — The University of Wisconsin–Madison’s most recent delegation to China, led by Gilles Bousquet, wrapped up a two-week official visit with three days in Beijing, following stops in Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Hong Kong.

For Bousquet, dean of International Studies and vice provost for globalization, this marks the third trip to China in 14 months as part of an ongoing effort to expand and deepen the university’s connections there. The delegation’s itinerary included the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) conference, visits to major universities, and meetings with UW–Madison alumni in the region.

One immediate outcome of this trip is the signing of a new Memorandum of Agreement between UW–Madison and Fudan University, a top-ranked comprehensive university in Shanghai. The two schools will focus initially on medical exchanges in their respective surgery departments. UW–Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin and Fudan President Yu-liang Yang have now both signed the new MOA.

Here are photos of some of the delegation’s activities during the second week of the trip:

Nanjing University: Delegation member Laurie Dennis, associate director of the Wisconsin China Initiative (WCI), represented the university on a visit to Nanjing University, a prestigious research institution and a WUN partner.

Dennis met with Dr. Chen Yi, a physical chemist and member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.  Chen was part of the first group of 10 Nanjing scholars who visited UW–Madison in 1979, at the invitation of then-Chancellor Irving Shain. Chen showed Dennis his scrapbook, which included photos of eating ice cream at Memorial Union and learning how to cross-country ski in Madison parks.

Dennis also met with Professor Lu Huayu of the School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, who collaborates with UW–Madison geologist Joseph Mason in studying how shifting sand dunes reveal information about climate change.

Zhejiang University: This comprehensive public research institution belongs to the “C9 League,” China’s top universities.  Chancellor Biddy Martin visited Zhejiang University last year; ZU President Yang Wei reciprocated in February with a visit to the Madison campus, where his parents met as students in the 1940s.

This spring, UW–Madison and Zhejiang co-hosted a conference on global higher education and held discussions about setting up study abroad programs for students.  On this trip, Bousquet, Dennis, and Amy Stambach, associate dean of International Studies from UW–Madison, met with Xu Ying, Li Min, and Luo Jian from Zhejiang to discuss collaborations between the two universities.

Hong Kong: In a meeting with Vice President Eden Woon and Associate Provost David Mole of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Bousquet reported on the seven HKUST students who graduated in May as part of the inaugural class of the Global Real Estate Master program (GREM). The GREM program partners the real estate expertise of the Wisconsin School of Business with three of the best business schools in the world: HEC in Paris, Latin America’s INCAE Business School, and HKUST.

At City University of Hong Kong, meanwhile, UW–Madison is working to set up new student exchange programs. City University offers cutting-edge programs in engineering and media and a focus on innovation.

Bousquet and Dennis also met with several alumni during their three days in Hong Kong—including two members of “the Red Hat Club,” Badgers who proudly don their school colors.

Sporting a UW Pharmacy cap at the Hong Kong airport was Albert Wong, who received his PhD in pharmacy in 1972; Wong now heads a company that markets pharmaceuticals produced in China according to traditional herbal methods. Wearing a UW Letters and Science hat in the heart of the Hong Kong Island business district was Brett Rierson, who received a BA in journalism and history in 1988; he now works to fight hunger worldwide as a senior officer in the World Food Program’s Global Finance Initiative.

Bousquet and Dennis met with Viveca Chan, who got her start in advertising by selling ads for the Badger Herald. Now she heads WE Marketing Group, the fastest-growing independent marketing agency in China. They connected with Christine and Jeffrey Fang, who head Global Retail, Inc., managing retail accounts like Nine West Group. The Fangs met in Madison, where Jeffrey earned his degree in engineering and Christine earned her BS in bacteriology.

Beijing: Upon arrival, Bousquet was welcomed by Mr. Wen-qiang Wu of Beijing Sports University and Ms. Liya Rong, a Beijing-based lawyer. The first event here was a dinner with Wisconsin alumni and friends.  The delegation met with business leaders representing such companies as First Solar, Groupon, and Zynga.

The Wisconsin delegation visited the 4,000-bed PLA General Hospital where the UW–Madison School of Medicine has a started a surgery partnership.  Dr. Tao Li is currently a visiting scholar at UW–Madison, but has returned to Beijing for the month of June; he led the Wisconsin delegation on a tour.

The delegation also went to Beijing Sports University, where Bousquet gave BSU Vice President Chi Jian an update on the second group of Chinese Champions currently residing at UW–Madison.