Committee talks of study in China

As part of the University’s long term goal to augment study abroad options for undergraduates, a new advisory committee will discuss international education and internship opportunities in China as well as the parameters for an academic partnership with Peking University, Yale College Dean Peter Salovey announced Thursday.

Salovey appointed the 15-member Advisory Committee for Yale College Programs in China, consisting of faculty, administrators and students. He said the committee will primarily discuss curricular, social and cultural aspects of a program with Peking University that may be open to undergraduates as soon as the spring of 2006. The committee’s advice will further the international education recommendations in the 2003 undergraduate curricular review, Salovey said. The committee will meet regularly during second semester, he said.

“Students at Yale should have sufficient international experience to prepare them well for life in the 21st century,” Salovey said. “The goal is to develop a global perspective among Yale graduates.”

The program will pair 25 to 30 Yale students with an equal number of Peking University students, who will live together in a common Peking University residence hall. Participants will enroll in a variety of courses taught by faculty from both universities, Salovey said.

“There’s been nothing quite like this before,” he said. “What’s new is the opportunity to study in term time for credit in subjects in addition to language, in the context of studying with students from Beijing.”

The committee will focus on the selection process of students who wish to participate in Yale’s program with Peking University, the kinds of courses that should be taught, how to select faculty to teach those courses, and whether internships should be linked to the program, Salovey said.

Yale President Richard Levin said the committee will help the University design a high-quality program for undergraduates.

“It’s quite appropriate to get a committee involved to make sure the program is up to the proper standards, and it’s something the faculty want to engage in,” Levin said.

Political science professor David Cameron, who was appointed to the committee, said he thinks increasing study abroad opportunities in areas like China, which at one time were overshadowed by programs in France and England, is important.

“Most of our abroad programs have been around for a long time and have a European focus,” Cameron said. “We live in a much more global world. I think it would be of interest to a lot of students.”

Christine Lee ’05, one of two students selected to participate in the committee, said she is “thrilled” to work with faculty members and administrators on the China initiative.

“Anytime the students can give feedback to administration officials and to faculty is always a good thing,” Lee said.

Salovey, who led a delegation of University officials to Beijing in October, said the decision to create an advisory committee to assess study abroad opportunities was the result of meetings between Yale President Richard Levin and Peking University officials last November.

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