The University of New Mexico could soon be home to scores of Chinese students seeking business degrees through the Anderson School of Management.
Two Chinese universities on the south-central coast of China signed agreements this year with the Anderson School to prepare undergraduate Chinese business students for graduate-level studies at UNM, said Anderson Dean Craig White. Within a few years, those agreements and others that UNM is pursuing could create a permanent Sino-New Mexico academic pipeline that helps populate Anderson classrooms with fresh foreign recruits.
“It’s a real win for us,” White said. “There are huge numbers of students over there with potential interest in studying here. Realistically, we could end up with a lot of Chinese students at Anderson.”
The first class of 70 freshman Chinese students connected to the program started classes last September at the Beijing Institute of Technology in Zhuhai, a coastal city about 20 kilometers north of Macau. The University of Technology in the city of Dong Guan, located north of Hong Kong, is also recruiting its first freshman class.
Both universities, located in the coastal province of Guangdong, signed agreements with Anderson to create an academic pathway that prepares undergraduate students to do their senior year in Albuquerque and pursue graduate studies here.
“They’re working with us to mirror our undergraduate program to be compatible with what Anderson students learn,” White said. “The new cohort in Zhuhai is being groomed to come to Anderson’s graduate program. They’re taking all their classes in English from their freshman year on.”
The Chinese schools have many international faculty, said Robert Luo, a Chinese national who now teaches management information systems at Anderson.
“They’re using American textbooks with courses in English,” he said. “The Beijing Institute has nearly a dozen international faculty members teaching on campus.”
Many students will also take summer courses in Albuquerque, and Anderson professors will teach some classes in China.
The agreements are advantageous for Chinese universities and students, Luo said.
“Today, many public and private universities in China want to develop international programs,” he said. “China is now the No. 2 economy in the world, and many wealthy families want to send their kids overseas for advanced education. Their No. 1 target is America.”
Guangdong province is particularly ripe for such partnerships, given that region’s high-tech economy, said Sul Kassicieh, a distinguished professor at Anderson.
“It’s kind of China’s Silicon Valley where many high-tech companies are centered,” Kassicieh said. “There’s a lot of interest there in collaborating with the U.S., which still leads the world in moving technology from lab to market. The Chinese want to do more of that.”
UNM students can benefit from greater cultural diversity on campus.
“Our students will be exposed to other ideas,” Kassicieh said. “As the world becomes more globalized, it’s important for students to be more engaged with the world.”
The out-of-state tuition paid by Chinese students can also boost UNM’s bottom line.
“This helps both Anderson and UNM, especially as budgets shrink,” White said. “We need to be more creative in how we bring in new revenue.”