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Fudan University blazing pathway via Yale
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15:43, February 16, 2008

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New York: Fudan University, one of China's top universities, has launched a promotional drive to seek more support from its alumni in the US and cement its collaboration with Yale University.

Fudan University President Wang Shenghong took the university's biggest delegation, including six deans and two vice presidents, to the US this week to participate in the inaugural ceremony for the Fudan University Education Development Foundation in New York.

The foundation was registered in the state of Delaware in January of 2006, marking the first time a Chinese university had launched such an initiative in the US.

Wang said the success and support of the alumni made the foundation possible before wishing Fudan's "newborn child a healthy growth."

The collaboration with Ivy League-giant Yale continued the intervarsity-cooperation after Yale became the first foreign university to feature at Fudan's centennial celebration in Shanghai in 2005.

Zhang Jun, Director of the China Center for Economic Studies at Fudan, explained that Yale and his alumni's ties traced back to the early 19th century when Fudan's second President was a Yale alumnus.

"This is a new stage for the cooperation between a Chinese university and its counterpart in the US; coming from student exchange and faculty exchange to some of the deeper penetration in each university," Zhang said.

Zhang said he believed that a Fudan-Yale partnership was a great stepping stone to the future of Sino-US relations.

"This is another in a series of important discussions about the relations between China and the United States. You have two key nations in the world, and these two top universities will talk about cooperation and how we can establish a common platform," he said.

International business legend Maurice R. Greenberg, the former CEO of AIG, delivered the evening's keynote speech.

Greenberg, who worked in China during the 1980s, remarked on the progress China has made in the past 25 years, saying that newfound quality of life and institutions like Fudan University were producing future leaders.

"The pent-up energy of China which was released by the people is what makes China so different and special - it is what many countries need to achieve growth and prosperity that that energy when released accomplishes. China certainly has done that," Greenberg said.

The launch of the foundation sees Fudan paving the way to China's new horizons.

Wang Shenghong said reaching overseas - to the US in particular - was a strategic move to out stride China's other top colleges, such as Peking and Tsinghua universities.

"We prefer to learn more from American universities' successes and experience. So we have a special office in the US and we have the connection within the sectors here such as academic , business and political sector. We hope to do better than other universities," he said.

Fudan boasts roughly 10,000 total alumni across the US and more than 3,000 in New York City alone.

It has alumni organizations in eight major cities in the US, according to Wang.

Fudan University also has exchange programs with Harvard, Yale, Columbia and Washington University in St Louis.

Source:China Daily

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