Delegates from the Chinese government signed an agreement yesterday with Harvard that leaders hope will bring more Chinese students to seven Harvard graduate and professional schools.
According to the agreement, the China Scholarship Council, a non-profit affiliated with the Ministry of Education, will contribute to the living expenses, air-fare, and tuition of up to 20 Chinese master students and 15 doctoral students each year.
“There are 541 Chinese students studying across many fields of learning at the University this academic year, and we hope that by signing this agreement we will open the gates of the University to even more,” University spokesperson Kevin Galvin wrote in an emailed statement.
The agreement, signed by Vice Provost for International Affairs Jorge I. Domínguez and CSC Secretary General Liu Jinghui, states that Harvard will retain full control of the admissions process. There will be a separate application for funding from CSC.
The schools listed in the agreement are the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Harvard Business School, the Graduate School of Design, the Graduate School of Education, the Harvard Kennedy School, the Harvard Law School, and the School of Public Health.
The agreement comes after Chinese President Hu Jintao’s January meeting with President Obama, during which the two leaders
agreed to further support student exchange between the two nations.
“Harvard faculty have a long-standing relationship with China [and] our institutional commitment to China is deep, dating back to the 1800s,” Domínguez read from a letter by University President Drew G. Faust, who was unable to attend the ceremony. According to Faust, the University will continue this tradition and further promote the academic exchange with China.
Echoing Faust’s letter, Chinese State Councilor and the delegation head Liu Yandong cited Harvard’s long history of involvement with China and praised it for its leadership in the academic world.
“Harvard has been one of the first universities to accept Chinese students,” Liu Yandong said, adding that it is also one of the first universities to study China. The Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, for example, is the first center for research in China established in the United States.
“I think it’s fair to say that most Chinese people know well about Harvard and Harvard knows well about China,” she said.
The ceremony, hosted in a Loeb House heavily guarded by security, was followed by a lunch with some Harvard professors related to Chinese studies and government officials.
The delegation then visited MIT in the afternoon, where it was received by MIT President Susan Hockfield.
—Staff Writer Sirui Li can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.