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Robertson School, overseas universities discuss partnerships

Jun 18, 2018

Posted in: News

By Tim Bajkiewicz, Ph.D., Assoc. Prof. and Assoc. Dir.

Leadership from VCU and the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture recently met with representatives from two overseas universities to discuss collaborations and partnerships.

A delegation from the American University in Vietnam first visited VCU in January to begin discussions about a possible shared degree program, with AUV students beginning their studies in Vietnam and then finishing up at VCU. Delegation members met with representatives from across the VCU campus, including leadership in the Robertson School.

A VCU delegation visits with leadership at the American University in Vietnam in Da Nang in March 2018.
A VCU delegation visits with leadership at the American University in Vietnam in Da Nang in March 2018.

AUV is the first non-profit university in Vietnam, based on the American model of university education. Based in Da Nang City, it began offering classes in fall 2016. It offers degrees in business, marketing, management, hospitality, communication and computer science.

A group of VCU administrators visited Vietnam and AUV in March to continue discussions, including Dr. Michael Rao, VCU president; Dr. Gail Hackett, VCU provost; and Dr. Hong Cheng, Robertson School director. Hackett sits on AUV’s International Advisory Board.

Leadership from the American University in Vietnam meet with faculty and staff of the Robertson School of Media and Culture in June 2018.
Leadership from the American University in Vietnam meet with faculty and staff of the Robertson School of Media and Culture in June 2018.

The AUV delegation then returned to VCU this month and again met with Robertson School leadership. AUV leaders extended an invitation to School faculty to visit Vietnam and teach during the summer.

Representatives from the American University in Vietnam get a tour of the Robertson School TV studio in June 2018.
Representatives from the American University in Vietnam get a tour of the Robertson School TV studio in June 2018.

"What a unique and interesting opportunity for Robertson School students to interact with the Vietnamese students who come to VCU to finish their degrees," Cheng said. "International understanding is so important these days, and this program provides just that."

Representatives from Xiamen University in China visit with faculty and leadership of the Robertson School of Media and Culture in May 2018.
Representatives from Xiamen University in China visit with faculty and leadership of the Robertson School of Media and Culture in May 2018.

In May, representatives from Xiamen University in the Fujian province of China met with School leadership to discuss faculty and student exchanges. Xiamen University dates to 1921 and currently has more than 28,000 students.

"Xiamen University is very well respected in China as a top university," Cheng said. "Our students can only benefit from a stronger relationship with schools like this."

According to a study by the nonprofit Institute of International Education, during the 2016-2017 school year the number of international students studying in the United States rose by 3.4% to more than a million students, the 11th straight year of growth. China sent the most students, about a third of the total, at 350,775 students. Vietnam ranks sixth and sent 22,438 students, with the third-highest positive percentage change at 4.8%.