Iowa State University


Martin Jischke, President, (515) 294-2042
Stan Johnson, Extension, (515) 294-6192
David Acker, International Agriculture Programs, (515) 294- 8454
Karen Bolluyt, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-3701
Steve Jones, News Service, (515) 294-4778


AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University President Martin Jischke will lead a delegation of five ISU officials to China this month.

The ISU group will meet with the president and officials from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing and other universities to discuss several initiatives, including international study and scientific exchange opportunities. Meetings also are expected between ISU officials and the deputy director of Chinese State Education Commission, Zhou Yuangqing, and the vice minister of agriculture, Lu Ming.

Jischke also will be giving a major address on international cooperation in education at Qinghua University in Beijing. His trip marks the first time an ISU president has traveled to China while in office. The group will leave June 21 and return from Asia July 3.

"This trip is a key opportunity for Iowa State University and Iowa to develop educational and economic linkages with China," Jischke said. "China has many outstanding scientists with whom we would like to collaborate. And there are interesting educational opportunities in China for ISU students.

"Because of the strength of China's emerging economy, it also is important for Iowans to have a better understanding of this nation's role in the business world. Therefore, it's vital that Iowa State students and faculty have opportunities to increase their knowledge of the Chinese economy and culture."

With China's huge population and growing economy, Jischke noted that food issues will link the nation with Iowa, a major exporter of grains and meat. ISU business, agriculture, family and consumer sciences, and veterinary medicine students and faculty particularly will benefit from collaborations with China, he said.

Jischke said Iowa business leaders look at China as a potential trading partner. China tops the list of countries in which Iowa companies expect to expand business activities in the next five years, according to an ISU study, International Needs Assessment of Iowa Businesses. The report also shows that Iowa business leaders who perceive a need for foreign language training rank Mandarin Chinese second to Spanish as the language most needed for their business needs.

Traveling with Jischke from ISU will be Stan Johnson, vice provost for extension; John Kluge, professor of veterinary pathology; Xiangdong Fang, assistant professor of mechanical engineering; and David Acker, director of International Agriculture Programs for the College of Agriculture.

In Beijing, ISU and Chinese officials will discuss final negotiations for an ISU student study abroad program under the direction of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

"We initially want 10 to 15 ISU students in the program with hopes that it grow to 20 to 25," Acker said. Students will spend eight weeks in China beginning in May 1998.

Also to be discussed are cooperative scientific exchanges in seed science, horticulture, agricultural policy research and swine production, and an ISU agricultural-technology school to be operated in China in 1998 or 1999.

Discussions also will center on an agriculture outlook and policy analysis project that already is under way between ISU's Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) and the Institute of Agricultural Economics of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

"This project is to help the Chinese economy to further integrate into international markets," said Johnson, a former CARD director. ISU received a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant for the economic analyses work.

China sends more students to ISU than any other nation. In fall 1996, 426 Chinese students attended ISU, accounting for about 17 percent of ISU's 2,566 international students. Students from other nations make up just over 10 percent of ISU's total enrollment.


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