Agreement offers new educational opportunities to students on both campuses

Washington, D.C.  – November 22, 2011 – At a ceremony held Friday in Beijing, China, Gallaudet University President T. Alan Hurwitz co-signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Beijing Union University (BUU) Chairman of University Council Professor Xu Yongli to develop a groundbreaking academic and educational collaboration between the two universities.

The MOU signing ceremony was held at the College of Special Education and was attended by leaders in deaf education, special education, representatives from the U.S. Embassys EducationUSA China, and several Gallaudet University alumni. The MOU resulted from a request from BUUs College of Special Education for the two universities to collaborate and establish programs to promote the advancement of higher education, teaching, learning, research, and services for students who are deaf and hard of hearing, and the professionals who work with them, in China.

Education is the method by which we can change perceptions about deaf and hard of hearing people and improve the social and economic status for those citizens, said President Hurwitz. This collaboration is an opportunity for Gallaudet to help deaf and hard of hearing students in China to expand their educational opportunities while offering Gallaudet students and faculty the chance to broaden their horizons as well.
We are looking forward to this collaboration, said Chairman Xu. Our two institutions will greatly benefit from the faculty and student exchanges.

The MOUs main purposes are to promote access to higher education for students in China who are deaf and hard of hearing, and to prepare those students to transfer to Gallaudet University. To help meet those objectives, an English Language Institute will be established at BUU for the purpose of preparing students for later study at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. Other programs to be initiated through this agreement include a transfer study program, a visiting students program for qualified BUU students to enroll in classes at Gallaudet University, short-term academic programs for students from each university to study at the other, and a visiting faculty program to further educational and research outcomes between the two entities.

This collaboration was made possible by help from the U.S. Department of States EducationUSA initiative and by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. EducationUSA centers actively promote U.S. higher education around the world by offering accurate, unbiased, comprehensive, objective, and timely information about educational institutions in the United States and guidance to qualified individuals on how best to access those opportunities.

Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world.

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