Posted June 5, 2009
Idaho State University and its College of Engineering have signed an educational collaboration agreement with Peking University in Beijing, China, that will foster collaboration between the universities, encourage faculty and student exchanges and strengthen research opportunities at both schools.
“There are benefits for both sides. Our name is becoming better known internationally and this agreement will help Idaho State University become better known in China,” said S. Hossein Mousavinezhad, professor and chair of the ISU Department of Electrical Engineering. “It will give Peking University students and faculty the opportunity to come here and learn from us, where we have specialties in our departments, and it will increase our student numbers.”
Peking University, sometimes referred to in China as Beijing Beida Education, is the first formally established modern research university, and the first national university of China. It was founded as Imperial Capital University in 1898. Today, most national and international rankings frequently place Peking University as one of the best universities in China. In addition to its academics, Peking University is especially renowned for the beauty of its traditional Chinese architecture at its campus grounds. The Times Higher Education Supplement in 2006 ranked Peking University as the 14th best university in the world, taking the highest spot in Asia.
Mousavinezhad’s colleague, Wei Pan, assistant professor of electrical engineering, shared her view on the benefits of the agreement.
“They can come use our facilities to expand their view and our students can go there and expand their views and open their eyes to the world,” Pan said.
She said one ISU engineering facility that Peking University students and faculty are most interested in is the Very Large Scale Integrated/Computer Aided Design (VLSI/CAD) Laboratory that features state-of-the-art Cadence tools used by electrical engineering students. The laboratory supports both undergraduate and graduate studies as well as research work in circuit design and simulations. The laboratory is maintained with the support from ON Semiconductor and Cadence Design Systems, Inc.
Pan, the director of the VLSI/CAD Laboratory, said there is a strong chance ISU and Peking University faculty and staff will collaborate on research projects, and, potentially, this agreement could lead to additional research funding at ISU.
Both Mousavinezhad and Pan expressed their appreciation to the ISU administration in helping forge this relationship with Peking University.
“President Arthur Vailas, Provost Gary Olson and Director of international programs Maria Fletcher have all been very supportive of our efforts,” Mousavinezhad said. “We could not have accomplished this without their help.”
ISU has several similar MOU agreements either signed or in the works with other universities in China, India and South Korea.
“It is very important for ISU’s future to maintain and forge new relationships with universities in China and India and other international universities,” Mousavinezhad said. “Our international agreements will only become more important.”