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Asian Connections

Asian NC State students gathering for photo

Susan and I are excited to be leading the NC State Delegation to Hong Kong, China and South Korea. The connections we build abroad strengthen the NC State community and enhance our effectiveness as a university. The delegation plans to engage alumni, corporate leaders and university officials to develop partnerships that expand the impact of an NC State education. Global awareness, as incorporated in goal five of the strategic plan, reinforces the student and faculty experience we cultivate on campus — an experience enhanced by the importance of civic and global knowledge, real-world experience and multiple perspectives. With more than 32 partner institutions and 44 different Memorandums of Understanding, NC State’s collaborative efforts in China and South Korea are imperative to meeting our strategic goals.

On this trip, we will meet with leaders of partner institutions and explore platforms for broadening engagement.  Through more than 65 established programs in 10 Asian countries, our students and faculty engage in global experiences and partnerships that provide exchange, educational and research opportunities in a variety of disciplines from genomics and biotechnology to entrepreneurship and mechanical engineering design.  But we must expand those connections to reflect the growing interests of a global society.

Additionally, we will meet with alumni, who are eager to reconnect with their alma mater, and industry leaders, who are interested in textiles and the global supply chain, a very pertinent connection for NC State. We also will visit global corporate leaders such as Samsung to build partnerships that bring international employment to our graduates. As a research-intensive, service-oriented institution of academic excellence, it is crucial we dedicate time and energy to cultivating these mutually beneficial global relationships — relationships that provide NC State students and faculty opportunities for success beyond campus coordinates.

NC State faculty engaging with international students in the classroom and laboratory
NC State faculty engage with international students in the classroom and laboratory.

But the results are not limited to our presence on our sister continent to the east.  At home, we benefit from the presence of international students on campus and currently have more than 700 from China alone. Many of these students are from universities we will visit. Like NC State, these universities are national leaders; and these collaborations utilize the strengths of NC State to foster economic development on a world-wide scale.

New forms and speeds of communication have brought us closer than ever to our neighbors overseas. We are linked economically in a way that requires a delicate balance to maintain the prosperity of all. But at the base of our connection lies our desire to create opportunity through innovation and education. The flow of knowledge and understanding between universities benefits all parties. So wish us bon voyage, Wolfpack, or more appropriately, 一路平安, as we embark on this important journey for NC State. As always, Susan and I are honored and excited to represent the Wolfpack family locally, nationally and internationally.

Randy Woodson
NC State University