In January 2006, Dr. Edward Camp, Director of Administration and External Relations for the Grove School of Engineering, paid a visit to The City University’s exchange program at Shanghai University. The program, established in 1984, is one of a broad range of overseas opportunities which The City University offers its students and faculty. It is designed to enrich course offerings at both universities, to assist in building new institutions, and to allow faculty and administrators to learn from each other through teaching and observation of counterparts at the partner university. More than 110 faculty and administrators from both universities have already participated.
Dr. Camp, who is also an adjunct professor and Director of the School’s Engineering Management Certificate Program, met with officials at Shanghai University to determine if more engineering faculty and mid-level administrators could benefit from participating in the program. He held productive meetings with Guo Xiang Zhong, Deputy Director of the Foreign Affairs Office, and Sherry Zhang, Section Chief, International Relations. Discussions centered on the similarities and differences between public higher education systems in the US and China.
At City College, Dr. Camp works with hundreds of students and many faculty members from China and elsewhere in the Far East. Much of his adjunct teaching focuses on international business, the global economy, and the impact of outsourcing on engineering jobs in the US. China is a major US trading partner. Its impact on the US economy today can be compared to that of Japan in the 1970s and 1980s. Dr. Camp’s visit to Shanghai University gave him a better understanding of the Asian economy, culture, society, politics, and educational systems.
China is becoming an increasingly popular destination for US students and faculty, and Dr. Camp found the level of facilities and dormitories at Shanghai University to be comparable to those at public colleges in the northeastern United States. As he had expected, his hosts at the university were proficient in English, but he was also most impressed at the command of our language shown by undergraduates.
During his visit, Dr. Camp was amazed at the contrasts in Shanghai and throughout southern China. Despite scores of new skyscrapers, walking, and bicycling are still the most popular modes of transportation. The country is experiencing an economic growth rate of 15%, and its middle class is expanding. This prosperity, however, has brought its share of problems, including an energy supply crisis and water, air and ground pollution. Camp feels that China may decide to change its focus from growth at any price to one that might be a bit more rationalized and balanced.