WASHINGTON (November 22, 2013) – Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, interim president of Howard University, met with China’s highest-ranking education leader, Vice Premier Madam Liu Yandong, and leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in Washington on Nov. 20, to discuss the importance of educational exchange opportunities between the two nations.
Madame Liu Yandong announced at the meeting the award of 400, two-week scholarships over four years for students in districts represented by members of the CBC to study in China. The Chinese government also will provide 1,000 scholarships to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) for undergraduate or postgraduate studies in China, ranging from three months to 2 years.
Dr. Frederick joined CBC Chairwoman Rep. Marcia Fudge, who hosted the meeting, presidents from other HBCUs, and several members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including Reps. Barbara Lee, Elijah Cummings, Sheila Jackson Lee, Charles Rangel and Cedric Richmond.
“As America’s population becomes more diverse and people become more globally connected, our universities and colleges must offer educational experiences that enable students to provide leadership and service in diverse and multi-cultural environments,” Dr. Frederick said.
The new China scholarships are part of continuing efforts for increased U.S.-China educational exchange. Additionally, the relationship-building work by the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation with the CBC and HBCUs is designed to more competitively position America’s diverse students in the 21st century global marketplace.
Dr. Frederick has described HBCU campuses as ideal environments for Chinese students studying in the United States. He has also pointed to Howard University’s latest educational exchange initiatives with China, including major cultural trips to Asia in recent years by freshman students. These trips were inspired by an address by First Lady Michelle Obama on Howard’s campus in January 2011. Obama urged students to discover and engage the world, and delivered a special challenge to students to build relationships and mutual understanding with their peers in China.
Howard answered the Obama challenge by sending 24 freshman leaders on an intensive cultural exchange to Beijing that summer. The Beijing experience broadened their appreciation of world cultures and languages and awakened their sense of what it means to be a global citizen. In 2012, Howard sent 35 students to China and Japan over the summer. This year, 42 students in the program traveled to Beijing and Shanghai.
President Obama unveiled the “100,000 Strong Initiative” during his 2009 visit to China. The goal of the initiative was to dramatically increase the number and diversity of American students studying in China.