UAlbany to Build on Success of Chinese/MBA Program With New Freeman Foundation Scholarships

Contact: Vincent Reda, 518-437-4985

The University at Albany will be able to build upon its success in preparing students for the global economy, due to a new $245,000 three-year grant from the Freeman Foundation to the Department of East Asian Studies for its "BA in Chinese Studies/MBA Program."

The grant provides scholarships directed toward two pools of students: nine UAlbany undergraduates enrolled in the five-year BA/MBA program, and three graduates from universities in China who come to UAlbany for the MBA degree. The UAlbany students will study advance language in China during their junior years.

Freeman Foundation funding of just over $200,000 helped the University launch the program in 1998, granting scholarships to the first cadre of three Chinese and nine UAlbany students.

"This funding of the University's Freeman Foundation grant means that over the next two years we will continue to recruit and enroll some of China's top students for the MBA Program in Albany," said Professor James Hargett of the Department of East Asian Studies. "At the same time, we can continue to provide China study abroad scholarships for our best Chinese language students in Albany."

The Freeman Foundation is dedicated to strengthening bonds of friendship between the U.S. and countries of the Far East, primarily through education and educational institutes. It also affirms that its funded projects will contribute and enhance "a vibrant, international, free enterprise system."

"Our foundation feels that it is vital that the youth of American and China become knowledgeable and understanding not only of each other but also of each other's countries culturally, politically, and economically," said Houghton Freeman, president of the Freeman Foundation.

"I can think of no other country that is going to be more important in the next decade to the U.S. than China, nor to China than the U.S. These programs at UAlbany, which we hope will encourage some of our youth not only to live but also to work in or with each other's countries' economies, are vital. Trade and economics traditionally have been the door-openers for better relationships and understanding."

Said UAlbany President Karen R. Hitchcock: "The B.A. in Chinese Studies/MBA degree program directly supports a key goal of the University - to ensure that at least 10 percent of every graduating class studies abroad in a non-English speaking country for at least one semester. Furthermore, the program serves to develop, on the part of students interested in developing careers in business, a great intercultural understanding between East and West."

Hargett noted that the University has a long history of international ties and exchange programs with foreign nations and universities, with a commitment to expanding its study-abroad programs. He said that the Freeman Foundation scholarships have produced dramatic results for students from both East and West.

"Over the last three years all of the 'Freeman Scholarship' students from China in our MBA Program have not only graduated, but excelled and finished at the top of their class," said Hartman. "Moreover, all of them have landed great jobs after graduation.

"I also visited China during spring break and met with our four UAlbany Freeman Scholarship undergraduates doing advanced language study at Fudan University in Shanghai. It's just amazing how quickly their command of the language improves after only one or two semesters in China."

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March 19, 2001


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