President Hargrave and Mr. Wong Keing Sing Mr. Huang Shan (left), Assistant to the Dean of the Hunan University Law School, and East Central University President John Hargrave sign an agreement of cooperation between the two institutions in where ECU students can study at Hunan and vice versa.
Pictured are 14 students from Hunan University who are attending East Central University this semester as part of a partnership and agreement of cooperation between the two institutions of higher learning. On the front row are: Sisi Deng (left to right), Yifei Ma, Hunjie Huang, Shifei Pan, Qing Qiing Xia, Chen Yue Zhan and Dr. Mara Sukholutskaya, Director of the ECU Global Education Department. On the back row are: Liang Tao (left to right), Hewei Ma, Xias Lan, Hao Huang, Hong Rong, Chen Yang, Hoy Cheng and Yin Hao Ling. Hunan China Students


East Central University and Hunan University in China are continuing a partnership which should make a lasting impression with students from both institutions.

That impression is one of global learning and understanding with the signing of an agreement of cooperation which enables ECU students to learn at Hunan University and vice versa.

By virtue of this partnership, ECU can have joint research activities and academic programs; exchange or use facilities and equipment; and exchange of faculty members and graduate students for study and research. That memorandum of understanding between ECU and Hunan University was originally established nearly two years ago.

Representatives from Hunan University have been on campus this past week to learn about ECU, visit with several Chinese students from Hunan University, soak in the American culture and sign continuing agreement documents.

“We’re looking forward to a long-term partnership. We’re going to send more students to East Central University in the near future,” said Mr. Wong Keing Sing, director of international relations for the Hunan University Law School. “It’s important for our students to master the (English) language, learn how Americans work and to learn about a different culture.”

Certain areas of study have also fueled the interest of the visiting Chinese students.

“Business, Political Science, Legal Studies and Criminal Justice are what our students are most interested in,” said Mr. Huang Shan, also part of the visiting delegation and assistant to the dean of the Hunan University Law School. “I feel that Legal Studies will benefit future Hunan law students.”

Currently 16 students from Hunan University are studying at ECU.

A similar agreement was made between Hunan Women’s University and the Beijing Aviation University Shenzhen Research Center in the early fall of 2012.

ECU President John Hargrave, along with Dr. Mara Sukholutskaya, director of ECU’s Global Education Department, made a nine-day trip to Changsha, Xian and Beijing, China this past fall to tour the facilities and sign the agreement to formulate two study-abroad agreements of cooperation with Hunan Women’s University and the Beijing Aviation University Shenzhen Research Center.

“At ECU, we’re taking our students to the world and we’re bringing the world to Ada,” said Hargrave. “We currently have opportunities in Europe. We were looking for additional partners and China was the obvious choice. It’s the second-largest economy in the world and it’s the fastest growing economy in the world. China is becoming a big player in international business and politics.”

Cultural exchange has been pushed to the forefront of today’s world and Hargrave believes this opportunity is not only important for American students but those abroad. “People of China are highly motivated to give their students cultural exchange abroad. The United States is the first pick. For many years, China has understood the value of cultural exchange. They have programs with universities in every country of the world. China has the most international students currently in the United States. I think it’s important for East Central University to be involved in an arena that is going worldwide,” Hargrave said.

While in China, Sukholutskaya and Hargrave were able to meet with representatives from Hunan, a university with around 40,000 undergraduate students and 17,000 graduate students as well as visit with potential global education students and their parents. Hargrave also delivered a lecture at the Hunan Law School on the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution. He also talked about the state of Oklahoma and ECU during his speech.

The group also took part in several cultural activities and was able to visit various museums.

“We were treated very nicely. Wherever we went, everyone was hospitable and very interested in learning about us,” Sukholutskaya said.

The two-way street is now open to for ECU students to learn at Hunan University and Hunan Women’s University.

“I invite our students and faculty to consider taking advantage of this unique opportunity and go to Hunan University for either short-term or long-term programs,” said Sukholutskaya.

That relationship is just part of the global experience afforded at ECU, which has students from approximately 40 countries around the world on campus.

“Many of our students take advantage of our outbound programming and attend classes in foreign countries,” Hargrave said. “East Central University enjoys an active international student experience. We will work together to develop programs to benefit both universities.”

NOTE: The Hunan contingent also visited the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, along with making a trip to Oklahoma City to tour the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and Oklahoma City National Memorial. The group also learned Western culture by visiting a couple of ranches.

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For Immediate Release: 
Contact:  Brian Johnson
Amy Ford
East Central University Communications and Marketing
580-559-5650 or 405-812-1428 (cell)