On May 20th the opening ceremony for the joint XMUT–University of Texas at Austin International Environmental Health program took place at XMUT. The program will last for three weeks, and the 60 students, a mixture of undergraduates and graduates, were chosen from XMUT’s School of Environmental Science and Engineering and UT’s School of Public Affairs. Areas to be considered include: global environmental issues, food safety, air quality, and climate change. There would also be consideration of different academic and management practices from China and North America, with the goal of promoting academic exchange. Both the visiting academics from Texas and those from XMUT are teaching their courses in English, with many activities including lectures, interactive seminars, and site visits.
The opening ceremony was presided over the Dean of the School of Environmental Science and Engineering Professor Huang Guohe, with the opening remarks delivered by XMUT’s Vice-President Professor Zhu Wenzhang, who expressed the hope that the combination of UT’s over 100 years of experience and XMUT’s youthful vigor would complement each other and provide real benefits to both parties as well as to the wider world. This was followed by an address from Professor David Eaton of the University of Texas’ School of Public Affairs, and one from Cheng Huiyan, Associate Professor at XMUT’s School of Environmental Science and Engineering.
The University of Texas at Austin was founded in 1883 and is one of the world’s most prestigious public universities, ranked 26th in the world in 2014. The university’s alumni include a dozen Nobel laureates and three National Science Medal winners. It’s current faculty include 13 members of the National Academy of Sciences and 40 members of the National Academy of Engineering.
There are currently several joint-research projects underway between XMUT and UT, including solid waste pollution treatment technology and groundwater pollution treatment technology. This includes cooperation between Xiamen’s high-tech industrial sector and the US company National Instruments.
The two universities will continue to build mechanisms for international cooperation, not only for academic matters but also in the industrial arena.