USCET Hosts “International Education and Exchange: Building Bridges in Times of Turbulence” Program

November 15, 2018

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The US-China Education Trust (USCET) in association with Meridian International Center hosted an engaging discussion earlier this week in celebration of USCET’s 20th Anniversary and International Education Week. 

The International Education and Exchange: Building Bridges in Times of Turbulence program held on November 13 explored the importance and impact of exchange on US-China relations. 

The half-day discussion featured two panels and remarks from Ambassador Stuart Holliday, President and CEO of Meridian International Center; Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch, Founder and President of USCET; and The Honorable Tara Sonenshine, currently a Senior career advisor with The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs and the former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (2012-13). 

Ambassador Holliday set the stage for the conversation in front of a packed room of more than 60 attendees by highlighting the value of educational exchange. Ambassador Bloch’s opening remarks meanwhile, touched on the impact and effect international exchange has had on the development of US-China relations since 1979. She noted that while relations between the two countries have had their ups and downs education exchange is one area that has continued to build mutual trust over the years. 

“During turbulent times, it is through more exchange, not less, that we can build bridges and find common ground,” she said. 

The Honorable Tara Sonenshine gave the keynote address, which focused on the critical role of international education for 2019 and beyond. She shared her own experience and talked about the importance of personal experiences and storytelling when making the case for why exchange is important. 

“International education is real, humane, and very personal,” she said. “We need conversations between people from different background to experience what it is like.” 

The program also featured two-panel discussions made up of preeminent scholars from China and the United States. The first of which featured a discussion on the role Fulbright has played on US-China relations since the resumption of the program in 1979. The panelists included Meirong Fu, Director, and Professor of the American Studies Center at Beijing Foreign Studies University; Mary Ellen Heian Schmider, Board member and former Executive Director of the Fulbright Association; and the moderator Hank Levine, Senior Advisor of the Albright Stonebridge Group and a USCET Advisory Council member.

Marlene Johnson, President Emerita of NAFSA moderated the second panel, which did a deep dive into the impact of education and exchange on US-China relations. It was comprised of three panelists including Jinzhao Li, Professor from Beijing Foreign Studies University, who stressed that US-China relations and international educational exchange cannot be detached from one another.  “We can’t separate US-China relations and educational exchange because they are intertwined,” she said.

Hongxia Liu, Representative and Director of New York University Shanghai and John L. Holden, President and CEO of US-China Strong Education rounded out the panel. Each expressed the importance and value international exchange brings to the US-China relationship. 

This was the third in a series of special USCET events celebrating its year of anniversaries. Prior to this USCET hosted a Women in Diplomacy program in June and an Appreciation Luncheon in May. 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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中美教育基金会与Meridian International Center合作,在本周早些时候举办了一场引人入胜的研讨会,以庆祝中美教育基金会成立20周年以及国际教育周。

研讨会的主题是“国际交流与教育:在动荡时期建立桥梁”,讨论了国际交流对中美关系的重要性和影响。

为期半天的讨论会举办了两个小组讨论和演讲,演讲人是Meridian的总裁兼首席执行官Stuart Holliday大使、中美教育基金会创始人兼主席张之香大使、和前任美国公共外交和公共事务副国务卿,现任乔治华盛顿大学国际关系学院高级置业顾问Tara Sonenshine。

Holliday大使的演讲突出了教育交流的价值,在60多名与会者面前为这次研讨会奠定了基础。张大使在开幕词中还谈到了1979年以来国际交流对中美关系发展的影响。她说道,两国关系对然起起落落,但教育交流是多年来不断增进互信的领域之一。

她说:“在动荡时期,只有通过更多而不是更少的交流,我们才能架起桥梁,找到共同点。”

Tara Sonenshine则发表了主题演讲,聚焦2019年及以后国际教育的关键作用。她分享了自己的经历,并谈到了个人经历和讲故事的重要性,以此来说明为什么交流是重要的。

她说:“国际教育是真实的、人道的、非常个人化的。”“我们需要来自不同背景的人之间的对话,来体验它是什么样的。”

讨论会还包括由来自中国和美国的杰出学者组成的两个小组讨论。第一次小组讨论了福布莱特计划自1979年重启以来在中美关系中发挥的作用。与会者包括北京外国语大学美国研究中心主任、教授付美榕、福布莱特计划协会董事会成员和前执行董事Mary Ellen Heian Schmider、以及主持人Albright Stonebridge Group高级顾问和中美教育基金会咨询委员会成员Hank Levine。

美国MAFSA主席Marlene Johnson主持了第二个小组讨论,深入研究了教育和交流对中美关系的影响。会议由北京外国语大学教授李今朝等三位专家组成。李今朝强调,中美关系和国际教育交流不可分割。她说: “我们不能把中美关系和教育交流分开,因为它们是相互交织在一起的。”

纽约大学上海分校代表兼主任刘红霞和US-China Strong总裁兼首席执行官John L. Holden出席了会议。双方都表达了国际交流对中美关系的重要性和价值。

这是中美教育基金会庆祝其周年纪念的一系列特殊活动中的第三项。在此之前,中美教育基金会于6月主办了一个“妇女与外交”项目,并于5月举办了一次答谢午宴。