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TU reaffirms partnership with China University of Petroleum

Representatives from The University of Tulsa traveled to China in May to visit the China University of Petroleum-Beijing for reaffirmation of an agreement that promotes joint education and research between the two universities.

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Prof. Hong-Quan Zhang, Dean Jim Sorem, President Gerry Clancy and Prof. Elizabeth Smith celebrate the agreement.

TU President Gerard Clancy, Yale National Initiative (YNI) Director Elizabeth Smith, College of Engineering and Natural Sciences Dean Jim Sorem and Professor of Petroleum Engineering Hong-Quan Zhang met with leadership from CUPB to establish a partnership with the institution’s main site in Beijing and the Karamay satellite campus in western China’s Gobi Desert.

“Faculty in Beijing and Karamay are excited about the opportunity for their students to complete a partnership degree program,” Smith said. “They expect the option to be very popular.”

TU reconfirmed its mutual commitment for a 2+2 degree program for students to attend CUPB for two years before completing their degree at TU. The exchange program would allow students to earn two degrees from two top petroleum engineering programs in four years. TU’s McDougall School of Petroleum Engineering is the fourth best PE school in the country, according to 2017 rankings compiled by U.S. News & World Report.

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President Clancy discusses the partnership with Chinese media.

The trip is a follow up to Clancy and Sorem’s initial visit in October 2016. Students from CUPB currently attend TU, and TU officials hope to provide a similar experience at CUPB for students from TU’s College of Engineering and Natural Sciences.

“The goal is to become partners in the engineering program,” Smith said.

She and her peers toured the refinery and data center of Beijing’s China National Petroleum Corp. and also met with the company’s leadership team. The state-owned oil and gas corporation offers internship and career opportunities for TU and CUPB graduates.

Smith, who manages the Teachers Institute for Tulsa Public Schools, took the trip to search for ways to expand the partnership on TU’s campus. Other options include a TU faculty member teaching in China for one year or developing a Teachers Institute international seminar on topics such as the Silk Road.

While at CUPB’s satellite location in Karamay, TU officials also signed documentation to establish the Joint Center for Culture and Science — a space expanding partnerships in the humanities, arts and sciences. The new center helps further develop programs where two-way collaboration is possible such as Jumpstart program, faculty exchanges and student-to-student teaching to learn about other cultures.