McRobbie leads IU Delegation to Asia

IU President Michael McRobbie will be traveling to Beijing, China, to open a new IU office Saturday and will return May 30.

The new office will establish and renew agreements with higher education institutions of the area, as well as meet with alumni, business and governmental officials, according to a press release.

The trip will also extend to Japan, Singapore, Vietnam and Hong Kong.

Accompanying him will be IU Vice President for International Affairs David Zaret, IU First Lady Laurie Burns McRobbie and IU Foundation president and CEO Dan Smith.

While overseas, McRobbie and U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy will meet with the leaders of Waseda and Osaka Universities in Japan and will honor the Japan chapter of the IU Alumni Association. He will also present the Thomas Hart Benton Medallion to Tsuyosi Tsutsumi, a former professor of the Jacobs School of Music, according to a press release.

While in China, McRobbie will manage the launching of the new office, creating another international bridge with the universities, similar to the office that IU opened this past year in India. McRobbie will present another Hart Benton Medallion to alumnus Vincent Mo, the chairman and CEO of SouFun Holdings, according to the release.

After leaving China, McRobbie will meet with U.S. and Vietnamese officials to help the presence of IU in Vietnam. He will be joined by executive associate dean of School of Public and Environmental Affairs, David Reingold, and SPEA professor Anh Tran.

At IU, the study of Asia includes more than 20 departments and schools. The teaching of Asian studies is now part of the core curriculum for the new School of Global and International Studies.

Overall, there are about 5,150 Asian students who make up more than half of the international student enrollment at IU, with 3,500 students from China, 80 students from Hong Kong, 155 from Japan and about 75 students from Vietnam and Singapore, according to a press release. And the number of IU students studying in these countries increases each year. This past year, nearly 300 students traveled to China and the other countries McRobbie will be visiting for international studies, stated in a press release.

These types of trips are significant for IU to remain one of the most internationally focused universities, McRobbie said in the release.

“Previous trips like this have led to our forging new alliances, and we are confident that our efforts to build bridges with leading institutions in Japan and Vietnam will prove successful,” he said in the release. “We also are excited about seeing many of our proud alumni in these countries as well as in Singapore and Hong Kong.”

This trip will be McRobbie’s fifth journey to China during his presidency, and he will become the first standing IU president to travel to Vietnam.

Jessica Campbell

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