Purdue Club Hong Kong

The Purdue Club Hong Kong is the official alumni organization of Purdue University in the Hong Kong SAR, China. We welcome any Purdue alumni or faculty, current students and parents, or any other related persons to participate. We also welcome your ideas for activities. Hail Purdue! Go Boilers!

Monday, September 26, 2005

"Purdue needs more partnership with Asia" by Evan Kelsay

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Purdue needs more partnership with Asia
By Evan Kelsay
Senior Columnist

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.

It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.

Every morning, a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.

It doesn't matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle. When the sun comes up, you'd better start running.

The message in this proverb is what Richard Cosier, Dean of Purdue's Krannert School of Management, has in mind when he steps off of the Northwest Airlines plane in Beijing, China, at 8:30 a.m. This is Cosier's second trip to the Mainland this year to help secure his school's future in Purdue's world of pre-eminence.

Cosier knows China is more than a threat and customer for the U.S.; China is an opportunity. That's why he is placing "fostering educational exchanges with China" at the top of his priorities list right now, just two weeks after celebrating Krannert's No. 12 undergraduate ranking in USNews.

Cosier knows it. President Martin Jischke knows it, too. After a trip to India and Hong Kong last fall, Jischke was the one who assembled the team for what's being called the Asia Initiative.

When you look around campus and your classes, you'll see no shortage of students from the Mainland and India. And these students represent the best of the best from their home countries. As Thomas Friedman pointed out in his book, "The World is Flat," in China you're one in a million here, there are 1,300 people just like you.

However, we aren't returning the favor in the two places where opportunities flow and will continue to flow like milk and honey for generations.

Since 2001, the U.S. has increasingly closed its borders to foreign exchange students. While European countries announce surges in Chinese enrollment, applications from the Mainland to American graduate schools dropped 45 percent in 2004.

Purdue knows where future opportunities for business and the sciences lie. Quite frankly, if they are serious about securing their future, there's no reason why Krannert students wanting to study abroad shouldn't be looking at China first. The same thing goes for India and students studying engineering, IT, etc. As of four years ago, 400 out of the Forbes 500 companies have invested in more than 2,000 projects in China. The opportunities are there if we just have the courage to grab them.

But less than 10 percent of study abroad students go to Asia. We're talking about two thirds of the world's population that is not on any of our radars when we think outside the U.S.

Jischke, Cosier and many more Purdue staff and faculty are trying to change that. They are working hard towards their goal. But it's going to take more than just visits, partnerships and exchanges with Chinese and Indian universities. It's going to take things all students need. Things like scholarship money, core class credit and substantial credit for internships.

Cosier knows how important this trip is for his school. Now all he has to do is get everyone else to listen.

Evan Kelsay is a senior in the School of Management. He spent January to August of this year studying and working in Hong Kong. He can be reached via e-mail at evan.kelsay@purdueexponent.org

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