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Senate requests more information on joint venture with Chinese university

| Thursday, March 17, 2016

Student Senate voted on Wednesday night to draft a resolution to request more information from the University about Notre Dame’s partnership with Zhejiang University (ZJU) in China to create a joint residential liberal arts college.

According to a white paper authored by J. Nicholas Entrikin, vice president and associate provost for internationalization, and Jonathan Noble, assistant provost for Asia, the school “will be composed of six colleges and institutes, each developed in joint partnership with North American and European university partners. … This past summer, Notre Dame and ZJU signed an agreement to hold bilateral discussions about the feasibility of this joint venture.”

This proposal was spearheaded by Dillon Hall Senator sophomore Michael Finan, who voiced his concerns about the situation to the Senate.

“I was thinking about drafting a resolution to send to the administration, expressing that students feel left out of the conversation,” he said.

“The university that they are forming is a partnership with Zhejiang in China, but also six total schools. They are going to [include] the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the Imperial College London, the University of Edinburgh,” Bryan Ricketts, student body president, said.

“The idea would be that everybody involved in this is contributing something to this joint school, but it would be a school that awards a degree in part sponsored by Notre Dame, and Notre Dame would be responsible for providing a liberal arts curriculum to this school,” Ricketts said.

Additionally, Ricketts said the other schools would be providing curriculums in science, engineering and other fields.

Senators expressed concern over the lack of information available to students on this initiative, in addition to concerns about the religious atmosphere this joint school would have, due to its location in an area known for its religious persecution.

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