Strengthening TC's Relationships in Asia
Published in Inside - Volume XVI, No. 9
In early June, a delegation from TC that included President Susan Fuhrman, Provost Tom James and several faculty members traveled to Taipei, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, meeting with alumni and prospective students. The trip included a full-day education conference in Hong Kong and culminated in the announcement of a new John Dewey Scholarship that will enable TC to enroll future generations of education scholars and leaders from Asia, regardless of means.
“My deepest hope is that, in the year 2137 when our 250th birthday rolls around, the president of Teachers College will need a much larger venue to accommodate all of the College’s alumni and friends in Hong Kong,” Fuhrman told a gathering in that city.
The Hong Kong conference, titled “Working Together,” brought together education leaders from several Asian countries to talk about shared education needs and goals. Organized by Edith Shih, TC Trustee and General Counsel of the Hong Kong-based company Hutchinson Whampoa, and chaired by Fuhrman, the event included presentations by Khunying Sumonta Promboon is a Distinguished Member of Thailand’s Commission on Higher Education chairperson of the country’s National Sub-Committee on S&T Manpower Development, and Ren Youqun Vice President for Financing and Logistics at East China Normal University, and associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Institution.
“It goes almost without saying that any top-flight school of education should care intensely right now about the future direction of education in the nations represented here today,” James told the conference participants. “Asia’s vast population and its even more vast impact on the global economy would alone warrant a focus on the evolution of teaching and learning in this region. But we are all, on some level, wrestling with similar issues. We live and work at a time when not only new skills are required, but new industries are being born while old ones are being rethought are falling by the wayside. Education is no longer something to aspire to, and it is no longer enough to simply offer people educational opportunity. Instead, nations who cannot bring 21st century skills to all learners will be consigned to second-tier status.”
Afterwards, Fuhrman pronounced the trip a major success.
“I observed unmistakable signs that TC is the world’s leading destination in education research, policy, and practice,” she said. “I met many young education professionals, including recent graduates of China’s top universities, who shared their dreams of coming to TC. I met with newly admitted students and their families, who cannot wait to join our TC family. I met alumni who are eager to deepen their connections to TC and to help us build stronger global alumni networks. And I met with education and business leaders who are looking to partner with TC on innovative teaching and research initiatives.”