Furman University enters into collaborative agreement with Sichuan University in China

Furman's Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost George Shields signs a collaborative agreement with Sichuan University in China as Sichuan representative Julia Gao looks on.

Furman University signed a general collaborative agreement with Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, to promote a direct admission pathway to Furman for students who complete Sichuan’s University Direct Admission Program.

The signing ceremony took place in Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost George Shields’ office. Representing Sichuan was Julia Gao, director of its North American Program.

“This is going to going to assist us in our international market position and enhance our opportunity to recruit high-achieving students from China, which will also enhance our selectivity,” Shields said. “And it is our first program partnership of this nature, so that’s very unique and going to be fabulous.”

The three-year agreement will provide Sichuan undergraduates who meet Furman’s admissions standards an annual merit-based scholarship of $15,000 as long as they maintain good academic progress. There is no limit to the number of applicants or admissions.

“It’s a one-plus-three program. What that means is that students are going to spend one year at Sichuan University in China and then they will spend their remaining three years here at Furman,” Candice Chan, Furman’s Dean of International Admissions, said. “Once I did the research, I learned the Sichuan is one of the top universities Chengdu and also in China.”

The first students from Sichuan could enroll at Furman this fall. Two applications are currently under review.

The current international student population at Furman is about five percent, but Shields said the long-term goal is to get that number closer to 10 percent.

Chan hopes this could be the start of larger and more diverse partnerships between the two universities.

“I would love for us to develop a faculty exchange, and maybe we can have our students go over to Chengdu,” she said. “So further down the road we’re looking at more initiatives to get Furman’s name out there more.”

Learn more about Furman admissions here: https://www.furman.edu/admissions-aid/

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