UAA Signs MOU with Sun Yat Sen University (Guangzhou, China) as part of International Linkages Initiative

Official photo of the International Conference on Urban and Regional Development in the 21st Century and Lingnan Forum

Sun Yat Sen University was the setting for the International Conference on Urban and Regional Development in the 21st Century and Lingnan Forum held in Guangzhou, China, December 17-18, 2011. Among the participants were a number of scholars familiar to UAAers including Jill Gross, Hank Savitch, Michael Timberlake, Christian Lefevre, David K. Hamilton, Catherine Ross, Robin Hambleton and Richard LeGates. Roughly 20 scholars from the United States and Europe presented papers at the conference. Approximately 100 persons attended the conference including urban and regional scholars and practitioners from across China.

On December 16th, Dr. Jill Gross (Hunter College of the City University of New York) serving as Chair of the UAA International Linkages Committee, met with Dean Ma Jun of the School of Government, and Dr. Lin Ye (School faculty member and Associate Editor for the Journal of Public Administration (China)), to sign a MOU between the UAA and Sun Yat Sen University. The MOU lays the foundation for a number of future initiatives that will promote international collaboration and exchanges between Chinese urban scholars and UAA’s research community.

Dr. Jill Gross meeting with Dean Ma Jun and Professor Lin Ye

Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU) located in Guangzhou China, was founded in 1924 by it’s namesake, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen. Today the institution is referred to both as Guangdong University (referencing the Chinese province in which the university is located) and Zhongshan University (a title conferred following the death of Sun Yat-Sen). The University is the result of an amalgamation. Zhongshan University was merged with Sun Yat Sen University of Medical Sciences in 2001 and since that time has been known simply as Sun Yat Sen-University. There are currently some 70,000 students in attendance, pursuing degrees in one of its 25 schools and colleges at the undergraduate and graduate levels (

According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, SYSU is ranked # 5 among the Mainland Chinese universities (following – Peking University, University of Science and Technology of China, Tsinghua University, and Nanjing University), and # 22 among Asian Universities more broadly. By discipline it is also ranked among the top 5 schools in China in public administration.

Attendees at International Conference and Lingnan Forum

UAA has entered into a MOU with the School of Government, a Division of the University that has 94 full time faculty members, over 1,000 undergraduates and 770 graduate students. The School offers PhDs, MAs, MPAs and BAs, as well as an all-English Masters degree in Public Administration focusing on International Development for students from developing countries. Joint degree and exchange programs have been established with Oxford University, Bristol University, Miami University, Indiana University, University of Pittsburgh, and universities throughout Pacific Asia, South Asia and Australia.

Of key importance are the School’s research centers, specifically the China Public Administration Research Center, which works directly with the Ministry of Education in China, providing research support on governance and policy research nationally. This position is unique in China, as it is the only public administration research program with this national name designation. Lastly, the School of Government is home to the Journal of Public Administration (China). It is anticipated that the new MOU will facilitate the involvement of Chinese scholars in UAA’s future conference in San Francisco (April 3-6, 2013), and open the door to other research and educational initiatives.

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