Thanks to a popular Chinese television program, William & Mary’s reputation for global engagement just got a lot more global.
A highly rated morning TV news program on Chinese CCTV 13, similar to Good Morning America, recently broadcast a three-minute story about William & Mary students studying Chinese and preparing to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The segment began in the iconic setting of the Christopher Wren Building as several students practiced their language skills and celebrated Chinese culture, and then moved to the Chinese Language House across campus.
The newscaster and the reporter introduced William & Mary as one of the top universities in America. Another major national television channel, CCTV 3, aired the story right before its highly anticipated annual New Year’s entertainment program, which is televised to a potential TV audience of 1.4 billion people.
“CCTV 3’s show is similar to our own New Year’s from Times Square broadcast and is just as popular,” said Ronald Rosenberg, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Chancellor Professor of Law and Director, American Legal System Graduate Program and Foreign Exchanges. “The news segment featuring William & Mary students not only promotes the College in a wonderful way, but demonstrates our students’ strong commitment to gaining a broad international perspective and learning about cultures other than their own.”
The television coverage came about due to the efforts of Philip Fang, a volunteer teacher at the William & Mary Confucius Institute (WMCI). Established in 2011 as part of a network of more than 300 Confucius Institutes worldwide, the WMCI is a collaborative educational and service partnership between the College, Beijing Normal University (BNU), and the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban).
The WMCI aims to promote the study of Chinese language and culture, support the teaching of Chinese at both the host institution and in local communities, and facilitate U.S.-China cultural exchanges on various levels.
Strong U.S.-Chinese ties have also been fostered at William & Mary Law School. In the fall of 2011, for instance, the Property Rights Project hosted the law school’s first international conference at Tsinghua University Law School in Beijing. The eighth annual Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference brought together esteemed scholars, jurists, and practitioners from the United States and China to discuss the evolution of property rights on a global scale.
“We are delighted with the friendships we formed at Tsinghua University, in particular with the faculty,” Rosenberg said. “The conference built upon William & Mary’s already strong exchange program with Tsinghua, a top-ranked university in China in many national and international rankings.”
The Law School also enrolls many students each year from China as part of its one-year LL.M. degree program in American law. The innovative course of study is designed for foreign-educated students and attorneys who want a comprehensive overview of the American legal system. The program, which is split into fall and spring semesters and ends with graduation in mid-May, has taught international students since 1989.
“We welcome distinguished Chinese students and lawyers every summer as members of our LL.M. class, and look forward to increasing numbers in the years ahead,” Rosenberg said. “Their impact on the law school is strong, helping promote appreciation of other countries’ legal systems and providing a robust conduit for further international engagement.”
Watch the news segment from China’s CCTV 13 below.