Syracuse University leaders and educators traveled to University of Electronic Science and Technology of China in late November for an international conference on public administration. The trip to Chengdu, China was an opportunity to emphasize the university’s commitment to partnerships with Chinese businesses and educational institutions, says Dr. David Van Slyke, dean of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Van Slyke delivered a keynote address at the conference. “China is a major world power. Part of Syracuse University and the Maxwell School’s strategic plan focuses on internationalization. China holds much opportunity for student exchange, faculty research collaboration and broader institutional partnering.”
Joining Van Slyke in Chengdu was Dr. Zhanjiang “John” LIU, vice president for research, Dr. Xueyi CHEN, international program manager for China programs at Maxwell, Dr. John McPeak, professor of public administration and international affairs, and Dr. Dimitar Gueorguiev, assistant professor of political science. At the conference, the group met with deans of schools of public affairs in China. Van Slyke said a goal of the meetings exploring additional ways for Chinese students to study at Maxwell, which is one of the top-ranked graduate schools of public affairs in the U.S., and, in specialty areas, ranked #1 for public management and leadership.
According to Van Slyke, there is a range of study and degree program options for Chinese students at Maxwell. Students could come to Maxwell for an academic year or more of their undergraduate education, pursuing a range of disciplines. There are also professional graduate programs and a Maxwell PhD program in the social sciences, which is the only one in the U.S. that is purely interdisciplinary.
“I think one of the things international students like – and are often surprised by – is how international Syracuse University and the Maxwell School truly are,” Van Slyke says. “Of Maxwell’s 160 faculty, two thirds of the faculty have either all or a good portion of their research portfolio outside of the United States.”
Van Slyke himself is a leading international expert on public-private partnerships. For the past 10 years, he has taught an executive education program in Bangkok, Thailand through a partnership between the Maxwell School and the Thai Ministry of Finance. In addition to teaching on this most recent trip to Asia, Van Slyke attended a dinner for Maxwell alumni, generously hosted by Vara-Poj Snidvongs G’76, Thailand’s former ambassador to Italy.
Maxwell benefits from the talents of international students, by diversifying its student body, learning from their experiences, engaging the students in a range of academic and social experiences, and demonstrating a commitment to global governance that has scholarly as well as policy applications.
“Students coming here feel they get a rigorous education and are also supported in terms of being in a new culture and context.”