On January 14, 2017, Springfield College — a private, coeducational college located in Springfield, Massachusetts — launched a new recruiting office in the heart of Shanghai. The grand opening of the Shanghai office follows the recent completion of another office in Beijing. Springfield College is one of the few US colleges with this type of recruiting setup in China.
Zhou Peng, a current student in the Springfield College doctor of sports psychology program, will lead the recruiting effort in Shanghai. Zhou recently earned his Master’s degree in Sports Training and Physical Education from Shanghai University of Sport. He will work to strengthen the pipeline between Springfield College and Shanghai to further promote scholarship and academic relationships with a variety of universities in China.
Springfield College has a unique and long history of collaboration and partnership with universities throughout China for more than a decade. Springfield College has cooperated with Beijing Sport University for more than 35 years. The two institutions signed their first formal agreement in 1981. Later, Springfield College established relations with Shanghai University of Sport, East China University, and Soochow University. Each year, many exchange visitors from China visit Springfield College to give presentations and share ideas in the areas of health and wealth.
US colleges and universities have established and maintained good relationships with Chinese institutions through various cultural exchange programs. In September, 2016, leaders from University of Washington in Seattle and Tsinghua University in Beijing gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new learning center that will host their joint Global Innovative Exchange (GIX) program in the fall of 2017. Additionally, in October, 2016, Chinese coaches received training from coaches at the University of Utah as part of an educational exchange between the Pac-12 Conference, Chinese Scholarship Council, and the Federation of University Sport of China (FUSC).
Through the deepening relationship between the US and China, increasing numbers of Chinese students are coming to Massachusetts to pursue academic degrees. There were 20,067 Asian students enrolled in Massachusetts schools during the 2015-2016 academic year, of which Chinese students represent almost a third, contributing an estimated $724 million to the state’s economy. Chinese is the largest ethnic group in Massachusetts. As of 2013, the Boston Chinatown was the third largest Chinatown in US and half of the Asian population in the suburbs of the greater Boston area was Chinese. Additionally, Boston established a sister city partnership with Hangzhou China in 1982 and has maintained good relations since then.
Xiaoyi Wang is a research intern at the East-West Center in Washington, D.C. She is a graduate student at Georgetown University.