William & Mary begins collaborative ‘sister university’ research initiative with UESTC of China

William & Mary has entered into a “sister university” arrangement with the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC), a relationship that both sides hope will generate a wide range of mutually beneficial educational and research initiatives.

William & Mary President Taylor Reveley and UESTC Vice President of International Affairs Wang Houjun signed a memorandum of understanding at a December ceremony in the Great Hall of the Wren Building.

“UESTC is one of the most distinguished universities in China,” said Reveley.  “We look forward to an exchange of faculty and students in academic programs and cultural exchanges between Chengdu and Williamsburg.” 

The signing ceremony was the high point in a three-day visit to William & Mary by a UESTC delegation. The Chinese visitors had an agenda filled with tours of College facilities and meetings with scholars, researchers and administrators from William & Mary.

“The meetings are to talk about what both sides want from this relationship,” said Dennis Manos, William & Mary’s vice provost for research. The meetings were organized by topic. There was a science and environmental group, led by Manos and VIMS Professor Emeritus Dennis Taylor; a business group, led by Mason School of Business Dean Larry Pulley; and a sister school relations group led by Ron St. Onge, interim director of the Reves Center for International Studies.

Manos said inter-university collaborations would likely grow from a number of collaborative projects among individual faculty at both institutions. For example, he noted that he worked with former UESTC President Liu Shenggang on a defense-funded microwave tube project at William & Mary’s Applied Research Center. Also, C.K. Li, Ferguson Professor of Mathematics at William & Mary, is preparing to work with UESTC scientists on applications of his matrix theory.i