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University of Minnesota in Beijing

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler went on an 11-day visit to Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan. The trip was designed to solidify partnerships with key China universities, to explore research and student and scholarship exchange opportunities for the University, and to launch the University’s 100th anniversary celebration of the arrival of Chinese students to its Twin Cities campus.


On President Kaler's first day in Beijing he met with incoming students and their parents who had gathered at the University of Minnesota’s Beijing office for an informal orientation. Also while in Beijing, he renewed a five-year partnership agreement at Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters. The University has one of the United States’ most successful Confucius Institutes, established on campus in 2008. New partnership agreements were signed at Peking University and Tsinghua University.

President Kaler, his wife, Karen, and Professor David Pui, Distinguished McKnight University Professor and L M Fingerson/TSI Chair in Mechanical Engineering, attended a private dinner at the Great Hall of the People, which was hosted by two prominent University of Minnesota honorary doctorate degree holders, Dr. Chen Zhu and Dr. Bai Chun Li.

President Kaler also visited Tianjin while in the Beijing area.

He then visited the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) where he signed a significant agreement that, among other collaborations, will create a joint workshop to address the critical issue of China’s air pollution, especially the health impact of what’s known as “PM 2.5,” or the damaging particles in Beijing’s air.  Also at CAS, President Kaler delivered a major address to 100 students and faculty. That evening, President Kaler mingled with more than 200 alumni and prospective students at a jam-packed University of Minnesota Beijing alumni association gathering at the Hilton Beijing Wangfujing.

Read the President's blog to learn about all the accomplishments of the trip.