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Connections in Asia grow through India, Taiwan partnerships

BML Munjal partnership
Dr. M.B. Srinivas, dean of BML Munjal's College of Engineering and Technology, shakes hands with UNG President Dr. Jacobs after signing a partnership agreement between the schools.

The University of North Georgia's (UNG) connections to Asia keep growing. UNG signed its only current agreement with an Indian university Nov. 6, forming a science and business partnership with BML Munjal University.

Earlier this semester, UNG announced two new partnerships between the Corps of Cadets and Taiwanese military schools while expanding a partnership with another Taiwanese school. With the additions, UNG now has military student exchanges with 11 schools.

"I am delighted that UNG has an academic connection with BML Munjal University so that our students, faculty and staff can learn more about India's culture, as well as the institution's academic and industrial innovations," said Sheila Schulte, associate vice president for international programs at UNG. "Our partnerships in Taiwan help UNG create opportunities for our Chinese-language learners as well as those interested in East Asian studies. These collaborations in South and East Asia provide key locations for our students to grow their global competence and helps UNG expand our global footprint in an increasingly important part of the world."

Dr. J.B. Sharma, assistant department head of physics at UNG, visited BML Munjal when he was in India to see family. He said he was impressed with the private university, which was founded in 2014 and already had connections with the likes of Siemens, IBM and the Imperial College of London.

Sharma made a connection with Dr. M.B. Srinivas, dean of BML Munjal's College of Engineering and Technology, which led to the agreement signed in early November. UNG and BML Munjal will be working to form a variety of faculty and student exchanges, through the efforts of Sharma; Dr. Mohan Menon, department head of management and marketing in UNG's Mike Cottrell College of Business; and Dr. Jeff Turk, director of UNG's Institute for Environmental and Spatial Analysis. 

"Engagement between the oldest democracy and the largest democracy in the world is very important," Sharma said. "It will be beneficial for both societies."

Schulte is grateful for Sharma's passion in jumpstarting the BML Munjal partnership.

Taiwan partnership MCNDU

Col. Yihsiung Lin, deputy commandant of MCNDU, and UNG President Bonita Jacobs make an exchange of gifts after signing a partnership agreement Aug. 22.

"It is always good to have our partnerships happen organically through faculty interest," Schulte said. "Faculty engagement in international partnerships makes them sustainable over the long term, and these are the types of partnerships that help us build a global learning environment at UNG."

Taiwan's Management College, National Defense University (MCNDU), and UNG signed an agreement Aug. 22 facilitating the exchange of students and faculty.

UNG on Aug. 27 signed an agreement to extend its partnership with the Republic of China Military Academy (ROCMA), a relationship that began in December 2012. ROCMA was the first military student exchange program for UNG, and 15 UNG cadets have studied at ROCMA.

Taiwan partnership FHK

UNG President Bonita Jacobs and Colonel I-Ming Chen, FHK deputy commandant, hold up an agreement between the schools at an October signing ceremony.

UNG President Bonita Jacobs then traveled to Taiwan in October to sign a student and faculty partnership agreement with Fu Hsing Kang College (FHK), National Defense University. Jacobs also visited with Gen. Wan-Chiao Wu, president of Taiwan's National Defense University, during her October trip.

The expanded ROCMA agreement will allow ROCMA military students to study at UNG as four-year, degree-seeking international students. Additionally, the partnership sets a goal of faculty exchange that will allow UNG faculty to teach, research and guest lecture at ROCMA in computer science and information management, physics, political science, and chemistry.

Jacobs attended ROCMA's 90th anniversary celebration in 2014.

Cadet Logan Covington, a UNG senior from Lawrenceville, spent five months at ROCMA as part of the military student exchange. He was excited to hear more cadets will get to learn in a similar environment.

"It was a great experience. We definitely got thrown into the culture," Covington said. "Instead of just learning about it in class, it's a lot nicer to experience it firsthand. I really appreciated the fact that it forced you to use and learn the Chinese language a lot better."

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