SIAS International University
||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (September 2011)|
Sias International University (SIAS, Chinese: 郑州大学西亚斯国际学院 zhèng-zhōu dà-xué xī-yà-sī guó-jì xué-yuàn) is a private college affiliated to Zhengzhou University in Henan Province, People's Republic of China. It is located in the ancient city of Xinzheng, near Henan's capital, Zhengzhou.
|SIAS International University|
|Location||Xinzheng, Henan, PRC|
|Affiliations||Fort Hays State University|
In 1998, SIAS was founded by Mr Shawn Chen, head of SIAS Group, as a small business trade school. It is the first American university in Central China. It started with around 200 students and now has 23,500 students, 50 buildings, an Olympic swimming stadium, basketball courts, and recreation areas. During the early years, Chen's close friends were in charge of university duties, such as library maintenance and upkeep, as well as other administrative positions.
Since inception, it has struggled to recruit qualified teachers to take up residence in remote rural towns.
|SIAS International University|
|• Pinyin||Zheng zhou da xue xi ya si guo ji xue yuan|
Sias International University is the first American-style University in China, as seen in its architecture, funding, and ownership. The SIAS campus was designed by Peter Weiss, an associate professor at Auburn University and his associate Charles Martin. They have designed over 30 buildings and are the only Americans to design a campus in China. The administration building is designed to look like the U.S. capitol building on one side (facing the campus) and traditional Chinese design on the other side (facing the city of Xinzheng).
As of 2012, there are 137 foreign faculty from four countries teaching at SIAS. The majority of the foreign faculty are U.S. citizens, although Canadians, Filipinos, Japanese, South African, Mexicans, Argentinians etc., have also been sparsely represented. Within this block of American teachers, the trend has been to recruit college graduates with connections to religious organizations on the west coast of the United States. Most foreign faculty are hired to teach English, although a significant amount of teachers aid Fort Hays professors in remotely teaching the American courses
Most of the foreign faculty at SIAS are temporary, as wages in Central China are a small fraction of their earning potential back home. Also, the school pays less per month than many universities around China do for foreign teachers.
Most foreign teachers at SIAS stay for two years, although some have stayed up to seven and some have left after four months. After their stint at SIAS, most foreign teachers return to their home countries, although some continued their expat life in China, pursuing academic or business careers in other cities or provinces.
As the expat community in Henan Province is an extremely small, but very visible, minority (about 1,000 out of 100 million), opportunities are afforded to foreign teachers outside of their regular duties. While their visas allow them only to work for SIAS, they attend government banquets, functions, or appear as guests on television shows. This is not particular to SIAS or Henan as international teachers throughout China are afforded these opportunities.
SIAS is also one of the first schools in China to offer students American Bachelor degrees in partnership through Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. Students take credit hours of American college courses all taught in English, and they are able to transfer the remaining credit hours from their 200 hours of Chinese courses to earn degrees. About 10% of all SIAS students study under the partnership of Fort Hays, theoretically allowing Chinese students to earn an American degree without setting foot in the States.
SIAS offers 12 associate degree programs and 54 bachelor's degrees. These include sciences, business management, computer science, economics, engineering, fine arts, foreign languages (Japanese and English), music and performing arts. In addition, Spanish and French are taught as electives.
Like many private colleges in China, SIAS lacks the government subsidy to fund its administrative costs and therefore charges students from 12,000 to 14,000 RMB per academic year, more than twice the national average. In 1999, a Sias International University Foundation Board was established in the United States, and soon after a charitable foundation was established in the United States (501c3) to support needy, worthy scholars at Sias with their tuition. Scholarships are competed for and awarded each spring semester at the annual campus Homecoming and commencement weekend.
In 2006, SIAS International University began conducting an experimental project involving the addition of foreign students. Since accreditation or transfer of credits was an issue that the school administration was unable to accomplish, many of these students came to Learn Chinese, all the while taking supplemental courses that gave the student an introduction to Chinese cultural subjects like t'ai chi, massage, Chinese traditional medicine, etc.
SIAS offers international (non-Chinese) students the option of earning the American degree, in which the international student attends all-English, or English-Chinese, classes. However, no international student at SIAS has earned the FHSU degree. The bulk of the international student body consist of aspiring Chinese as a second language speakers either enriching their lives, or preparing for the HSK Chinese Proficiency Test.
[Campus View Gallery http://en.sias.edu.cn/CampusView/1744.html]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sias International University.|
- Sias International University About Page
- Los Angeles Times: Chinese School is rah-rah for U.S. Style Campus (May 8, 2008)
- Living- ChinaA2Z Sias International University
- GaryLeeTodd.com Sias International University, Xinzheng (May 8, 2008)
- Paul noll: SIAS University in 1998 (May 8, 2008)
- Bytewatch: Executive Director (Caleb Zia)
- Educational Pathways: Interview with Shawn Chen
- Global Gateway- Auburn University's International Presence: SIAS
- Henan Facts, information, pictures
- Transitions Abroad: Teaching English in China
- Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies: Fort Hays Gives Students in China a Foothold to Success
- Fort Hays State University: Homecoming 2007
- Fort Hays State University: FHSU and SIAS Background
- Minot State University and SIAS International University: Fruitful Interaction
- University-Community Partnership for Social Action Research Network(UCP-SARnet) Meeting with Mr. Shawn Chen: Interview with Shawn Chen
- Payap University International Partners
- Chinese Degree programs
- SIAS: Tuition
- SIAS: China.org: Tuition becomes parents' burden
- Linda Fraser Jacobsen, PhD, Charter Board Member, Sias International University Foundation
- Fort Hays State University: SIAS Study Abroad Program
- SIAS University: International Programs