SIAS International University

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Sias International University
郑州大学西亚斯国际学院
Sias International University Logo.jpg
Motto East meets West, Integrating Knowledge and Practice.
Type Private University
Established 1998
Founder Shawn Chen
President Sikun Chen
Party Secretary Hexiang Fei
Academic staff
1,200
Undergraduates 27,000
Location Xinzheng, Henan, China
34°24′07″N 113°45′29″E / 34.402°N 113.758°E / 34.402; 113.758Coordinates: 34°24′07″N 113°45′29″E / 34.402°N 113.758°E / 34.402; 113.758
Campus Urban; 700 acres (2.8 km2)
Affiliations Fort Hays State University, IAUP, IAU
Website en.sias.edu.cn
Sias logo with name

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), transliterated Zhengzhou University Sias International College, is the first solely American-owned post-secondary school in Central China. Officially a campus of, and affiliated with Zhengzhou University, the leading university in Henan Province, it was developed and designed to meet the most current educational needs of students in China. It is the first full-time undergraduate institution approved by the Degree Committee of the State Council in China to grant both Chinese and American bachelor's degrees, whose diplomas are those of Zhengzhou University and Fort Hays State University. It is fully accredited by the Chinese Ministry of Education. Sias is located in the ancient city of Xinzheng, near Henan's capital, Zhengzhou.[1]

Combining Chinese and Western educational philosophies, Sias aims to develop sophisticated and specialized talents that can make contributions to the modernization and economic development of China. To achieve this aim, through a modern, beautiful environment, a visionary curriculum and diverse campus activities, it broadens the views of its students and encourages creativity and independent thought among both students and faculty. The participation of foreign faculty members and the use of English-language teaching materials also enhance bilingual communication skills and encourage all Sias students to explore global strategies to solve problems and develop innovative thinking.[2]

History[edit]

Founded in 1998 by a naturalized Chinese-American, Shawn Chen, with an enrollment of less than 300 students, today Sias has an enrollment of over 27,000, and employs over 1,200 full-time faculty members, including 138 full-time foreign teachers.[3] The rate of foreign faculty to students ranks first in China. It offers 75 undergraduate degree programs, 15 associate degree programs, and 6 dual degree programs with Fort Hays State University from Kansas, USA. It also has 5 graduate programs. The fields of study offering degrees include liberal arts, science, engineering, economics, management, medicine, law, education, and the performing arts.

As an international university, Sias enjoys partnerships with 114 international partner schools in 35 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, France, South Korea, Taiwan, India, Thailand and Indonesia. It has international students from more than 20 countries as well as faculty members whose expertise and training embrace both Chinese and Western educational philosophies.

American/Chinese fusion[edit]

Sias International University has an East-West focus, 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 college campus in China.[4] 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).

Foreign faculty[edit]

As of 2016, there are 138 foreign faculty from 10 countries teaching at Sias. The majority of the foreign faculty are Americans, although Canadian, Filipino, German, Russian, Korean, Japanese, Indian, Australian, and Latin American educators are also represented. The requirements for teaching are a Bachelor's degree in Education for some positions, and higher degrees for other positions.[5] Sias' foreign faculty also are involved outside of the classroom by planning the International Culture Week,[6] culture trips,[7] holiday parties,[8] and bake sales for charity.[9]

Academics[edit]

Graduation at Sias International University

The nine discipline areas offering degrees include liberal arts, science, engineering, economics, management, medicine, law, education and the performing arts.

The sound organizational structure of Sias’ administration strengthens the legal foundation and the organizational discipline of the faculty. A campus-wide focus on teaching and learning excellence is being implemented through rigorous academic assessment and e-portfolio evaluation practices, and building shared governance in each content area. The curriculum is student-oriented and by using a combination of theoretical and practical teaching methods as well as service-learning experiences, Sias ensures that the quality of teaching and learning is continuously improving. The employment rate for Sias graduates has consistently remained in the top three among all universities in Henan. Graduates of Sias have received high praise from employers for their excellent oral English, well rounded abilities, creativity, and strong communication skills.

Based on its overall strength, Sias has received many awards by related state institutions and news media, including the “Top 10 Most Influential Foreign-owned Undergraduate Universities in China Award,” “The Most Competitive University on Employment in China,” “The Strongest Comprehensive Sino-Foreign Cooperative University,” and “The Most Desirable University for High School Graduates Award.” To commend the outstanding contribution of visionary entrepreneur and Sias Founder, Shawn Chen, the Henan Provincial Government and Zhengzhou City awarded him the “Yellow River Friendship Award” in 2004 and “The Business Capital Development Friendship Award” in 2005. Shawn Chen has also been elected as the President of the Association of Universities of Asia and the Pacific (AUAP), and is an Executive Board Member of the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP).

Sias is one of the first schools in China to offer students American bachelor's degrees in partnership with 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 carefully articulated 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 United States.[10][11][12]

Foreign students[edit]

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.[13] 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.

References[edit]