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Hendrix Partners with Liberal Arts College in China

Bill at UIC 4CONWAY, Ark. (November 30, 2015) – Hendrix College and United International College (UIC) in Zhuhai, China, will collaborate on new study abroad opportunities, as well as student, faculty and staff exchange programs, and collaborative research projects.

Hendrix President Bill Tsutsui visited UIC this week to sign a memorandum of understanding and to attend the 10th anniversary celebration of UIC, the country’s first liberal arts college.

UIC is a unique partnership between Beijing Normal University and Hong Kong Baptist University. It is a residential college with courses taught in English and a curriculum that encourages engaged learning. Their tagline is "a new liberal arts college to serve China and the world." 

“It is an honor to work with the leaders of United International College to develop new and exciting opportunities for students and faculty members at our institutions,” said President Tsutsui. “UIC is a bold experiment in Chinese higher education. This agreement represents an extraordinary opportunity for Hendrix students and faculty. We are excited to host UIC students and faculty and grateful to be a partner of this unique institution.”

President Tsutsui also presented "The Challenge of the Liberal Arts: Difference, Diversity, Distinction" at the 8th Annual Sino-American Liberal Arts Forum, hosted by UIC, titled "The Future of Liberal Arts Education: Challenges and Possibilities.”

"In the increasing competitive landscape of higher education globally, liberal arts colleges have often struggled to demonstrate their value and continued relevance,” said Tsutsui, adding that “liberal arts colleges will only thrive in an era of rapid change if they clearly demonstrate their strengths, fully embrace the promise of diversity and inclusion, and continue to set a high bar of expectations.”

Under the new student exchange agreement, an equal number of Hendrix and UIC students will study at the other institution each year. Participating students will pay tuition to their home institutions and pay room and board to their host institutions. The student exchange could begin as early as the 2016-2017 academic year.

Dr. Peter L. Gess, Director of the Hendrix Odyssey and International Programs, said, “While we already have other great partners in China targeting Chinese language and Chinese business and economics, UIC will attract Hendrix students with broad interests in Chinese and Asian studies.”

“Students will be able to take courses in Mandarin language, but also in a variety of subjects, as English is the UIC language of instruction,” said Gess. “Hendrix students will be placed with Chinese roommates in beautiful residence halls on UIC's new state-of-the-art campus. Such a residential, liberal arts community is quite unique in China."

Gess visited with UIC officials in 2013 at the recommendation of Hendrix religion professor Dr. Jay McDaniel. With McDaniel, Gess participated in the International Workshop on Constructive Post-modernism and Whole Person Education at UIC, where he discussed liberal arts education, the Odyssey program, and whole person education at Hendrix. 

"It's really exciting to see a place like Hendrix in China," Gess said. "I think liberal arts colleges are uniquely positioned to prepare young people for the future because of our focus on whole person education, experiential learning, and critical thinking." 

"The more like-minded institutions promoting whole-person education, the better we all are," he said. "There are only advantages to be gained from the exchange of ideas." 

About Hendrix College

Hendrix College is a private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas. Founded in 1876 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884, Hendrix is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges and is nationally recognized in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings for academic quality, community, innovation, and value. For more information, visit