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KU Law signs Memorandum of Understanding with major Chinese university

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It’s been a busy time of international collaboration for KU Law.

Only a few weeks after signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the International University of Central Asia, based in Kyrgyzstan, Professor Virginia Harper Ho facilitated another agreement with Sun Yat Sen University in Guangzhou, China.

“We decided to pursue this with SYSU because of my long-standing ties to faculty there and our mutual interest in expanding collaboration between our schools that can benefit our students and faculty,” Harper Ho said.

After visiting the university multiple times since 2003, in June 2012, Harper Ho met with Professor Yao Huang, vice dean for international affairs, and Professor Zhiping Li, associate dean of the law school, to introduce KU Law and explore whether SYSU had any interest in exploring a long-term relationship with the university. The deans were particularly interested in KU Law’s two-year J.D. program, and at the meeting’s conclusion, Huang proposed they draft an MOU for consideration.

The MOU involves the development of joint legal programs, such as conferences, seminars, visiting scholar exchanges, and joint research opportunities. It will also facilitate student exchanges and collaboration in developing professional training programs.

“We are currently in the process of discussing the initial steps of our collaboration, which could involve hosting SYSU students in Lawrence for a short-term summer law institute or their participating in KU Law-sponsored study abroad programs in Istanbul or Ireland,” Harper Ho said.

SYSU is a major university in south China, with a law school formally re-established in 1979. Guangzhou is the provincial capital of Guangdong Province on China’s southeastern coast and a major manufacturing center in the Pearl River Delta, only two hours from Hong Kong. KU Law has similar agreements with other universities around the world, including in Australia, Ireland, Korea, Mexico and Turkey.