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Jean Oi, director of Shorenstein APARC's Stanford China Program, discusses Stanford's expansion into China

The Stanford Daily, October 25, 2007

By Andrew Valencia - Staff writer at The Stanford Daily

In hopes of expanding Stanford's presence in China, the University is now in the process of developing a new research facility on the campus of Peking University in Beijing as part of the Bing Overseas Studies Program (BOSP).

The new facility has just entered its initial planning phases. The campus is expected to encompass a broad range of research from a variety of departments, according to Political Science Prof. Jean Oi, who is involved in planning for the proposed facility.

"We already have a strong BOSP program in Beijing at Peking University," Oi said in an email to The Daily. "This would build on that to encourage more students and faculty across the different schools to have an overseas experience. We would like to have a center that could allow our faculty to hold seminars, workshops and do collaborative work with scholars in China."

BOSP currently operates overseas study programs in 10 cities around the globe, including Beijing, in addition to overseas summer seminars held each summer at a variety of locations worldwide. While these overseas programs are open to all undergraduates, the new Beijing research facility is expected to be utilized primarily by graduate students and faculty.

Oi said that it is unclear as of yet which specific programs will be the focus of the research, but the door is open to a wide range of areas.

"The nature and type of research will very much depend on the projects initiated by different Stanford faculty and students," said Oi. "There is no set agenda, although we expect there to be a variety of research topics."

BOSP and Peking University officials will have to work out the details of their agreement as planning proceeds. For now, however, it is more or less clear that, whatever the nature of the facility, it will be seen primarily as an arm of Stanford, developed for its students and faculty.

"There may be some special workshops and short-term courses that local students can take, but most of the classes will be those offered through the Overseas Study Program," Oi said. "For those classes, as currently is the practice, a few Chinese students can participate but this is mainly a program for Stanford students."