former Stanford University Provost John Etchemendy, SCPKU Director Jean Oi, and Stanford Humanities & Sciences Dean Richard Saller.r.
The auspicious opening of the Stanford Center at Peking University (SCPKU) , with its stunning new physical building, marks a turning point in the university’s relationship to China and in the type of learning that Stanford can offer its faculty and students. Stanford is at the forefront of bringing researchers together to foster an exchange of ideas, to help facilitate new academic partnerships in Asia, and to provide our students with firsthand opportunities that prepare them to become global citizens. SCPKU represents a bridge across the Pacific for Stanford—a platform for education and research for faculty and students from all of Stanford’s seven separate schools—bringing together East and West.
The Stanford Center at Peking University underscores a long-term partnership between Stanford and Peking University. Stanford's relationship with China stretches back to the late 1970s, when the university began accepting Chinese graduate students. Students from China have accounted for a large portion of Stanford's foreign graduate students for many years. Stanford's relationship with Peking University also has grown over the past several decades from an initial collaboration between the schools' Asian language departments to a wide range of joint research and courses, faculty and student exchanges, and conferences. In 2004, Stanford's study abroad and internship programs began at Peking University, and there have been a growing number of other collaborations between PKU and Stanford programs including the School of Engineering, School of Law, and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Recognizing the potential for a Stanford presence at PKU more than a decade ago, President Emeritus and FSI Director Gerhard Casper proposed a formal relationship with PKU that resulted in the creation of numerous academic exchanges between the two campuses. This relationship was taken to the next level with President John Hennessy’s vision of global outreach for Stanford and a multi-year effort led by Professors Jean Oi and Andrew Walder, with the support of former FSI Director Chip Blacker and the International Initiative. This effort forged the necessary partnerships with both the PKU leadership and Stanford donors to establish a presence in China.
Strategically located on the Pacific Rim, Stanford is home to many of the world’s leading scholars on Asia. The burgeoning interest among scholars from across the university in China-based activities makes SCPKU an ideal base of operations for multidisciplinary research, teaching, training and outreach activities in East Asia.
SCPKU provides a welcoming environment for anyone in the Stanford community seeking to advance research or education by spending time in China. This includes those looking to pursue fieldwork, coursework or internships; to collaborate with Chinese colleagues; to examine world issues as they play out in China; or to study China, its people, and policies through firsthand experience. The Center accelerates the flow of people, ideas, research, scholarship and training aimed at benefiting both China and the U.S. and strengthens Stanford's relationship with PKU by enhancing and strengthening established programs and initiating new ones on both sides of the Pacific.
SCPKU facilitates a long-term and deepening presence in Asia, and represents a model for possible future presence in other regions of the world.