First Annual GAPUC Conference Concludes in China

By Sue Gettlin | June 9, 2011

The first annual International Conference on Global Advancement of Private Universities and Colleges (GAPUC) was held in Xi’an, China, from May 27-29. The conference was co-sponsored by Arcadia University, Xi’an International University (XAIU), Harvard University Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and Peking University. Dr. Steve Michael, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, is one of the co-founders of the conference and a conference chair. Michael and Dr. Nicolette Christensen, Vice President, The College of Global Studies at Arcadia University, both made presentations at the conference.

Michael’s presentation explored environmental conduciveness for private higher education institutions, examining the growing importance of higher education, the increasing privatization of higher education and the implications of globalization. He also addressed environmental factors that could help or hinder private higher education’s growth and conclude with global responses and recommendations.

Christensen spoke on “Advancing Global Education through a Network of Private Colleges and Universities: The College of Global Studies’ Model.” She discussed the College of Global Studies’ model and explored ways that higher education institutions, especially private institutions that may be resource-challenged, can expand global education opportunities to their students. Christensen and Michael answered questions from the audience at the end of Christensen’s presentation.

Forty-nine presentations on private higher education were given over two days. Presenters and attendees came from private universities around the world, including the United States, France, Russia, Romania, Singapore, Switzerland, the Philippines and China. Local presenters included Elizabeth Moy, Executive Director of Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortia for Higher Education (SEPCHE), and faculty members from Holy Family University in Philadelphia.

During the Closing Ceremony on Sunday afternoon, Michael thanked the sponsoring institutions, the local and national leaders who came to support the conference and the staff members who assisted with the conference. He then discussed the future direction of GAPUC and the 2012 Conference. Lastly, he called for the formation of a Task Force to establish GAPUC as a legal entity; plan the 2012 conference; and to undertake activities to ensure that the spirit and vision of GAPUC 2011 conference are realized.

The Conference closed with remarks and an expression of gratitude from Professor Du Ruiqing, Vice President, Xi’an International University and a conference chair.

In addition to conference activities, overseas attendees had the opportunity to tour the historic Terracotta Warrior Museum, located in the nearby town of Lintong. A Welcome dinner was held on Friday evening, May 27, for all 120 conference attendees at Da Fa Chang Restaurant. Located near the historic Drum Tower and Muslim Quarter of Xi’an, the restaurant is famous for its dumpling banquet. Professor Du Ruiqing welcomed attendees and introduced esteemed guests.