Students in field

Finlandia delegation visits Beihai Art and Design Institute in China

December 6, 2017

Potential partnership between institutions being discussed

On November 10, 2017, President Dr. Philip Johnson, International School of Art & Design Dean Denise Vandeville, and Dr. Richard Gee, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, toured the studios and facilities of the Beihai Art and Design Institute, China. The visit to the school concluded a multi-day tour of the country provided by Beihai officials.

FinnU Beihai Art and Design Institute

FinnU Professor Dr. Richard Gee, Int’l School of Art & Design Dean Denise Vandeville and President Philip Johnson pose for a photo with officials from Beihai Art and Design Institute.

The initial relationship between Finlandia University’s International School of Art & Design (ISAD) and the Beihai Art and Design Institute began at the start of the fall 2017 semester with a visit from Professor Bin Chen, Dean of Painting. He spent two days on our campus learning about ISAD, meeting the students and faculty, and talking about curriculum. After that interaction FinnU was invited to their country and campus for a reciprocal experience meeting faculty and talking to students, and have been chosen as the first United States art school they will work with to develop international experiences for their students.

“The new connections, commitments, and creative energy generated by this collaboration make the future of ISAD very exciting,” said Vandeville. “I look forward to 2018.”

During the visit President Johnson formally met Beihai Art and Design Institute President Zheng Chao, and spent the day discussing thoughts about the purpose of education and their shared pedagogy in philosophy. Everyone was excited about how similar ideas of service to others, educating the whole student, and encouraging empathy and respect for all people was at the core of what both schools do.

Finlandia is continuing discussions for exchanges that will greatly expand the study abroad opportunities for many students and faculty in China and the United States.  The following is a quote from the Chinese school’s publication regarding FinnU’s visit, “President Zheng also hopes that the two universities will establish profound ties and make contributions to the development of China-US friendship and arts and culture through learning and progress together.”

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