Wang Foundation and Tsinghua University
Inaugural International Symposium

POVERTY ALLEVIATION THROUGH
DISTANCE EDUCATION AND SUMMER SERVICE LEARNING

Tsinghua University, Beijing China
November 14-16, 2007

Image
Many of the 150+ delegates participating in the Symposium pose
for a group picture after the Opening Ceremony.


Summary

Wang Foundation and Tsinghua University share a common vision: Chinese and American college students can help China build a harmonious society by enhancing their capacity to communicate effectively across cultural and linguistic boundaries, and by working collaboratively to alleviate poverty in China's most impoverished areas.

Since 2005, Wang Foundation and Tsinghua University have partnered to advance international exchange, distance education and service learning as key elements in poverty alleviation, believing a more just and peace-filled world is attainable through students engaging cross culturally in grass roots service projects. The successful launching of the 2006 and 2007 Summer Service Learning Programs enabled over 900 students and faculty from Tsinghua University and 16 U.S. institutions to work shoulder-to-shoulder in delivering educational resources to some of China's poorest areas. The November 2007 Inaugural Symposium was designed to evaluate the impact and progress of these initial efforts, and to explore various strategies for improvement and growth.

Bringing together over 150 global visionaries in academia, commerce, government and civil society, the Symposium explored innovative perspectives on how to develop effective poverty alleviation programs in China utilizing best practices in international exchange, distance education and service learning. Program models developed during this symposium will serve as prototypes for replication and expansion, both in China and in other impoverished regions of the world.


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