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University of Iowa News Release


April 6, 2007

Chinese Journalist To Teach At UI Through Exchange Agreement

Hongkai Tan, opinions page editor at China Daily, the only national English language newspaper in China, will teach a three-week "Issues in International Studies" course starting Tuesday, April 10 as part of an exchange agreement between the Beijing-based newspaper and the University of Iowa.

The partnership was initiated by UI journalism professor Judy Polumbaum and formalized during the fall 2006 semester after a pilot exchange last year, according to UI International Studies Coordinator Martha Greer.

"China Daily agreed to send a senior editor who has substantial knowledge of Chinese history, culture and journalism to teach a course for the International Studies program," Greer said. "This year's exchange will be completed later in April when a UI student is selected for a paid summer internship at China Daily. Preference will be given to double-majors in journalism and international studies."

Tan said he hopes to share the importance of an open mind to unfamiliar things with course participants. The one-hour credit course, offered through the UI Saturday and Evening Program, is subtitled "News and Knowledge: Chinese Culture in the Era of Globalization."

"The course will be an extensive review of recent social phenomena in China," Tan said. "Through graphic accounts of such changes, it will present an authentic picture of present-day China. Topics will range from traditional values to policy orientations and everyday life."

While designed to fulfill a requirement for international studies majors, the course is open to all UI students, Greer said.

Tan said he considers his visit a precious learning experience.

"I've heard a lot about the friendly people, beautiful landscape and peaceful life in your state," he said. "I'm interested in knowing every aspect of life in Iowa, particularly journalism education at the university. I'm sure it will enrich my understanding of your country and your culture."

In last year's pilot program exchange, China Daily's Li Xing visited the UI and former Daily Iowan opinions editor Erik Owomoyela completed a summer internship in Beijing and later worked for a brief time at the newspaper's Shanghai bureau.

The UI School of Journalism and Mass Communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Center for Credit Programs in the UI Division of Continuing Education and International Programs are sponsoring The China Daily collaboration.

The international studies major currently ranks in the Top 10 undergraduate majors across the UI. Of the more than 460 students majoring in international studies, 24 are double-majoring in international studies and journalism.

International Programs enables UI students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity and give all University constituents access to vital international knowledge.

For more information, visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the UI Office of the Provost.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Joe Nugent, 319-335-2026,; Program: Martha Greer, 319-335-1436,; Writer: Joe Nugent.

EDITORS: If you would like to arrange an interview with Tan, contact Joe Nugent at 319-335-2026.