Last week, President Machtley returned to China for convocation at the Beijing Institute of Technology Zhuhai. Machtley addressed the students at Bryant Zhuhai, emphasizing the unique relationship Bryant has established with its partner school in early 2015.  Bryant became the first university to establish a partnership with a private institution in China and the only university to offer a U.S.-China joint four-year undergraduate business degree program. President Machtley and his wife, Kati, kept the Bryant community updated on their trip via Twitter, as they met with Bryant students studying abroad, traveled along the Silk Road, and practiced their Mandarin.

The commencing of Bryant Zhuhai opened doors of opportunity for Bryant and Zhuhai students alike. This past August, eighty-seven students (most of whom have never used a passport) arrived in Smithfield from Zhuhai for a week-long Sophomore International Experience. These students were eager to learn about American business, politics and football while on campus. Accompanied by Bryant faculty and students, the group met Providence mayor, Jorge Elorza, and toured the offices of PWC in Boston. The students then concluded their stay with visits to New York City and Washington, D.C. Zhuhai’s academic dean, David Lux, Ph. D., comments on the SIE program, saying it has allowed for “intercultural conversations and the opportunities to work between two cultures.”

In recent years, Bryant’s International Business program has climbed the ranks, landing the No. 3 spot, according to USA Today. The IB program recognizes the increasing trend towards globalization and seeks to provide students with international experience as they compete in a global economy. Bryant is committed to expanding the world of opportunity for students both in and out of the classroom and country. The university offers four modern languages and seven SIE excursions, as well as the opportunity for students to study abroad in academic institutions in more than fifty countries. Bryant has shifted much of its focus onto expansion with China, and at the 2015 Zhuhai convocation, President Machtley referred to China as “a cornerstone for our international strategy”. The International Business program’s success in the past decade is largely attributed to the development of the US-China Institute.

Bryant’s Chinese presence on campus is strong and only growing more powerful. With the US-China Institute established in 2005, Bryant has been able to build academic, business, and cultural partnerships with China. Students are invited to participate in events such as dumpling and calligraphy workshops or the annual Chinese New Year celebration. Following the introduction of the US-China Institute, the Confucius Institute at Bryant University (CIBU) became the first China-funded institute in Southern New England. The Confucius Institute offers a multitude of programs, such as K-12 Chinese programs and community language classes for students, faculty and Smithfield locals. The members of the Confucius Institute are adamant and passionate about helping students become innovative leaders with a heart for Chinese language and culture.

US News & World Report has recently placed Bryant at the No. 9 spot in the Regional Universities North category. Bryant’s innovation, growth, technology, and academic standards have contributed to the school’s achievement. Faculty have challenged students to become passionate learners, innovative leaders and bridge-builders across the globe. President Machtley, especially in the groundbreaking of the Zhuhai campus, has served as an example to students of how to expand the world of opportunity.