China trade mission trip fruitful for Shoreline

Housing MOA signing

Diana Sampson and Daryl Campbell of Shoreline Community College, student housing investor David Li and state Commerce Director Brian Bonlender (from left) stop for a photo after signing a memorandum of Agreement.

Shoreline Community College officials signed five agreements with education partners in China as part of Gov. Jay Inslee’s recent trade mission.

“These partnerships support our strong commitment to help our students develop the global skills and competencies,” said Shoreline Interim President Daryl Campbell, who led the Shoreline delegation that joined Gov. Inslee’s trade mission. “These skills are essential for college graduates in today’s global economy and critical to the economic development of the state of Washington, where one in every three jobs is connected to international trade.”

First came a Memorandum of Agreement for the ground-breaking partnership between the college, the state of Washington and the principal Chinese investors for a 400-bed student housing facility to be built on campus.

The project investors are David Li, a U.S. citizen and Seattle-area resident, and Hou Baolin and Xie Gang, China-based business owners. The cost of the state-of-the-art housing project is estimated to be $25-30 million, with 100 percent of funds coming from investors’ equity. The first-year direct economic impact of this project in Washington is expected to exceed $35 million.

State Department of Commerce Director Brian Bonlender signed the agreement on behalf of the state. A press release from Gov. Inslee’s office said the financing model for this project is one that other community colleges hope to replicate.

Negotiations between the college, state and investors have been ongoing and the MOA is seen as a positive next step. Once completed, the housing will be open to all students on a first-come, first-served basis. Shoreline is actively pursuing an internationalization strategic initiative and it is anticipated that the housing project will be an attractive component of current and successful international-student recruiting efforts.

The facility will contain a diverse mix of one, two and four bedroom units, featuring common dining facilities, laundry facilities, fitness room, lounge space and study areas for resident use. The project will use Washington-based labor, including design, contractor and other services for the construction and ongoing operation of the facility. This is a prevailing-wage project.

Next came four memoranda of understanding, two with Chinese universities and two with Chinese high schools, including:

1)      An agreement with Hebei Institute of Tsinghua University and Yan Weiyuan, Director of the Tsinghua Study Abroad and International Education Center. When executed, the pact would bring hundreds of international students to Shoreline each year to study, live and work side-by-side with domestic students. Tsinghua University was founded with the assistance of Americans in the early 20th Century. It is ranked the best university in sciences and engineering in China and seen as the equivalent of China’s MIT. Most of the Chinese former and current leaders are the graduates of Tsinghua University. Hebei Institute is focused on international education development.

2)      An MOU that highlights the successful ongoing relationship with Qingdao University, one of Shoreline’s key university partners in China. The two institutions developed joint international cooperation programs and are currently working toward establishment of an American Cultural Center on the Qingdao campus.

3)      An agreement with Yuyao High School, recognized as one of the top five high schools in Zhejiang Province. While most of its graduates are admitted to top Chinese universities, this partnership will enable some of China’s best high school students to come directly to Shoreline.

4)      A new relationship was established with Quzhou No.3 High School, located in the city of Quzhou in Zhejiang Province.  This joint international program will enable students to come to attend and study at Shoreline.

“We’re very excited about these agreements and what the mean for our students, our community and our state,” Campbell said. Also participating in the trip for Shoreline were Board of Trustees member Tayloe Washburn and International Education Executive Director Diana Sampson.

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