For two weeks this summer, Dean Lemuel Watson and Professor Faridah Pawan were in Kunming and Beijing, China. In both locations, university administrators and colleagues organized large-scale meetings, small group discussions and one-to-one conversations to share research, express interests and propose multiple partnership possibilities.
Dean Watson and Pawan spent the most time in Kunming and its surrounding areas in Yunnan Province, home of 25 out of 56 Chinese Minority groups. Diversity, multilingualism and multiculturalism are thus central to the undertakings of schools and universities in the province. Yunnan University’s Research Institute of Higher Education, including Professors Dong Yun Chuan and Wu Mei, invited the two to share their research on minority issues and teacher education at Yunnan University at a conference entitled “New Trends in Ethnic Minority Education in a Globalized World.” As part of the Yunnan University-hosted experience, Watson and Pawan visited schools and villages in Weize and Nuohei, near Shilin’s Stone Forest and home to the people of the Sani Minority group.