Colorado State University and East China Normal University have reached agreement on a new Water Scholars Program funded by Coca-Cola. The announcement was made in conjunction with ECNU’s 60th anniversary celebration.
The Coca-Cola Water Scholars Program builds on the scholarship support already provided by Colorado State to ECNU students attending CSU in their junior and senior years while earning degrees from both universities. The new program adds an important dimension to the CSU-ECNU partnership, and combines the expertise in water issues at both universities while emphasizing Coca-Cola’s focus on water sustainability in China and throughout the world.
Coca-Cola is committing $1 million over the next 10 years to support this program which will benefit undergraduate students at ECNU and three other universities in China. Amr Kora, regional sales vice president for foodservice and on-premise for Coca-Cola in the northwest region of the United States, said the program brings talented, dedicated students together to further water education.
“Sustainability is part of everything we do, every day,” Kora said. “We are proud to partner with these leading education institutions helping to build tomorrow’s leaders in environmental sustainability and water stewardship.”
A committee consisting of representatives from Colorado State will select students to receive the Water Scholars Program awards. Criteria will relate to leadership and service at the university and in the community along with personal characteristics, academic performance and dedication to issues relating to environmental and water stewardship. Applications are due in the spring of 2012.
Changbo Bai, vice president of Coca-Cola Greater China, said: “In China, there are critical challenges related to water ranging from water pollution, water quality and water access in rural areas. We take our responsibility to be a steward of water resources very seriously, and we are collaborating with our partners WWF and UNDP, governments and civil society to make a lasting, positive impact in this area.”
Colorado State and ECNU have established a key strategic partnership in the past three years and constitutes one of CSU’s 15 strategic partnerships throughout the world. Thirty-seven ECNU students are enrolled at Colorado State, earning bachelor’s degrees while receiving more than $300,000 in annual scholarship support from CSU. The first group of ECNU students will complete their degrees in May 2012.
Colorado State and ECNU earlier announced a Joint Research Institute for New Energy and the Environment in Shanghai. Both universities have dedicated significant resources to the Joint Research Institute, and the State Administration for Foreign Expert Affairs (SAFEA) in Beijing has been instrumental in providing resources for faculty collaboration.
“Internationalization is one of our top priorities at East China Normal University, and the partnership with Colorado State University is one of our closest relationships,” ECNU President Yu Lizhong said.
Colorado State President Tony Frank added, “ECNU and CSU have made remarkable progress in our collaboration in the past three years. The ECNU students are outstanding, and the Joint Research Institute is a unique opportunity for our faculty to work with Chinese faculty colleagues. Our link to Coca Cola takes us to a new level in China.”
Colorado State has been a world leader in water issues for more than 125 years. With more than 160 faculty and research scientists focused on water questions and problems, the university provides one of the most water-rich educational environments in the world.
“Water is the most valuable resource on the planet, and Colorado State University is a bridge, providing research expertise and outreach that span nearly all areas of global water concern,” Frank said.
Colorado State is one of the leading research universities in the U.S., with world-class research not only in water but infectious diseases, atmospheric science, clean energy technologies and environmental science. Last year, the university attracted close to $350 million in research funding.
East China Normal University is one of China’s key universities under the direct auspices of the Ministry of Education, and it is part of the prestigious “Project 211” and “Project 985” national programs. It was founded in October 1951 and was one of the first 16 universities officially recognized in 1959 as one of the National Key Universities. In 1996, ECNU was named one of the universities sponsored through the national “Project 211” program, and ECNU qualified as one of 39 universities in the “Project 985” program in 2006.
ECNU has a faculty of more than 4,000, 14 Academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences or Engineering, two State Key Laboratories, one National Field Observation and Research Station, seven Key Labs or Engineering Centers, and seven Key Research Bases for Humanities and Social Sciences and one Base for Strategic Studies of the Ministry of Education.