According to the Wall Street Journal, Amherst College in western Massachusetts is among the increasing number of US colleges seeking to raise their profile in China:
Amherst’s rising interest in China comes as a growing number of U.S. colleges, including New York University and Duke University, are branching out in the world’s second-largest economy. But the Chinese government’s controls over academic freedom has also become a hurdle for many more to come.
The lack of academic freedom is “a concern” as the ability to freely exchange ideas is the “heart and soul” of America’s higher education, [President Biddy Martin] said. But at least for now, she added, “the potential for greater amount of sharing of knowledge and perspectives would make it worth the while.”
The interest in China by US colleges and universities comes as many institutions confront a stagnant or shrinking pool of prospective applicants. At the same time, the Chinese economy is growing faster than the US and many US institutions are having success attracting donors from among China’s business leaders.