Those who may have wondered how the University of Nebraska at Kearney is spelled in Mandarin may find their answer in watching the new promotional DVD produced for the Office of International Education.
Using testimonials from current Chinese students, International Education faculty and UNK administrators, the DVD was created in two versions. The first version is specifically tailored for the 1+2+1 Program, while the second is designed for a generic appeal to Chinese parents and their students.
The 1+2+1 Program is a cooperative program that started in 2001 and is organized by the Chinese Education Association for International Exchange and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
Chinese students in the 1+2+1 Program begin their undergraduate studies in China and then complete their sophomore and junior years in the U.S. After returning to China for their senior year, the students receive a dual degree from both universities.
Jerald Fox, director of International Education, said the DVD is the first foreign language video developed to promote international student recruitment. He said a previous promotional video was recorded in English, but included too much language.
Fox said the new DVD emphasizes visual images rather than audio. The primary points emphasized in the new video are the security and safety for students attending UNK, along with the support available from the core group of instructors and specialists who will aid the Chinese students while they attend UNK.
Since most of the Chinese students who will be interested in attending already know English, Fox said the DVD was produced in Mandarin to ease the concerns of Chinese parents.
“It’s to help the parents understand where they’re sending their kids,” Fox said. Gui-Jie Zhang, coordinator of the 1+2+1 Program, consulted with the DVD production team and helped with the translation from English to Mandarin for the video. She said the main points she wanted to emphasize in the DVD were the safety and peaceful environment of UNK.
Zhang also said that since Midwesterners have a less pronounced accent, it is easier for Chinese students to learn to perfect their English speaking skills.
Another aspect that attracts Chinese students, according to Zhang, are economic factors, noting that Chinese employers view an American degree as attractive, which is why the AACSB accreditation the College of Business and Technology received is included in the DVD.
In addition to the benefits the Chinese students receive, Fox said, UNK students gain from the recruitment of Chinese students. “The Chinese work ethic and study habits stemming from 84- hour school weeks should give UNK students a picture of what it is going to take to be competitive in a globalizing world,” he said.
“These are the kids who are going to be their main competition.” Fox also noted that now is an opportune time to increase enrollment of Chinese students, because their government is currently allowing more people to leave the country. “After 9/11,” Fox said, “the Chinese government was very restrictive on issuing visas, but now it is granting more students the opportunity to study abroad.”
Blue Media of Kearney produced the DVD, and the video can be viewed online at http://www.unk.edu/international/121Program/index.php?id=21500.