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Academic Program

At the inaugural academic program of the Wellesley/Peking University partnership, Provost and Dean of Wellesley College Andy Shennan discusses the five propositions that define the Wellesley approach to liberal arts education.

The Wellesley College/Peking University Partnership launched in June 2013 with the goal of educating women for global leadership.

In January 2013 Wellesley President H. Kim Bottomly announced the Wellesley College/Peking University Partnership for Women’s Leadership.

To inaugurate the collaboration, 20 Wellesley students traveled to Beijing to participate in an intensive 10-day academic program with 20 female students from Peking University. Modeled on the curricular and pedagogical methods of Wellesley’s Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs, the program enabled fresh insight into some of the world’s most pressing global problems.

These 40 young women worked with faculty from both institutions, leading practitioners with “in the field” perspectives, and international thought leaders to examine some of the ethical, environmental, and economic challenges of worldwide urbanization. Together they explored issues such as inequality, wildlife preservation, and food scarcity—joining perspectives from their disciplines, including economics, environmental science, and political science, as well as from their respective cultures. 

On June 8, former U.S. Secretary of State under the Clinton administration and Wellesley alumna Madeleine Albright herself taught a master class for the 40 students; she also led a faculty forum on the importance of the liberal arts disciplines in a global world; and with Ming Yuan, director of the Institute of International Relations at Peking University, Secretary Albright co-presented a dialogue on U.S.-China relations.

In 2014, Peking University students will travel to Wellesley, Mass., where they will join Wellesley students for another joint academic program supported by faculty from both institutions and based on the unique interdisciplinary pedagogy developed for Wellesley’s Albright Institute for Global Affairs.