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UTSA signs agreement with top sport university in China

Future collaborations between UTSA and Beijing Sport University planned through College of Education and Human Development.

By Sherrie Voss Matthews, International Media & Marketing Coordinator

UTSA and Beijing Sport University have signed an agreement of cooperation to further collaborate on existing programs and exchanges.

Beijing Sport University, one of the top 100 universities in China, specializes in sports medicine and kinesiology. It has more than 15,000 students, and is a well-respected leader in sports medicine research.

Beijing Sport, Julius Gribou, Jian Chi, UTSA
Executive Vice Provost and Senior International Officer Julius Gribou and Beijing Sport University Vice President Jian Chi sign an agreement of cooperation for future collaborative projects and exchange.

UTSA and Beijing Sport University have collaborated on several exchanges in the past five years, says Dr. Wan Xiang Yao, associate professor and department chair for health and kinesiology in the College of Education and Human Development. This agreement formalizes the relationship.

Yao, Dr. Betty Merchant, dean of the College of Education and Human Development, and Julius M. Gribou, executive vice provost and senior international officer, spent time in China visiting several partner institutions this fall. 

“Dr. Betty Merchant and Dr. Yao are commended for moving forward to build closer relationships with our partner universities in China,” Gribou says. “Through their efforts, we have created significant exchanges and relationships with several universities that will benefit all schools.”

Beijing Sport University has hosted UTSA students for study-abroad program every year since 2008, Yao says. Yao leads the faculty-led mini-mester study abroad each year for interested sports medicine and kinesiology students.

“For example, since 2008, the department of health & kinesiology at UTSA has hosted 10 visiting scholars from Beijing Sport University,” Yao explains. “They were doctoral candidates and had studied and conducted research in the department of health & kinesiology at UTSA for a year as a part of theirJul research.”

Merchant and Yao also visited Tianjin Normal University, where an agreement was signed earlier this year, to discuss collaborations on enhancing Chinese junior faculty’s pedagogical methods. Tianjin is the fourth-largest city in China, with an extensive public school educational system.

Merchant also lectured about Leadership and Graduate Studies in the United States to more than 100 undergraduate students at Tianjin. Like UTSA, Tianjin Normal is a young institution; established in 1958, it was one of the first universities in China to allow students from overseas to attend.

Gribou and Yao also were invited by Vice President Ma Yi of Shenyang Sport University to discuss possible collaboration between students and educators from both universities.

The group also met with counterparts at Hebei Normal University to make final decisions for a future COEHD study abroad program in May 2013 and visited Capital Sport University to discuss possible joint faculty research projects.


Beijing Sport University consists of seven colleges, four departments, two elite sports schools, four centers and one teaching section. There are 15,000 enrolled students; six doctoral programs, 10 master’s programs, 12 specialties for undergraduate students,  and one post-doctorate research institution with 4 specialties.

More than 80 foreign specialists (long-term and short-term) are invited to BSU every year. Five hundred international students attend BSU from more than 80 countries and regions.