Lecturing at New College in Zhuhai


Llew Gibbons and I were invited to lecture at new college located in the southern China city of Zhuhai called United International College.It was started 3 years ago as an offshoot of Hong Kong Baptist University, in cooperation with Beijing Normal University in Zhuhai. It represents a new type of higher educational institution in China, because it is privately operated, and is modeled on a small, U.S. liberal arts college. It intends to have an undergraduate enrollment of 4,000 students, very small by Chinese standards. Many of the classes are taught in English. The school emphasizes what the Executive Vice- President, Edmund Kwok, described to me as "whole person education," which includes such features as the "voluntary service program" which encourages the students to volunteer in the community and around China, such as teaching in Tibet. Although the school, you get the sense that there is a real entrepreneurial spirit among the faculty, pushed by Edmond Kwok. In there first year, they admitted less than 300 students, and were renting space from Beijing Normal University. By the start of their third academic year, student enrollment is now around 2,200, they have a brand new facility, with wired classrooms, a student art exhibit hall, and full library.

I lectured on issues in IP law, to two different classes: International Relations, and Broadcast Journalism. I lectured in the International Relations class on trademark law and international treaties (specifically, the Paris Convention and the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), and on derivative works and the right of publicity in the Broadcast Journalism class.

I was very impressed by the school. It seems like an exciting and vibrant instituion, it's staff dedicated to delivering a high quality, challenging and internationally focussed educational experience to its students. It does this while straddling two worlds - that of Hong Kong and mainland China. It's link to Hong Kong (it will be granting degrees from Hong Kong Baptist University) allows it some freedom to operate as an independent school. And yet it's mission is in great measure directed to students from the mainland.

As an example of how the world is getting smaller, our invitation came from Professor Morton Holbrook, who spent 32 years in the foreign service. It turns out that Professor Holbrook is a native Kentuckian, originally from Owensboro. He grew up with John Helmers, the father of my neighbor and friend John Helmers, Jr., who is an attorney in Louisville. Although Professor Morton now lives permanently in Zhuhai, he claims Kentucky as his U.S. domicile. He still keeps up with news from Kentucky through his subscription to the local Owensboro newspaper (Messenger Inquirer, I would assume). However, he did not have a Derby party this year, both because the race went off at 6:04 am in Zhuhai, and due to the fact that there were no other Kentuckians in Zhuhai to share a mint julep with that early in the morning.