School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

My visit to China

Posted on: December 20th, 2010 by

Susanne Shaw, Executive Director of The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, or ACEJMC; Abe Peck, retired professor of journalism at the Medill School at Northwestern and a visiting lecturer at Fudan University; Will Norton, Dean of the Meek School of Journalism and new Media at the University of Mississippi; Dr. Yu Zhenwei, Director of the School of Journalism at Fudan University; and Don Brown, Managing Director of International Magazine Publishing, on the Bund at night. The Bund is an area of the Huangpu District on Zhongshau Road, facing Pudong, across the Huangpu River, a branch of the Yanstze River. Shanghai is a lively city with a vibrant downtown and entertainment district.

I arrived in China on October 24, working with Susanne Shaw, executive director of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, to explore the possibility of Fudan University in Shanghai and Hong Kong Baptist pursuing ACEJMC accreditation.

Professor Shaw and I were at Fudan University from Oct. 24 – Oct. 28, 2010, to discuss U.S. accreditation with administrators and faculty of the School of Journalism. During our visit we attended Expo 2010 during its last week. The crowds were enormous.

Fudan University

Known as the Yale University of China, Fudan is one of the oldest, most prestigious and selective universities in China and a member of the C9 League. It was founded in 1905, shortly before the end of China’s imperial Qing dynasty. It is highly ranked in physical sciences, humanities, social sciences and medicine.

Fudan has 17 schools, 69 departments, 73 bachelor’s degree programs, 22 disciplines and 134 sub-disciplines authorized to confer Ph.D. degrees, 201 master degree programs and six professional degree programs.

In 2009, Fudan University ranked third overall among universities in mainland China in the THE-QS World University Rankings. It was placed on the list of the world’s top 200, ranked 103. In the 2010 QS World University Rankings, it was ranked 105th in the world. In the subject tables compiled by QS for the rankings, Fudan is ranked 54 in the world for social sciences, 69 for life sciences & biomedicine, 64 for arts and humanities 92 for natural sciences and 117 for engineering and technology.

The two Chinese characters Fu and Dan, means “(heavenly light shines) day after day”. During the 1911 Xinhai Revolution the college and closed down for almost a year and became the headquarters of the Guangfu Army.

Fudan University has more than 45,000, including full-time students and students in Continuing Education and Online Education. Additionally, more than 1,500 students attend from overseas.

Since the 1950s, Fudan has enrolled international students — one of the first few institutions in China to do so. Since then, Fudan has accepted more than 10,000 foreign students from 100 nations.

Visit by Shaw and Norton

Initially, the School of Journalism was a Department of Journalism, founded in 1929. The school has four departments, Journalism, Broadcasting, Advertising and Communication to offer undergraduate, masters and doctoral programs. The school has masters programs in nine disciplines: Journalism, Communications, Broadcasting, Broadcasting Art, Advertising, Public Relations, Media Management, Publications and International Communication.

About 1,500 students are enrolled in the school: 260 at Fudan College, 270 undergraduate students, 250 postgraduate students, 80 PhD candidates and 170 students who are overseas.

The school has 77 faculty members, including 18 professors (14 of which are doctoral advisers). The faculty includes a healthy mix of scholars and media professionals.

We were very impressed with the sophistication and expertise at work in the school. The facilities were incredible. The school is in a building that cost more than $60 million to build. The dean is an able administrator with the ability to accomplish.

Hong Kong Baptist University

We visited Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) from Oct. 28 – Nov. 3, 2010, to discuss U.S. accreditation with administrators and faculty of the School of Communication. From the balcony of the communication building one can see the old Hong Kong airport. Indeed, the building would be in the flight pattern of the airport if it still were in operation.

HKBU is the sole surviving institution of 13 major Christian universities that once operated on the China mainland. Founded in 1956 by the Baptist Convention of Hong Kong, HKBU is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Hong Kong. It was established as Hong Kong Baptist College with the support of American Baptists, who provided both operating and construction funds and personnel to the school in its early years.

Combined enrollment on these campuses is currently more than 8,500. Hong Kong Baptist University is ranked 111th in the world and 13th in Asia by the The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2010.


The Journalism program at HKBU covers three major areas:

Professional courses that provide principles and skills involved in gathering, presenting and producing news and current affairs.
Theoretical foundations of the profession that offer conceptual understanding of the profession and its role in society through ethical, legal, economic, political and historical studies, as well as mass communication theory.

Complementary studies of society and its relationship to journalism through studies of government, business, law, language and politics in both a local and international context.

Students are expected to produce an honors project in either a substantial piece of journalism or a scholarly dissertation. They also required to participate in the production of the workshop of their concentration. These workshops are experimental publications run by students. Students also have to do a professional internship in a media organization during the summer break between the second and third years.

The 4th Pulitzer Prize Winners Workshop is going to be held on November 2-8, 2010 at Hong Kong Baptist University. Outstanding speakers who have won Pulitzer Prizes from the 1970s to the present are invited to this great event and host a series of lectures, forum and class-teaching. Founded in 2006 by the Department of Journalism, Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), the workshop aims to advance journalistic education and practice in the Greater China region, and also offering a platform for cultural exchange among local, the Greater China and top US journalists.

The MA in Communication, begun in 1997, requires a minimum of 27 hours, 9 hours of core courses and 18 hours of elective courses. Of the elective courses, at least 12 hours must be in a student’s chosen concentration.

The core courses are:

Foundations of Communication Study;
Approaches and Methods in Communication;
Perspectives on Media & Society.

The MSocSC, which began in 2005, is designed to prepare media professionals for executive leadership. It requires a minimum of 27 units, consisting of 12 units of Elective Courses, 11-12 units of elective courses and four units of application project which is optional and can be substituted for with two elective courses. The application project is taken after all required courses are completed. They are:

Introduction to Media Management;
Global Marketing Strategy;
Corporate Financial Management;
Strategic Management and Business Policy.

The university is in one of two special administrative regions of the People’s Republic of China. The other SAR is Macau. Hong Kong is on China’s south coast and is enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea. It is one of the most densely populated areas in the world – a population of seven million people on 426 square miles of land.

Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the First Opium War (1839 – 42). Originally limited to Hong Kong Island, the colony now includes Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories. In 1997 China regained sovereignty of Hong Kong.

One of the world’s leading international financial centers, Hong Kong has a major capitalist service economy with low taxation and free trade. The Hong Kong dollar is the ninth most traded currency in the world.