President Sullivan visited the UVA China Office in Shanghai in May. Here, she poses with China Office Director Justin O’Jack.

In May, President Teresa Sullivan, along with several UVA deans, took a 12-day trip throughout Asia, stopping in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Tokyo to meet with university leaders, alumni, students and government officials, while also participating in forums, including a panel with the U.S. ambassador to Japan.

“We want to be a global university, which, in my mind, means educating students to thrive in an interconnected world, generating knowledge on problems and issues that transcend national borders and having a positive reputation and productive partnerships outside of the United States,” says Jeffrey Legro, vice provost for global affairs. “To do that you have to have a presence in Asia, a continent that is going to be central in the lives of our students and the institution going forward. We need to be engaged there to educate our students, attract top-flight faculty and draw some of the best students in the world.”

Legro said that between 800 and 900 Chinese students are currently studying as graduates and undergraduates in Charlottesville. Increasingly, visiting researchers and faculty also travel back and forth between the two continents, helping to amplify UVA’s presence throughout Asia.

In March 2015, UVA established an office in Shanghai, which coordinates and builds UVA’s activities abroad, including aspects of admissions, alumni affairs, research partnerships, education and development.