Photos from the May 2, 2018, signing ceremony for the UCLA Global Classroom partnership with Soong Ching Ling School.

UCLA Global Classroom begins second major partnership in China

The program, which enables international high school students to take for-credit college-level courses taught by UCLA faculty and lecturers, recently launched a partnership with Soong Ching Ling School in Shanghai.

UCLA International Institute, May 10, 2018 — In addition to over 25 centers and programs devoted to world regions and global issues, the UCLA International Institute hosts a number of special international programs. One such program is the UCLA Global Classroom, which partners with international schools to enable high school students in other countries to take college-level courses for credit with UCLA professors.

UCLA Global Classroom has been active in China since 2010 and recently concluded a major new partnership with Soong Ching Ling School (SCLS) in Shanghai. UCLA Vice Provost Cindy Fan, who directs the Global Classroom program, traveled to Shanghai to sign the SCLS partnership agreement on May 2, 2018,* at an event hosted by top officials from the Shanghai Qingpu district government, the China Welfare Institute and the Soong Ching Ling School. Students at the school were active participants at the signing ceremony, providing several performances.

Fan was accompanied at the event by the other leaders of UCLA Global Classroom, including Executive Director Justin Zackey (UCLA Ph.D., Geography, and Lecturer, UCLA Department of Geography) — whose assiduous efforts on the ground made the partnership possible — and Program Coordinator Monica Meng (Shanghai School of International Studies, M.A.).


Driven by UCLA’s mission of international education and fostering global and local partnerships, UCLA Global Classroom collaborates with international programs and high schools to offer UCLA education through in-person, credit-bearing UCLA courses. Upon completing the courses, students receive a UCLA Extension transcript with credits that are transferable to most U.S. universities.

Global Classroom reflects UCLA’s commitment to student development by working with academic departments on campus to identify and recruit lecturers with strong academic backgrounds and extensive teaching experience. All lecturers either hold Ph.D.s or have been recognized by their departments as top candidates for teaching while completing their final year of dissertation work. Through classroom teaching and mentorship, Global Classroom instructors work closely with students to build academic and leadership skills and encourage a commitment to social engagement.

The program is advised on programmatic matters by a faculty advisory committee, which also provides oversight of its academic standards. The committee is comprised of leading scholars from departments across the UCLA campus: Robert Gurval, associate professor of classics; Gary Nash, distinguished research professor of history; Ren Sun, professor of molecular and medical pharmacology and of bioengineering; and Min Zhou, professor of sociology and Asian American Studies. 

Partnerships in China

UCLA Global Classroom began its first partnership in China with Jinling High School (金陵中学) in Nanjing in 2010. Located in the Yangtze River Delta, Nanjing is the capital of Jiangsu province and the second-largest city in the East China region. Global Classroom’s flagship site, Jingling High School was founded in 1888, and is one of the top public high schools in Jiangsu. It has been named one of China’s “100 Key Schools.” The school’s over 100,000 graduates include a Nobel Laureate in literature and several notable scholars in physics, mathematics, economics and biology.

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block (center), with Global Classroom Executive Director Justin Zackey and
Eric Altice, Ph.D., Lecturer in History, during a 2014 visit to the Jingling High School ZMB program.

UCLA Global Classroom worked with Jinling High School to build the Zhongmei Ban Program/中美班 (ZMB/ “China-America Program”), which offers both courses from the National Chinese curriculum and Advanced Placement (AP) and credit-bearing UCLA courses, supported by the mentorship of UCLA lecturers and staff. Students who have participated in the UCLA Global Classroom-Jinling program have gone onto many top U.S. universities, including the University of Chicago, Columbia University, UC Berkeley and UCLA. (See some of their testimonials here.)

ZMB Class of 2017, Jingling High School.

Beginning in fall 2018, Soong Ching Ling School (SCLS) in Shanghai will also offer classes provided by the UCLA Global Classroom. Named after Madame Soong Ching Ling, wife of Dr. Sun Yat-sen and former vice president of the People’s Republic of China, SCLS was established in Shanghai in 2008. Over the past decade, SCLS has dedicated itself to implementing Madame Soong Ching Ling’s educational philosophy of promoting knowledge and learning across cultures. The school currently enrolls over 900 students from 22 countries and regions and employs over 150 faculty and staff, about a third of whom are from foreign countries.

 * See coverage of the signing event by Chinese media here and here.