Strategic Partnerships, Collaborative Centers, and Initiatives in Asia

Dalian University of Technology

Dalian, China 

Penn State Engagement Champion:  Chunshan Song


Penn State-Dalian Joint Center to Promote Collaborative Energy Research 

The Penn State and Dalian University of Technology (DUT) Joint Center for Energy Research (JECR) actively supports faculty and student exchanges and research collaborations at both universities.

For more information about Penn State's strategic initiatives in Asia, contact Marty Trethewey, director of global engagement:

National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU)

Taipei, Taiwan

Penn State Strategic Coordinator:  Rose Lee-Yong Tan (1-814-867-4035)


The connection between Penn State and NTNU is longstanding and deep.  The first MOU between the two institutions was signed in 1950 and the focus was on helping Taiwan develop its vocational education training system in the post-WWII era. Visits began to take place and Penn State and the College of Education became the destination for graduate students who wished to pursue advanced training, particularly in what is now called the Workforce Education and Development and Career Counseling areas.

Two of Taiwan’s former Ministers of Education are Penn State College of Education graduates.  The College can also point to numerous presidents of major universities in Taiwan who are graduates.

Over the years, the breadth of the connection with NTNU has increased, in part because NTNU developed from its early days as primarily a teacher preparation institution to its current status as a major, comprehensive university.  Most recently connections have been made with several parts of Penn State in addition to the College of Education.  Most notably, there are connections with linguistics and second language acquisition, the learning sciences, and the role of technology in education.

Key Activities and Opportunities

The work in the Learning Sciences warrants special attention.  Penn State partnered with NTNU in its “Race to the Top” proposal to Taiwan’s equivalent to the US National Science Foundation.  NTNU submitted a proposal that was funded.  The project embraced the learning sciences with a focus on second language acquisition, STEM education, and technology.  Research on these topics has been supported by the project and the results are shared at an annual international IWALS conference.  The first IWALS conference took place at Penn State and the most recent conference took place in Finland (summer of 2019).  Penn State faculty members have been active within the IWALS conferences.

A benchmarking agreement was established several years ago that has supported visits of high ranking delegations from NTNU to Penn State and from Penn State to NTNU to learn about modern best practices with respect to the operation of universities.  Projects have focused on on-line education, first year experiences for students, alumni relations, and fundraising, to name just a few.  Most recently, Penn State and NTNU created a competitive partnership grant program wherein faculty members in both institutions can identify a partner in the other institution and thereby become eligible for funding.  Both NTNU and Penn State are providing the funding for this program.

2019-2020 Joint Research

The professors who received the funding for the 2019-2020 academic year will work with counterparts at NTNU to carry out their research:

  • Martin K.-C. Yeh, assistant professor, College of Information Sciences and Technology, Penn State Brandywine
  • Roman DiBiase, assistant professor of geosciences
  • Hartono Tjoe, assistant professor of mathematics education, Penn State Berks
  • Sadan Kulturel-Konak, professor of management information systems, Penn State Berks
  • Dannis Lin, distinguished professor of statistics
  • James Kasting, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences
  • Esther Obonyo, associate professor of architectural engineering

Savitribai Phule Pune University

Pune, India 

Penn State Engagement Champion: Anil Kulkarni ( 

Key Activities  

Fall 2015: Collaboration Development Workshop held at Savitribai Phule Pune University. $75k of seed money was awarded to 10 faculty teams from both universities on a competitive basis. The jointly funded seed money program nurtured the budding collaborations into self-supporting, sustained activities in teaching, research and service. 
Sept 2016: Pan Institute Network for Global Health (PINGH), Pune, India. 45 participants from six international institutes:  SPPU, Penn State, University of Cape Town (South Africa), University of Freiburg (Germany), University of Limpopo (South Africa), and  Mount Crest University (Ghana).
Feb 2017: Urbanization and Health Workshop between Penn State, University of Freiburg, Germany, and SPPU.
March 2017: Penn State Student Study Tour. 


Visit Support

When Penn State faculty and administrators visit India support can be provided to them in various forms including local contacts for hospitality, arrangements to meet with students, faculty and administrators at various education and research institutes (not just SPPU) and high schools, visa letters, handling and distribution of promotional material, coordinating faculty interactions and engagements for research and education activities programs, facilitating meetings with government officials.

New Visiting Professorship

Visiting professorship to Penn State funded by the Government of India through Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) for a faculty member of University of Pune is being finalized.

Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU)

In 2011, Penn State's Korea GEN task force identified Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) as one of the candidates for Penn State's strategic partner institutions in South Korea. The two universities had already held their first joint workshop at SKKU's Seoul Campus in June 2013, where about 40 professors from the two universities explored possible research collaborations in various fields such as education, engineering, and information sciences and technology. Penn State and SKKU also have an active Staff Exchange program.

For more information about Penn State’s engagement in South Korea, please contact Marty Trethewey at