U.S.-China Education Foundation - A Project of S.A.G.E.
The U.S.-China Education Foundation, Inc. (USCEF) was conceived in 1978 in response to "Normalization," (U.S.-China Formal Agreement) and founded in 1979 by Dr. Joseph B. Kennedy, Sr.The Foundation began as a result of the invitation from the Chinese Minister of Education. Dr. Kennedy was also appointed by Dr. Terry Sanford, President of Duke University, as the representative to China for the University.
With the program formally organized in the summer of 1980, in cooperation with American colleges and universities, Dr. Kennedy arranged for the first group of beginning language students to ever study in China. This breakthrough for the students, with no former experience in Chinese language study, was for a "total immersion" program. This experiment proved most successful, and is now part of the ongoing curriculum of the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China.
USCEF was chartered in Washington, D.C., as a non-profit organization in 1980 for the primary purpose of helping developing relationships between U.S. and Chinese Universities. USCEF's secondary purpose was to send students from the United States to the People's Republic of China to study putonghua (Mandarin), the official Chinese language, as well as the rich history and culture of the Chinese people. The experience offered a first-hand view of life as a student in China, and is possible only through an educational program. Further, the charter gave the mandate to assist students from the People's Republic of China to come to the United States to learn our language and experience our culture, then return to assist their country in its goals.
USCEF innovated programs in the areas of music, sports, martial arts, Mongolian and Cantonese languages, as well as established low-cost travel for students.
Early, USCEF realized that the increasing cost of travel, combined with inflation and other factors, had placed this type of study and travel beyond the reach of students. USCEF continued to work with the Ministry of Education to keep program costs as low as possible. Therefore, a program was developed offering a low cost flight and transportation with students traveling and attending a university in China.
In 1979, 18 students went to China. In 1980, 85 went to China. In 1981, the summer program alone had 130 students. 240 students participated in 1982, and we grew to over 300 in 1983, almost 400 in 1984. We are now the oldest operating language education foundation in China, as well as the single largest sending educational organization to the People's Republic of China from the United States, perhaps the whole world.
We believe that the best place to learn to speak Chinese is in China. Dr. Kennedy has said that the significant achievement of the short-term 4-6 weeks in the program was that our American students "learn that they can learn" what was once believed to be the most difficult of all languages. Many, with this introduction, returned to study Chinese in the U.S. and later returned to China for long-term studies from one to four years. One of our oldest students, Dr. Barnett, a retired professor from a New York university, went in 1979 and taught at Beijing University for several years. The USCEF program expanded to include people of all ages and interests, and history may yet prove to be one of the most significant contributions to international understanding and world peace.
Later the Foundation took on the role to direct and assist other organizations seeking advice from our experience and relationships in China.
Plans are now for USCEF to begin some innovative new programs in China, Singapore, and other Asian countries. Keep in touch through this site if you are interested in other upcoming projects. Email for information or write to S.A.G.E. - U.S.C.E.F. at the address below.
About the Founder, Chairman and CEO, Dr. Joseph Kennedy, Sr.:After founding USCEF in 1979, Dr. Kennedy was honored in 1980 when he was appointed "Special Assistant to the President and Consultant to Nanjing University" by Kuang Ya Ming, the legendary president of that university. He was the first American appointed to any position in China since the cultural revolution. That same year, Dr. Kennedy served as a consultant to the Ministry of Health, and worked with the outstanding leader of their Foreign Affairs Office, Dr. Chun Keru. Dr. Kennedy led delegations to China to aid the development and growth of its economy. Dr. Kennedy has negotiated exchange programs and "sister" relationships between several U.S. and Chinese universities. Dr. Kennedy is deeply committed to the progress of language training in China and to ongoing cultural exchange. He currently serves as Founder, Chairman and CEO of Kennedy International Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm and Think Tank for international education and business. Dr. Kennedy's firm, ISSUE (International Sales and Services Unlimited Enterprises) established in 1965, operated with offices in Macao, Hong Kong, Zurich, and Los Angeles. As Chairman of this large import-export company, he promoted Chinese goods on the international market. One hundred percent of the profit from this company was invested in the educational and cultural exchange work in China.
U.S.-China Education Foundation, Inc.
A project of The Society For Global Education, Inc.