Joseph Weber

UNL Associate Professor Joseph Weber

May 15, 2013 — China’s interest in the West is strong and growing, University of Nebraska-Lincoln associate professor Joseph Weber told staffers at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services department in Lincoln.

“The Chinese venerate education,” Weber told the staffers in a May 15 presentation that included lecture, videos and discussion. “There are somewhere on the order of 190,000 Chinese studying at U.S. colleges and universities, about 25 percent of the total of foreign students. At UNL, the Chinese now form the largest single group of foreign students.”

The Chinese love America and are fascinated by Westerners, said Weber, who taught business and economic journalism Tsinghua University in Beijing as a visiting professor in the fall semester of 2011. He teaches the subject at UNL’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications.  He said the Chinese also want their population to be well-schooled so they can take part better in the global economy, and so require English instruction from the earliest elementary school years.

 The Chinese economy, he noted, recently became the second-largest in the world after embracing capitalism only about 35 years ago. And yet, he said, it still has a long way to go to provide for the needs of all its people.

Weber delivered his talk in person to a group at one of two CIS facilities in Lincoln and it was simulcast electronically to a group at the service’s second facility. The CIS offices were marking Asian Pacific Islander Awareness Month and arranged with UNL’s Speakers Bureau to host Weber. The CIS has several hundred employees in Lincoln.

Weber taught business and economic journalism and multimedia journalism in China under the aegis of the International Center for Journalists, a Washington group that encourages the growth of journalism around the world. During his time in China, he lectured at several universities and gave a presentation at a conference of Chinese communications professors.