Professor Oliver Keels’ recruitment trip to Shaoxing, Zhejiang

On April 25, 2021, Professor Oliver Keels, political science professor from the College of Liberal Arts of Wenzhou-Kean University, met with Shaoxing’s Lu Xun Senior High School students with the mission to promote information exchange and cultural interaction, as they relate to their prospective college selections. His visit was jointly sponsored by China Education Online, Zhejiang College Entrance Examination Association and Shaoxing Education Examination Institute, With the core theme of “establishing and improving the information communication and exchange platform between colleges and high schools under the background of the new college entrance examination reform,” this activity promotes the exchange and interaction between colleges and corresponding high schools. Prof. Keels gave an inspiring presentation and patiently answered students’ questions during the an-site consultation meeting on enrollment in Lu Xun Senior High School, Shaoxing, Zhejiang.

On the morning of the 24th, Professor Keels arrived at Dayu mausoleum with the organizers. As a lecturer in political science, he expressed his interest in traditional Chinese culture and related that to human history. Accompanying student ambassador Zhang Ziling mentioned that Professor Keels raised many questions during the visit, such as the origin of Da Yu’s name; Why is there a show at 9:50 am; What does the number 9 and 5 stand for? This cultural tour of Shaoxing helped Professor Keels understand the Xia Dynasty, better understand traditional Chinese culture, and enhanced his own understanding of unique Chinese expressions and traditions in China.

After visiting Da Yu mausoleum, Professor Keels went to Lu Xun Senior High School in Shaoxing to participate in “the event called “100 Colleges and Universities Go to Shaoxing” and gave a lecture on academic and career planning to students. In addition to introducing the general situation of Wenzhou Kean University, Professor Keels focused on sharing the secrets of success. With a novel theme and innovative perspective, he avoided the tedious interpretation of the college entrance examination policy but interacted with the students instead. He said that success is curiosity in addition to good education. Students should exercise critical and diversified thinking in the process of learning, always keep curious and have courage to explore new knowledge. He hopes that potential students can apply to Wenzhou Kean University to prove the correctness of his theory for success. The atmosphere of the seminar was lively, and Professor Keels’ short but profound speech stimulated students’ enthusiasm for applying for Wenzhou Kean University.

On April 25th, Professor Keels went to Lu Xun Senior High School again, this time for the on-site consultation session. As an American, his unique presence was particularly eye-catching, attracting many students to come to the WKU exhibition stand. He said that the students enthusiastically gathered around to conduct detailed consultations about their concerns. The questions mainly focused on the differences between campus life of WKU and that of traditional Chinese universities. These students yearned for WKU campus life and wanted to gain different experiences here. He also shared that when he interacted with Zhang Ziling, the student ambassador, some students were attracted by his presence, too, and surrounded them enviously to listen to their conversation. It is a kind of invigorating influence for high school students that our faculty attending student recruitment trips, which can not only stimulate students’ interest in English learning, but also reflect the unique characteristics of our university.

After the event, Professor Keels said that the teachers of the admissions office had arranged a convenient and reasonable itinerary for him in advance, and he liked the enrollment campaign very much. He also pointed out how meaningful it can be for faculty to participate in the recruitment publicity work. Many teachers’ understanding of China is limited to the WKU campus and Wenzhou city. These recruitment trips can help them see China from multiple perspectives and experience different cultural environments, which also helps them become more familiar with the situation of Chinese students before they enter the university, thus it would help them to carry out targeted teaching in the classrooms. The presence of foreign teachers in the recruitment consultation sessions can also inspire students’ curiosity and interest, enable them to experience English-learning environment in advance, and establish a sense of trust with faculty in advance.

This enrollment campaign has been extensive, and has improved the popularity of Wenzhou Kean University among various high schools, as well as showcased WKU’s unique educational concept and progressive teaching methods. The time is ripe for recruitment season, College of Liberal Arts would like to call upon faculty to actively participate in the recruitment activities of colleges and universities, effectively improve the impact of recruitment publicity in 2021, diligently help to implement recruitment plans, and continuously gather more first-class students for WKU.


Author ︳ Han Lu

Translation ︳ Xiang Bingling (Evangeline)