First-ever students from Peru, Jordan and Ireland join Global Business Journalism program


By Johora Nawreen

Global Business Journalism reporter

While the coronavirus is forcing people around the world to maintain a social distance to protect their health, the Global Business Journalism program at Tsinghua University is closing the distance between countries.

This semester three more nations joined the “United Nations of Journalism” at GBJ, the first English language journalism master’s program in China. For the first time in the program’s 13-year history, master’s degree candidates from Peru, Jordan, and Ireland have enrolled in the program. That brings the total to 65 nations and four national regions represented in the GBJ’s multicultural mélange.

The program’s leaders say Global Business Journalism’s diversity – diversity of students, diversity of faculty, diversity of cultures, diversity of viewpoints – is one of its major assets. The new students concur.

“There’s not a single program in the world other than the GBJ program that offers a high-quality journalistic approach to exploring China’s business, economy, society, and culture,” said Fiona Lavroff, an incoming 2020 student from Ireland. “I also picked this program because of the professors and the range of courses available. Where else could I find data mining or film and TV production courses taught by experienced professionals in the same program? The GBJ program is uniquely positioned in what it offers.”

New student Farah Mubarak from Jordan is hoping to become a journalist who bridges the gap between China and other countries. Jordan and China recently marked more than 42 years of diplomatic relations. Academic and economic cooperation has expanded since Jordan joined the Belt and Road Initiative. One example of warming ties: Jack Ma became the first non-Jordanian to be awarded the highest honor by the King of Jordan for his outstanding contribution to the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I believe that the Sino-Jordanian relations could be seen more as a friendship, rather than official diplomatic ties,” she said.

Roger Fu, a student from Peru, is lucky to join the program on campus immediately, because he had been living in Beijing. (Sixteen of the 18 incoming international students are attended classes remotely from their home countries because of coronavirus travel restrictions.)

The South American student says he wants to be the part of the rapidly changing world and he opines that there is no place better than GBJ for a better understanding of those changes.

“As my goal is to be part of the change that is happening in Peru, I have set my aims to improve and enhance my story-telling skills to be able to share it with the rest of the world with the courses taught by Professor Rick Dunham on writing and editing,” he said. “Courses focusing on business will help me understand better how the change that is happening.”

Global Business Journalism has trained more than 500 graduate students and produced 441 master’s degree recipients. These highly trained specialists have brought a new level of professionalism, business expertise, and writing skill to an understanding of economic and financial issues in China, the world’s second-largest economy.

Fall semester courses begin on September 14. Applications for the 2021-2022 academic year will open in early November.

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