Imagine a pool of prospective students as big as the population of the United States. That is what China, a country of 1.3 billion people, offers to universities in the U.S. looking to draw international students. With that much potential, Mary Anne Saunders of the Global Education Office says it is obvious why UNM opened a recruitment office in Beijing and why President Robert G. Frank is making a trip there in January.

“The reality of higher education today is that we are competing in a global market and the competition has never been fiercer.” “Saunders said. “UNM is way behind the curve in establishing our profile in China.  For a president to visit, it makes a big impression on the Chinese because they realize that we should be taken seriously.”

President Frank, Saunders and Executive Vice President David Harris will be traveling to Beijing and then on to Macau and Lan Zhao to build on investments that UNM has made in China and to meet with a possible partner on a new educational opportunity there.

Part of President Robert Frank's itinerary to China includes rural Langzhou, located in northwestern China.

“The timing is such that we have to be there to evaluate this opportunity.  If it comes to fruition, it’ll have enormous significances for the university,” Frank said.

As with most trips he makes, Frank says this one has multiple purposes. In addition to checking out the Beijing office and vetting an important potential partnership, he will also be discussing an educational partnership with the University of Macau that would focus on gaming programs.

“They have a lot of programing around gaming.” Frank said. “So our students could go over there and get exposure to international gaming and business, and then come back here and work on an educational program that would put them on track to move into management positions in casinos in the U-S.”

The China trip will run from Jan. 24-30.